On Wednesday, Nov. 6, quarters honoring Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho were officially introduced to the public.
Around 1,500 people, including some 1,200 students, attended the launch ceremony hosted by officials from he U.S. Mint and U.S. Forest Service. Children aged 18 and under received a free Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarter to commemorate the event.
The quarter’s reverse (tails side) depicts a piloted drift boat on the rushing river encompassed by the trees and rock formations of the wilderness.
The quarter "serves as a reminder of the essence of the Wilderness — more than two million acres of prehistoric mountains, fertile conifers and commanding rivers but flourishing with stories of heritage and wonder," remarked U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder.
Guest speakers included Mike Simpson, U.S. Representative of Idaho’s 2nd Congressional District; Larry LaRocco, former U.S. Representative of the 1st Congressional District; Kathryn Hitch, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Mike Crapo; Amy Taylor, Regional Director for U.S. Senator James Risch; Charles Mark, Supervisor of Salmon-Challis National Forest; and John Burns. Former Forest Supervisor of Salmon National Forest served as master of ceremonies.
Other ceremony highlights included the presentation of colors by the American Legion Lloyd Shaw Post 67 and performances by the Salmon High School Legacy Choir.
Many of those who attended the launch ceremony took part in the traditional coin exchange with quarters provided by East Idaho Federal Credit Union. About $14,500 quarters were swapped for cash.
Another highlight for 48 collectors and local enthusiasts was a coin forum held on the evening before the ceremony where attendees listened to and asked questions of U.S. Mint officials.
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarters started entering circulation on Monday, Nov. 4. On the same day, the U.S. Mint released them in rolls and bags. Available products include quarters struck at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints at prices ranging from $18.95 to $46.95.
The U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program debuted in 2010 and will honor 56 national parks and other sites through 2021. The latest quarter is the 50th released since 2010 and the last of the five unique 25-cent designs for 2019.