First 2016 America the Beautiful quarter dollar launches

College site of Shawnee National Forest official ceremony
By , Coin World
Published : 02/05/16
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More than 1,300 people, among them some 550 schoolchildren, crowded into Southeastern Illinois College’s Deaton Gymnasium in Harrisburg Feb. 4 for the official launch ceremonies for the 2016 Shawnee National Forest quarter dollar.

Approximately 70 collectors and interested parties met with U.S. Mint representatives the evening of Feb. 3 at forest headquarters in Harrisburg during a coin forum to exchange feedback and learn about upcoming Mint programs.

The reverse of the 2016 Shawnee National Forest quarter dollar depicts a close-up view of Camel Rock with natural vegetation in the foreground and a red-tailed hawk soaring in the sky overhead.

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“Not only is the Shawnee National Forest quarter the 31st coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program — and the first quarter to be introduced into circulation in 2016 — it also is the fifth and last national forest to be honored in the program,” said Dean Bidle, the U.S. Mint’s program manager for Numismatic Packaging Planning. “Millions of Americans will now have a reminder of the beauty of Southern Illinois through a quarter designed in the national forest’s honor.”

Among those also delivering remarks were U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell; Shawnee National Forest Supervisor Allen Nicholas; Ben Barnes, second chief of the Shawnee Tribe; and George Blanchard, representative of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

The 2016 Shawnee National Forest quarter dollars were scheduled to be released into general circulation through the Federal Reserve Banks and their member financial institutions on Feb. 8.

Following the Feb. 4 ceremony, those in attendance were permitted to exchange cash for $10 face value rolls of circulation-quality Uncirculated 2016-P Shawnee National Forest quarter dollars struck.

U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said $25,000 face value in coins, representing 2,500 rolls and 100,000 coins, were exchanged by Bantera Bank.

Students attending the ceremony each received free an Uncirculated quarter dollar.

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