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HomeUS Coins2013-D Mount Rushmore Quarter : A Collector's Guide

2013-D Mount Rushmore Quarter : A Collector’s Guide

2013-D Mount Rushmore Quarter. Image: Adobe Stock / U.S. Mint / CoinWeek.
2013-D Mount Rushmore Quarter. Image: Adobe Stock / U.S. Mint / CoinWeek.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes ….
 

The Denver Mint struck over 272 million 2013-D America the Beautiful Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarters, so this modern clad issue is not a rare coin. But it does feature what is perhaps the best rendition of the national monument on United States coinage. The Mount Rushmore reverse was the fifth of five circulating commemorative quarters released in 2013 and the 20th entry in the 56-coin America the Beautiful Quarters Program, authorized by Public Law 110-456, that ran from 2010 through 2021.

Naturally, the coin features the colossal sculpture at the heart of Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of Lakota Territory in the state of South Dakota. Entitled Shrine of Democracy, the federal project was managed by sculptor Gutzon Borglum from 1927 through its completion in 1941. It has served as an icon of U.S. patriotism ever since.

The last time Mount Rushmore appeared on an American coin was in 1991 with the release of the Mount Rushmore Golden Anniversary commemorative clad half dollar, silver dollar, and gold $5 coins. Comparing the designs on the 2013 America the Beautiful issue and 1991 commemoratives, one can see that the quality of art and design at the United States Mint has come a long way in the intervening two decades.

But while we are tempted to thrash and shame all designers involved in the commemorative program (and no doubt will or have), it should be noted that some objects are notoriously difficult to depict on a numismatic canvas – and we can make the case that Mount Rushmore is among these. From its size creating issues of scale and POV to its frankly cliché status as a visual touchstone, truly creative decisions needed to be made for the 2013 quarter. Future Chief Engraver Joseph Menna proved himself up to the task.

Instead of a tired head-on view of the entire sleepy monument, Menna brings the viewer’s eye in close and shows members of Borglum’s crew working on the faces of Thomas Jefferson (foreground) and George Washington. This serves not only to commemorate the artists and laborers who realized the sculpture but also to reveal Rushmore’s enormous scale. And by altering the usual POV by almost 90 degrees, Menna adds depth to the coin’s central motif. The artistic feat was ingenious enough for the 2013 Mount Rushmore Quarter to earn the Coin of the Year, Best Circulating Coin award from Krause Publications in 2014, beating 92 other coins from around the world.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

The 2013-D Mount Rushmore Quarter entered circulation on November 4, 2013, with sales for bags and rolls of the coin opening at noon the next day. The Mint then held an official launch ceremony on November 6 at the National Guard Armory in Custer, South Dakota. Nick Clifford, the last surviving worker on the monument, was the key figure in attendance. Acting Associate Director for Manufacturing David Croft represented the Mint. As usual at such ceremonies, the general public was invited to exchange $10 for new rolls of the quarter.

Today, the D-mint Mount Rushmore Quarter is widely available raw or certified as single coins, or in bank and Mint rolls, $25 mint-sewn bags, or the various annual sets produced by the Mint in 2013. Bank wrap rolls on eBay sold recently for $19 on March 21 and $22.95 on June 1, 2024.

At the time of publication, PCGS reports a total of 408 grading events for the 2013-D Mount Rushmore America the Beautiful Quarter, with a top population of 15 examples graded MS68. NGC reports a total of 469 grading events, with 62 coins graded a top pop MS68. CAC Grading, a relatively new full-service grading company, has yet to certify any examples.

Top Population: PCGS MS68 (15, 6/2024), NGC MS68 (62, 6/2024), and CAC None Graded (0:0 stickered:graded, 6/2024).

  • PCGS MS68 #39665812: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $375.
  • PCGS MS68 #39665811: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $339.
  • PCGS MS68 #42564968: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $339.
  • NGC MS68 #6613792-005: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $179.90. America’s National Treasures label (#1460).
  • NGC MS68 #3800659-001: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $179.90. America’s National Treasures South Dakota – Mount Rushmore label.
  • NGC MS68 #3709704-015: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $169. America’s National Treasures label (#9, Retired).
  • NGC MS68 #2630454-010: eBay, offered in June 2024, with an asking price of $139. America’s National Treasures label (#9, Retired).

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Design

Obverse:

Based on the John Flanagan design, a bust of President and Founding Father George Washington faces left; Flanagan’s initials JF appear on the bust truncation. The legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA wraps around the central design close to the rim, and the denomination QUARTER DOLLAR is at the bottom. The word LIBERTY is inscribed horizontally to the left of Washington’s neck. The national motto IN GOD WE TRUST is inscribed to the right of Washington’s hair in three lines. A D mintmark representing the Denver Mint is above the “R” in DOLLAR.

Reverse:

The reverse depicts a close-up scene of a man suspended in a harness using a hammer and chisel to work on Thomas Jefferson’s face at Mount Rushmore. Another worker stands on scaffolding connecting Jefferson’s head to Washington’s. A wide frame surrounds the design, presenting the inscription MOUNT RUSHMORE at the top, and SOUTH DAKOTA, 2013, and the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM at the bottom. Designer Joseph Menna’s initials JFM appear under the scaffold just above the “TA” of DAKOTA.

Edge:

The edge of the 2013-D Mount Rushmore Quarter is reeded.

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year of Issue: 2013
Denomination: Quarter Dollar (25 Cents USD)
Mintmark: D (Denver)
Mintage: 272,400,000
Alloy: .750 copper, .250 nickel outer layer, bonded to pure copper inner core
Weight: 5.67 g
Diameter: 24.30 mm
Edge: Reeded
OBV Designer: John Flanagan
REV Designer: Joseph Menna
Quality: Business Strike

 

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CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes
CoinWeek Notes presents expert analysis and insights from Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker, the award-winning editors of CoinWeek.com.

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