The United States Mint announced recently that the nation will honor Great Smoky Mountains National Park through its new quarter-dollar coin program. The Smokies design, yet to be selected, will be the 21st to be featured on coins minted under the America the Beautiful Quarters program, and will be issued in 2014.
“We are privileged to be featured on the quarters program along with many of our nation’s most revered places,” said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. “The coins are an excellent way to capture the public’s attention and focus on our great resources,” he continued.
“Whatever illustration is chosen to depict this national park, it will serve to represent the Smokies lush forests, abundant plant and animal life, awe-inspiring scenery, and the Park’s rich Southern Appalachian mountain culture,” Ditmanson said. The Park provides visitors with recreational and educational opportunities in nature and sightseeing tours of remnant 19th and 20th century log cabins, churches, grist mills, barns, and other outbuildings in seven historic districts. Established in 1934, the Smokies is the most visited national park in the National Park System, hosting over 9 million visitors annually.
Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner approved the list of sites recommended by the United States Mint on August 25, 2009, after consultation with the governor or chief executive of each host jurisdiction and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
In addition to the coins for circulation, the Mint will produce collectable items including proof sets, silver proof sets, a five ounce silver bullion coin, coin bags and coin rolls for each quarter. For more information about the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, please visit http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/NSQuartersProgram/index.cfm.