Launch ceremony for Shawnee National Forest quarter
- Published: Feb 5, 2016, 5 AM
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.
The U.S. Mint began numismatic sales Feb. 1 of the circulation quality quarters struck at the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints.
The coins are available in 40-coin rolls, two and three-roll sets, and 100-coin bags.
Visit the Mint’s website at www.usmint.com for pricing and availability.
The Shawnee National Forest quarter dollar is the 31st release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a 12-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites authorized by Public Law 110-456.
Each year, the public will see five new national sites depicted on the reverse of the America the Beautiful quarter dollars.
The United States Mint is issuing these quarter dollars in the order in which the national sites were congressionally recognized by statute.
One quarter dollar is being issued for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories — Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Commonwealth of Northern Marian Islands.
The quarter dollar representing Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama will be issued alone in 2021, the final year of the quarter dollar program.
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