On April 30, 2014, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would authorize the minting and issuance of commemorative coins to mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The program would include $5 gold coins, silver dollars, and clad half dollars to be issued in 2016.
The National Park Service was established as a bureau within the Department of the Interior to administer the country’s national parks and monuments. From its establishment in 1916 to present, the National Park System has grown from an initial 37 park units with 6 million acres of land to more than 395 units with 84 million acres of land located across nearly all states and territories.
The bill H.R. 627 National Park Service Commemorative Coin Act had been introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota on February 13, 2013 and garnered 307 cosponsors. It passed in the House with a vote of 403-13. A similar bill has also been introduced in the Senate.
If either of the bills becomes law, the Secretary of the Treasury would be required to mint and issue up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars with designs emblematic of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. The gold coins would be struck in 90% gold and 10% alloy with a weight of 8.359 grams and diameter of 0.850 inches. The silver dollars would be struck in 90% silver and 10% copper with a weight of 26.73 grams and diameter of 1.500 inches. The half dollars would be minted in 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel with a weight of 11.34 grams and diameter of 1.205 inches.
The designs would be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury following consultation with the National Park Service, National Park Foundation, Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Both proof and uncirculated qualities of each coin would be minted. The coins are eligible to be issued only during the period beginning on January 1, 2016 and ending on December 31, 2016.
Surcharges of $25 per gold coin, $10 per silver dollar, and $5 per half dollar would be added to the sales price of each coin. These surcharges would be distributable to the National Park Foundation for projects and programs that help preserve and protect resources under stewardship and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of those resources.
The Secretary of the Treasury is required to take such actions necessary to ensure that the minting and issuance of the coins will not result in any net cost to the United States Government. Surcharges may not be distributed until the cost of designing and issuing the coins has been recovered.
In order for the bill H.R. 627 to become law, it must be passed in the Senate and signed by the President.