Nageezi, N.M. — United States Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson and Chaco Culture National Historical Park Superintendent Barbara West today launched the quarter–dollar coin honoring Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico during the dedication ceremony for the site’s new visitor center. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design illustrates a view to the west of two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Ketl Complex. The design also shows the north wall of Chetro Ketl and the north wall of Chaco Canyon.
“As Americans use their new quarter, they will connect to the stories of the ancient Chaco inhabitants and the remarkable feats of architecture, engineering, geometry and landscaping that Chaco Culture National Historical Park represents,” Peterson said.
In addition to the coin launch and dedication ceremony, the park also celebrated its 25th anniversary as a World Heritage Site. Highlights of the joint event included remarks by Peterson and West, and by Theresa Pasqual, Director of the Acoma Historic Preservation Office. The ceremony was followed by a coin exchange where members of the public exchanged their currency for rolls of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter. Peterson also hosted a coin forum the evening of April 25, where local residents gathered to discuss U.S. coinage and to learn about United States Mint coin programs and initiatives.
Chaco Canyon was a major center of Puebloan culture between A.D. 850 and 1250. The Chacoan sites are part of the homeland of Pueblo Indian peoples of New Mexico, the Hopi Indians of Arizona and the Navajo Indians of the Southwest. Chaco is remarkable for its multi–storied public buildings, ceremonial buildings and distinctive architecture. The Chacoan people combined pre–planned architectural designs, astronomical alignments, geometry, landscaping and engineering to create an ancient urban center of spectacular public architecture — one that still awes and inspires a thousand years later. The park was first established as a national site in 1907.
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park quarter is the 12th release in the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program, authorized by Public Law 110–456. Each year, the public will see five new quarters with reverse designs representing select national sites, with one final coin released in 2021. The United States Mint will issue these quarters in the order in which the honored site was first established as a national site.
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing 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.