September 1, 2017
by Tracy Chavez
The United States Mint and the National Park Service launched the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program New Jersey quarter honoring Ellis Island August 30.
The ceremony took place on Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants seeking new opportunities and experiences in America. 350 people attended the ceremony with hundreds more visitors to the island passing through and learning about the new coin.
Media outlets including WMABC, News 12 New Jersey and the Jersey Journal attended the event and interviewed Todd Baldau, senior advisor to the Acting Deputy Director of the Mint and Barbara Fox, designer of the Ellis Island quarter reverse. Additional outlets also covered the event including the Associated Press and the Jamestown Post Journal.
The quarter’s reverse design depicts an immigrant family approaching Ellis Island with a mixture of hope and uncertainty. The hospital building on the New Jersey portion of Ellis Island is visible in the background.
“This new coin not only honors the unique history of the largest and most active immigration station in the United States, but also the spirit and determination of the millions of people seeking a better life in America,” said Todd Baldau, senior advisor to the Acting Deputy Director of the Mint.
Additional participants in the celebration included Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Deputy Superintendent John Hnedak, who read a letter from New Jersey governor Chris Christie; Projects Director Zach McCue, who represented U.S. Senator Cory Booker; and Janis Calella, president of Save Ellis Island, Inc. Barbara Fox, designer of the Ellis Island quarter reverse, was recognized during the ceremony.
After the ceremony, event attendees eagerly traded cash for rolls of newly-minted Ellis Island quarters. $18,500 was exchanged during the coin exchange.
See more Inside the Mint articles