US Coins

US Mint launch ceremony for Effigy Mounds quarter

A videotaped message by native Iowan astronaut Peggy Whitson from the International Space Station highlighted the U.S. Mint's official launch ceremony Feb. 7 for the 2017 Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter dollar.

The ceremony was held at the Allamakee Community School District High School Gym in Waukon.

Whitson is an astronaut and biochemistry researcher for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Receiving special recognition during the event was Richard Masters, a fourth-generation Iowan, who designed the Effigy Mounds coin as an artist for the U.S. Mint's Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). Masters has designed U.S. coins and medals as an AIP artist for the past 10 years.

More than 1,250 students and an additional 450 members of the public attended the events surrounding the release of this 36th of the 56 scheduled quarter dollar releases in the America the Beautiful quarters program.

"The Effigy Mounds quarter design embodies the spirit of this sacred landscape," said J. Marc Landry, superintendent at the Philadelphia Mint. "This new coin honors a special place where ancient people changed the landscape of their world in the most extraordinary way."

A coin forum held Feb. 6 at the Effigy Mounds National Monument Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry (yes, this one's in Iowa), during which attendees and U.S. Mint officials exchanged thoughts on U.S. coin and medal designs, drew a crowd of 75 people. 

Following the official launch ceremony, $23,000 face value in $10, 40-coin rolls of 2017-D Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter dollars were purchased by event attendees, with Kerndt Brothers Saving Bank representatives in Waukon supplying the coins. Students in attendance each received a new 2017-D Effigy Mounds National Monument quarter dollar free.

Additional ceremony participants included Jim Nepstad, Effigy Mounds National Monument superintendent; Edmore Green, Tribal Chair of Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska; Fred Schuster, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley; Brittney Carroll, Regional Director for U.S. Senator Joni Ernst; and Michael Olson, a former member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, who represented U.S. Congressman Rod Blum from Iowa.

Authorized by Public Law 110-456, the U.S. Mint's America the Beautiful quarters program is a 12-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national historic sites in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories including Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Commonweatlh of Northern Mariana Islands.

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