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

2013-P ATB Mount Rushmore Quarter : A Collector’s Guide

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

The 2013-P Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter was the fifth quarter released in 2013 and the 20th coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The program was authorized by Public Law 110-456 and ran from 2010-2020. In total, 50 coins were issued in the series. The Mount Rushmore coin honors the creation of Gutzon Borglum’s monolithic sculpture and depicts men at work, adding fine detail to President Thomas Jefferson’s face.

Jefferson’s effigy was the second to be completed on Mount Rushmore, following George Washington. Originally, Borglum envisioned Jefferson’s location on the opposite side of Washington but abandoned that idea when he determined that the rock at this location was unsuitable for sculpture. Although controversial, the monument in the Black Hills, a sacred site to the Lakota and other native peoples, has become an iconic American symbol and draws just over two million visitors annually. This number is more than twice the size of South Dakota’s population.

The United States Mint held an official launch ceremony for the coin on November 6, 2013, at the National Guard Armory in Custer, South Dakota, just miles from the granite sculpture. In attendance was Nick Clifford, the last surviving worker who helped carve the memorial. Representing the Mint was Acting Associate Director for Manufacturing David Croft. Other VIPs included Custer Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Resller and Mount Rushmore Superintendent Cheryl A. Schreier. At the event, the public was provided the opportunity to exchange $10 of currency for rolls for the new quarter.

The Federal Reserve Bank issued the quarters into circulation on November 4. That same day, the U.S. Mint began to accept orders for the coin on its numismatic storefront.

An Award-Winning Design

Before the release of the Mount Rushmore quarter, the sculpture had already been depicted on three United States coins in 1991, which the Mint produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the monument’s completion. These designs, credited to Marcel Jovine, Marika Somogyi, and John Mercanti, are uniformly atrocious. The depictions of Rushmore on the commemorative half dollar and dollar coin present the subject similarly, yet the differences in the artist’s presentation detract from the design goal. The inscriptions feel slapped on, as does the wreath at the bottom of the dollar. Mercanti reduces the sculpture to an afterthought in his design, dominated by an eagle holding a sculptor’s tool. The date on the $5 gold coin is larger than the space devoted to Mount Rushmore. The reverse of the $5 gold coin is one of the most phoned-in designs in the history of the United States Mint.

The difficulty of depicting a sculpture as large as a mountain on a coin should have been better appreciated by Congress as it considered a 10-year quarter program devoted to national parks. For some issues, this difficulty was clear in the chosen designs – which, while much better than most of the 50 State Quarters designs, still occassionally came up short.

Not so for Joseph Menna’s innovative approach to the Mount Rushmore quarter.

Here, Menna has an artist’s eye for taking the enormity of the mountain face and translating it to a small canvas. You do not see the familiar entirety of Mount Rushmore, but rather you see a perspective of the artisans chiseling the rock into its final form. Menna likely drew inspiration from this design from archival photographs showing the work in progress. Impressive, too, is the design’s depth of field. Due to the quality of the Menna’s sculpt, the design presents shadows, curves, and texture in a way almost unknown on American circulating coins.

The high-quality nature of the design drew praise from an international panel of judges in 2014, when Krause Publications named the 2013-P Mount Rushmore quarter the Coin of the Year in the category of Best Circulating Coin out of a field of 93 coins from 45 countries.

It is CoinWeek’s opinion that this was the best quarter design of the entire America the Beautiful Quarter Program.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

The 2013-P Mount Rushmore quarter is widely available and sold on the secondary market as either a raw or a certified single coin, in bank rolls and United States Mint rolls, in $25 mint-sewn bags, and as part of various sets that the Mint offered to collectors in 2013. A March 2024 survey of roll listings yielded few transactions; one roll sold for $19, nearly double its face value.

Double face, or 50¢, is CoinWeek’s raw uncirculated 2013-P Mount Rushmore quarters valuation. In certified grades of MS67 and MS68, scant recent transactions make it difficult to ascertain a retail price. The three listings below were active as of March 16, 2024. The price level for the MS67 coins is below the cost of single coin submissions to NGC and could only be profitable for the seller if the coins were submitted in bulk (this is typical for recent circulation strike issues). The MS68 coin’s asking price of $595 is more than three times NGC’s listed price guide value for the piece. Buyers should always exercise caution when buying conditionally rare coins with low certified populations.

Top Population: PCGS MS68 (3, 3/2024). NGC MS68 (13, 3/2024). CAC None Graded (0:0 stickered:graded, 3/2024).

  • NGC MS68 #3786052-271: eBay, offered in March 2024, with an asking price of $595.
  • NGC MS67 #3786052-263: eBay, offered in March 2024, with an asking price of $24.90.
  • NGC MS67 #3786052-262: eBay, offered in March 2024, with an asking price of $29.90.

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Design

Obverse:

Based on the John Flanagan design, George Washington is centered on the coin and faces left. JF’s initials on the bust truncation. Wrapping around the design, close to the rim, at the top: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA; at the bottom: QUARTER DOLLAR. LIBERTY is inscribed horizontally to the left of Washington’s neck. IN GOD WE TRUST is inscribed to the right of Washington’s hair in a stacked configuration. The mintmark denotes the mint of manufacture; in this instance, a P mint mark for Philadelphia is located above the R in DOLLAR.

Reverse:

A close-up scene depicting work on Thomas Jefferson’s face at Mount Rushmore. A man is suspended in a harness and is using a hammer and chisel. Scaffolding connects the Jefferson head to the Washington head. Standing on the scaffolding is another man, who is depicted as if he is posing for a photograph. The designer’s initials appear under the scaffold just above the TA of DAKOTA. A wide frame surrounds the design, presenting the following inscriptions: MOUNT RUSHMORE at the top, and SOUTH DAKOTA, 2013, and E PLURIBUS UNUM at the bottom.

Edge:

The edge of the 2013-P Mount Rushmore quarter is reeded.

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 2013
Denomination: Quarter Dollar (USD)
Mint Mark: P (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 231,800,000
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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2 COMMENTS

  1. Excellent design.They were hard to find in high grade after their release.Collected less than ten and half were stole.May the best four be in my two folders!

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