A crowd of more than 2,600 people, including about 1,700 schoolchildren, attended the launch ceremony hosted by officials from the National Park Service and United States Mint. Kids aged 18 and under received a free Lowell quarter to commemorate the event.
Depicted on the quarter’s reverse (tails side) is a scene emblematic of the historical park — a mill girl working at a power loom with its prominent circular bobbin battery and a view through the window of Lowell’s Boott Mill clock tower.
"The depiction of the mill girl takes us back to the past at the forefront of America’s Industrial Revolution," remarked Marc Landry, the Mint’s Acting Associate Director for the Numismatic and Bullion Directorate. "The physical coin takes us to present day manufacturing processes; and finally, the coin in its entirety takes us into the future — inspiring tomorrow’s innovators, workforce, and generations to follow."
Landy shared the stage with former Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, Chancellor of University of Massachusetts Lowell Jacqueline Moloney, Executive Director Yun-Ju Choi of Coalition for a Better Acre, Chief Executive Officer Karen Frederick of Community Teamwork, Inc., Lowell City Manager Eileen Donoghue, National Park Service Regional Deputy Director Rose Fennell, and park superintendent Celeste Bernardo.
The Lowell High School Band, the Lowell High School Chorus, students from Lowell High, and the Lowell High School JROTC Honor Guard also participated in the event.
Many of those who attended the launch ceremony took part in the traditional coin exchange with about $24,000 in D-mint mark Lowell quarters swapped for cash.
Another highlight for 103 collectors and local enthusiasts was a coin forum held on the evening before the launch ceremony where attendees listened to and asked questions of U.S. Mint officials.
Lowell quarters started entering circulation on Monday, Feb. 4. The U.S. Mint on the same day released them in rolls and bags for collectors. Available products include quarters produced at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95.