On June 3, 2010, the United States Mint and the National Park Service held the official launch ceremony for the Yellowstone National Park Quarter. This coin marks the second release of the new America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which will feature a National Park or site from each state, U.S. territory, and the District of Columbia. The coins will be released through 2021 in the order the sites were federally designated.
The Yellowstone Quarter was officially released into circulation a few days earlier on June 1. The reverse design features an image of the Old Faithful geyser erupting, as designed by Don Everhart. A mature bull bison or buffalo appears in the foreground of the image with a second bison in the far background. The obverse of the coin features the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan.
The launch ceremony for the quarter was held at Yellowstone National Park within the Old Faithful Lodge Recreation Hall. It was originally intended to be held in front of the Old Faithful Inn within view of the geyser, but the ceremony took place indoors due to weather. The master of ceremonies for the event was Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs Officer Al Nash. Co-hosting the event were the United States Mint Director Edmund Moy and the Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis. Paul Schullery, noted Yellowstone historian and author appeared as a guest speaker.
Approximately 1,500 members of the public attended the event. Most in attendance seemed to be residents of the surrounding areas or people vacationing at the park who heard about the event. There were also a number of coin collectors and Yellowstone Park enthusiasts on hand.
Following the ceremony, attendees were given the opportunity to exchange currency for rolls of the new 2010 Yellowstone National Park Quarters. The exchange was conducted by park management company Xanterra. Exchange limits were in place, but multiple passes through the line were allowed. In total 4,400 rolls, or $44,000.00 worth of quarters, were exchanged. Children in attendance, aged 18 and younger, received a free quarter to commemorate the event.
A specially prepared United States Postal Service cancellation stamp designed by Chuck Taylor was available at the park post office for attendees who wished to stamp and cancel their rolls. Approximately 1,100 rolls were canceled by the post office.
Attendees of the ceremony were in good spirits, but one altercation did occur during the event. Someone at the ceremony was attempting to sell the previously released Hot Springs National Park Quarters to other attendees. Since a special license is required to sell on federal property, the individual was arrested and his cash and coin was confiscated.
Previous coverage: Hot Springs National Park Quarter Launch Ceremony
Information and photographs for this post were contributed by John and Nicole McDermott.