US Coins

Denali National Park proves logistical challenge for Mint

U.S. Mint and Denali National Park officials are considering Nov. 15 as the date and Healy, Alaska, as the location for official launch ceremonies for the circulating quarter dollar honoring the park.

Image courtesy of U.S. Mint.

Scheduling an official launch ceremony for the 2012 Denali National Park quarter dollar under the America’s Beautiful Quarters Program will likely provide a logistical challenge for U.S. Mint officials.

The 2012 Denali National Park quarter dollar is scheduled for circulation release through the Federal Reserve on Nov. 5.

Official launch ceremonies for the America the Beautiful and earlier quarter dollars have often been held close to the date of the circulation release. The Alaska quarter dollar issued under the 50 State Quarters Program was launched with such a ceremony during the summer of 2008.

National Park Service officials at Denali National Park told Coin World Sept. 5 that no ceremony is being planned for any location inside the park’s boundaries. Park officials have already contacted U.S. Mint officials about how to proceed, according to the park’s public affairs officer, Kris Fister.

“At this time we are not planning a ceremony at the park,” Fister said. “November is typically chilly here, with shortening days, and few visitors. We are two hours away from Fairbanks, and nearly five hours from Anchorage, the state’s largest city.

“We have asked the U.S. Mint for guidance on any type of event, and they told us they would get back to us.”

Tom Jurkowsky, director of the U.S. Mint’s Office of Public Affairs, said Sept. 6 that Mint officials will work with Denali National Park officials in selecting a “weather-friendly” location as an alternative to anywhere in the park itself because of the park’s remoteness.

Each of the quarter launch ceremonies staged for the 50 State quarter dollars program and thus far for the America’s Beautiful Quarters Program have included a coin exchange at the conclusion of official ceremonies. The coin exchanges have been conducted by a local sponsoring bank.

A coin forum in which collectors can meet with U.S. Mint representatives has also been conducted the night before each of the previously held launch ceremonies for the two programs.

The 2008 Alaska quarter dollar was released during Aug. 29 ceremonies that year at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. Then Gov. Sarah Palin was scheduled to preside over the launch ceremonies, but her presence was superseded by another event with nationwide importance. On the same day as the Alaska quarter dollar ceremony, Palin had secretly traveled to Dayton, Ohio, where she was announced by Sen. John McCain as his vice presidential running mate on the Republican ticket. ¦

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