Opinion: U.S. Mint has two-bit plan for slew of new quarters


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C’mon, admit it. It’s OK. We’re all friends here in this post-partisan age.

You’ve been wanting new quarter coins for so long, it almost hurts, doesn’t it?

But you didn’t want to say anything, afraid to stand out. And you held that burning desire for a new kind of coin bottled up inside, the pressure mounting always. Because you thought you were the only American who studied both sides of a quarter before spending it.

And who wouldn’t grow tired of barely five dozen different design quarters out there? Imagine, once the richest nation in the world, a country that could put a man on the moon, a country that will soon have a federal spending deficit the size of the moon -- a full one. And we can’t afford new quarters for China to own?


If it isn’t the old, familiar wing-flapping eagle, it’s Utah or Montana or Delaware (which despite....

...its size is actually the same size as all the other quarters). And who could ever forget the bicentennial quarter?

Well, good news for everyone this week. The U.S. Mint, which makes a mint from collectors buying new coins way beyond face value, announced that it’s coming out with a whole bunch of new different quarter designs in coming years.

There will be 56 new quarters, in fact.

They will commemorate a national park, forest or historic site in each state and then some.

A quarter won’t even pay the federal tax on a gallon of gas now. And by the time they’re done issuing these new coins -- in 2021 -- Joe Biden will still be talking about shovel-ready jobs saved and Sarah Palin will be in her second White House term.

Of course, by 2021, a quarter won’t be worth a dime.

The designs have not yet been released because this is a transparent government. But the sites have. They’ll begin early next year with Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park, then Wyoming’s Yellowstone, California’s Yosemite, Arizona’s Grand Canyon and Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest and continue with new ones every two-to-three months ending with Alabama’s Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site.

But the Washington money bureaucracy has already invested Thomas Jefferson-knows-how-many hours in drawing up design rules and regulations. Can you imagine the contests and committee meetings yet to come at the state and then at the federal levels to sort through hundreds of designs for dozens of new coins?


So, here we go. Hang on. It’ll sure to be a wild ride.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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New quarters, their year of release and date of site founding:


Arkansas, Hot Springs National Park, 1832
Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, 1872
California, Yosemite National Park, 1890
Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park, 1893
Oregon, Mt. Hood National Forest, 1893

Pennsylvania, Gettysburg National Military Park, 1895
Montana, Glacier National Park, 1897
Washington, Olympic National Park, 1897
Mississippi, Vicksburg National Military Park, 1899
Oklahoma, Chickasaw National Recreation Area, 1902

Puerto Rico, El Yunque National Forest, 1903;

New Mexico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park, 1907;

Maine, Acadia National Park, 1916

Hawaii, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, 1916

Alaska, Denali National Park, 1917


New Hampshire, White Mountain National Forest, 1918

Ohio, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, 1919

Nevada, Great Basin National Park, 1922

Maryland, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, 1925

South Dakota, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 1925


Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, 1926
Virginia, Shenandoah National Park, 1926
Utah, Arches National Park, 1929
Colorado, Great Sand Dunes National Park, 1932
Florida, Everglades National Park, 1934

Nebraska, Homestead National Monument of America, 1936
Louisiana, Kisatchie National Forest, 1936
North Carolina, Blue Ridge Parkway, 1936
Delaware, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, 1937
New York, Saratoga National Historical Park, 1938

Illinois, Shawnee National Forest, 1939
Kentucky, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, 1940
West Virginia, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, 1944
North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, 1946
South Carolina, Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument), 1948

Iowa, Effigy Mounds National Monument, 1949
District of Columbia, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, 1962
Missouri, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, 1964
New Jersey, Ellis Island National Monument (Statue of Liberty), 1965
Indiana, George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, 1966

Michigan, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, 1966
Wisconsin, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, 1970
Minnesota, Voyageurs National Park, 1971
Georgia, Cumberland Island National Seashore, 1972
Rhode Island, Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, 1973 


Massachusetts, Lowell National Historical Park, 1978

Northern Mariana Islands, American Memorial Park, 1978

Guam, War in the Pacific National Historical Park, 1978; T

exas, San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, 1978;

Idaho, Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, 1980;

American Samoa, National Park of American Samoa, 1988
Connecticut, Weir Farm National Historic Site, 1990
U.S. Virgin Islands, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, 1992
Vermont, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, 1992
Kansas, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, 1996

Alabama, Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, 1998. ###