There will be a new series of quarters beginning in 2010 commonly known as the National Park Quarters. The United States Mint has officially titled the series "America the Beautiful Quarters." This new series will follow the success of the prior 50 State Quarters Program and District of Columbia & United States Territories Quarters Program.
Over the course of eleven years, the National Park Quarters series will feature at least 56 different reverse designs featuring National Parks or National Sites from each state, US territory, and the District of Columbia. New quarters will be released at a rate of five per year with a single design released in the final year.
National Park Quarters Program
The new series of circulating commemorative quarters was first proposed on June 4, 2008. The bill H.R. 6184: America's Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 was introduced by Rep. Michael Castle of Delaware. The legislation was approved by the House of Representatives on July 9, 2008, approved by the Senate on December 10, 2008, and signed into law by the President on December 23, 2008.
The National Park Quarters Program will feature quarters with designs "emblematic of a national park or other national site in each State, the District of Columbia, and each territory of the United States." This results in at least 56 different reverse designs for the circulating quarter series beginning in 2010.
The 56 different National Park Quarters will be presented in the order they were first designated by the federal government. The quarters scheduled to be released during 2010 feature the following parks and sites:
- Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas
- Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
- Yosemite National Park in California
- Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
- Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon
At a special ceremony held on March 24, 2010, the United States Mint officially unveiled the reverse designs to be used for the first five quarters. Originally, three to four candidate designs had been prepared for each location. These candidates were reviewed by the chief executive of each host jurisdiction, the Secretary of the Interior, the federal department or agency with oversight of the site, the CFA, and the CCAC. The United States Secretary of the Treasury made the final design selections after considering the reviews and recommendations of others.
National Park Silver Bullion Coins
In addition to the circulating series of quarters featuring National Parks and National Sites, the US Mint is also creating a series of over sized silver bullion coins with duplicate designs. The creation of the new silver bullion series was stipulated in the same authorizing legislation.
The National Park Silver Bullion coins would have a fineness of .999 silver, a diameter of 3 inches, and a weight of 5 ounces. These coins would be available through bullion dealers with possible distribution via resale through the National Park Service. Many are looking forward to the over sized coins since they present a larger canvas for the coin designs. The silver bullion coins for 2010 are expected to be released in late summer or early fall.