The US Mint recently added a new section to their website with some information about the upcoming quarter series slated to begin in 2010.
H.R. 6184 America’s Beautiful national parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 was signed into law on December 23, 2008. This legislation creates a new series of circulating commemorative quarters with rotating reverse designs. The designs will feature National Parks or National Sites from each of the 50 US States, 5 US Territories, and the District of Columbia.
The US Mint’s new section provide some interesting details on the new series. I will summarize some of the new information posted.
- The Act requires that the Secretary of the Treasury select all 56 of the National Parks and Sites that will be featured on the coins within six months of the legislation’s enactment. This gives him a deadline of September 19, 2009 to make all of the site selections which will be used for the next 11 years.
- The site selection process begins with the US Mint contacting the chief executive of each jurisdiction to request one preferred and three alternative sites within his or her jurisdiction. The US Mint reviews the recommendations and consults with the Secretary of the Interior. A final candidate list is provided to the Secretary of the Treasury for approval.
- Once the list of sites is approved, the full release schedule will be determined by the order each site was first established as a national site. Release of the new quarters will take place at a rate of five per year.
- The design selection process begins with the US Mint contacting the Federal entity responsible for the national site to request the appointment of a Federal official to serve as liaison. The US Mint will use source materials identified by the liaison to produce three to five candidate designs. These designs will be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior, the chief executive of the host jurisdiction, the CFA, and the CCAC for comment. The US Mint will make a final recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury.
- Some basic guidelines for the site selection and design criteria are presented. Sites must be reasonably expected to translate into dignified designs of which citizens can be proud. Sites cannot be frivolous or inappropriate. Designs cannot include a head and shoulders portrait or a living person. Designs cannot include an outline or a map of the host jurisdiction. Notably, designs can be based on the same theme as a previously released State Quarter, as long as the design is not the same.
- The US Mint indicates that a portrait of George Washington will remain on the obverse of all of the quarters. The legislation did not provide guidance as to what should appear on the obverse of the coins. About two weeks ago, the CCAC had voted unanimously that consideration should be given to placing Theodore Roosevelt on the obverse. Has the US Mint already decided against this recommendation?
On a final note, the US Mint’s new section on the series brought back a question that I have wondered since the series was first proposed: What will the series actually be called? State Quarters were easy enough to name, but the dual nature of the subject matter for the next series leave some room for interpretation.
The US Mint refers to the series as “New 2010 Quarters Program” on the navigation menu, which is likely only temporary. However, their page titles of the new section refer to the program as “National Sites Quarters Program.” The URLs also include “NSQuartersProgram.”
While the US Mint seems to have chosen the term “Sites,” most articles and blogs have chosen the term “Parks.” Which name will stick?
National Park Quarters? National Sites Quarters? Sites and Parks Quarters?