Coin release celebrated in Munising

MARQUETTE — A standing-room-only crowd of nearly 1,000 people filled the Mather Auditorium in Munising Wednesday to be part of the launch of the first America The Beautiful quarter issued in 2018, which honors Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

“This new coin not only reflects one of the many unique features of the longest freshwater coastline in the United States, but also the breathtaking natural beauty of the state,” said Marc Landry, a Michigan native and Acting Associate Director of the Mint’s Numismatic and Bullion Directorate, according to a U.S. Mint news release.

Wednesday’s event was a celebration organized through the U.S. Mint and the National Park Service.

In addition to more than 450 school children and hundreds of community members, attendees at Wednesday morning’s ceremony included national, state and local officials as well as Paul Balan, who designed the Pictured Rocks quarter, one of five that’s being issued this year and the 41st released in the total series.

How was Pictured Rocks chosen?

A crowd of about 950 people witness Wednesday’s ceremonial launch of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter in Munising. The coin is the 41st release in the United States Mint America The Beautiful Quarters Program. Below, the new quarter is seen. (U.S. Mint photos courtesy of Jill Westeyn)

“In 2009, the United States Mint asked the governor of each state to recommend up to four National Sites for consideration in the order of preference,” Landry said in an email interview with The Mining Journal. “For Michigan, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was the preferred site. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore met all of the site selection criteria, and therefore was chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury, based on the Governor’s recommendation, to represent Michigan in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.”

The issuance is part of an ongoing U.S. Mint project.

“The United States Mint America The Beautiful Quarters Program is a multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other national sites in each state, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories — Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands,” Landry said. “Through this program, five new reverse designs will appear on the quarter each year through 2020, with one design in 2021 to conclude the series. The coins are being issued in the order in which the featured site was first established as a national park or site. More information can be found on our website: https://www.usmint.gov/learn/coin-and-medal-programs/america-the-beautiful-quarters.”

Landry said the U.S. Mint will manufacture about 433 million Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarters.

People can obtain these quarters through the U.S. Mint, Landry said.

“Official products featuring these new quarters include the United States Mint America The Beautiful Quarters Proof Set, United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Silver Proof Set, and rolls and bags,” he said. “The design will also adorn an America the Beautiful 5 ounce silver uncirculated coin. You can order from the U.S. Mint at www.usmint.gov.”

At the celebration Wednesday, the Munising High School Concert Choir performed and fourth-grade students from Mather Elementary School led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

His trip to the Upper Peninsula was one Landry said he enjoyed.

“My visit was fantastic. I have enjoyed meeting the people and it’s beautiful up here in the winter,” he said. “Cold, but beautiful.”

FAST FACTS:

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter is the first of 2018 and the 41st overall in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

The Designs: The reverse (tails) design depicts Chapel Rock and the white pine tree that grows atop. Inscriptions are “PICTURED ROCKS,” “MICHIGAN,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.”

The obverse (heads) of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore quarter, like all those issued through the program, features the familiar 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “QUARTER DOLLAR.”

The Reverse Artists: designed by Paul C. Balan, sculpted by Michael Gaudioso

The Site: Established in 1966 as our first national lakeshore, Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a narrow strip of a park that hugs the Lake Superior coast for more than 40 miles. The shoreline consists of 200-foot-high colorful sandstone cliffs, numerous beaches and 300-foot-tall sand dunes. The shoreline is bordered by boreal and eastern hardwood forests with numerous waterfalls, streams and lakes. There is abundant wildlife, including black bears, deer and porcupine, with bald eagles and peregrine falcons dotting the skies.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 240. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal.net.