Today, February 10, 2015, representatives from the United States Mint and the National Park Service held an official launch ceremony for the 2015 Homestead National Monument of America Quarter. This represents the twenty-sixth release of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
The reverse design of the coin is intended to represent the three fundamentals of survival common to all homesteaders: food, shelter, and water. The inscriptions read “Homestead”, “Nebraska”, “2015”, and “E Pluribus Unum”. The obverse of the coin features the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan.
Speakers at the launch ceremony included United States Mint Associate Director of Manufacturing David Croft, Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley, National Park Service Acting Regional Director (Midwest Region) Patty Trap, Homestead National Monument of America Superintendent Mark Engler, and city of Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth.
The ceremony was open to the public and residents of Beatrice and the surrounding area who attended the event were among the first in the nation to obtain newly minted Homestead National Monument of America quarters at the coin exchange that followed the ceremony. The quarters are not available for purchase from the United States Mint until February 24, 2015.
Total attendance at the ceremony was 2,500 people, including 1,800 schoolchildren. There were $25,000 worth of quarters exchanged at the event.
The evening before the ceremony, a coin forum was held at the Homestead National Monument of America Education Center. The forum drew 116 coin collectors including area coin club members and Mitch Ernst, President of the Nebraska Numismatic Association.
Topics of discussion at the forum included:
- the Homestead quarter’s design selection process;
- Homestead artist involvement/site visit for resource material;
- top selling Mint products;
- how to get America the Beautiful Quarters®;
- why the release date for rolls of the Homestead quarter is several weeks away;
- new product inquiries, including questions about reverse proof products, and potential offerings at the upcoming American Numismatic Association summer show;
- and the commemorative coin program.
In addition, the Education Center featured many Homestead quarter displays, including framed images of the candidate designs reviewed by the advisory committees and a wood carving of the chosen design.