GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. — The United States Mint today, with help from National Park Service officials, marked the release of the Grand Canyon National Park quarter. Highlights of the event included a ceremonial coin pour, performances by the Pollen Trail Dancers, a local Native American troupe, and a coin exchange at which members of the public swapped their currency for $10 rolls of the new quarter. Children 18 years old and younger received a new Grand Canyon National Park quarter to commemorate the event.
“The United States Mint is honored to be connecting America to its most significant natural treasures through the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program,” said United States Mint Director Ed Moy. “The new Grand Canyon National Park quarter design echoes the ancient grandeur of this wondrous place.”
The design on the coin’s reverse (tails side) features a view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta in Marble Canyon near the Colorado River, which were used for storing food and seeds. Inscriptions on the reverse are GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The design on the coin’s obverse (heads side) features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.
“The introduction of a Grand Canyon quarter is a momentous occasion in the human story of the park; so we were thrilled when the Nankoweap granaries were chosen as the design for the reverse side,” said Steve Martin, Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park. “The use of the granaries really seems to connect the coin and today’s event to the thousands of years of human history reflected in archeological sites throughout the canyon.”
The Grand Canyon National Park quarter is the fourth coin released through the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a multi–year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other sites in each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. Each year through 2020, the United States Mint will issue five new quarters in the order in which the honored site was first established as a national site. One final coin will be released in 2021.
The United States Mint began offering 100–coin bags and two–roll sets containing the new Grand Canyon National Park quarter on September 20. Collectors may order these products at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or at 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Hearing– and speech–impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468). Additional information about other America the Beautiful Quarters Program product options, including subscriptions, is also available.
Free lesson plans based on the America the Beautiful Quarters Program are available at the United States Mint’s Web site. Created and reviewed by teachers to meet national curricular standards, the plans draw on the new reverse designs to inspire students to learn about the culture, geography, unique heritage and natural beauty of our national parks and other national sites. For more information about America the Beautiful Quarters Program educational resources, visit: http://www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/.
The Grand Canyon was first established as a national site on February 20, 1893. A powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms our senses through its immense size – 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. Although first afforded Federal protection in 1893 as a forest reserve and later as a national monument, the Grand Canyon did not achieve national park status until 1919, three years after the creation of the National Park Service. Today Grand Canyon National Park receives close to five million visitors every year – a far cry from the 44,173 visitors the park received in 1919.
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.