HomeUS Coins2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Quarter : A Collector's Guide

2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Quarter : A Collector’s Guide

2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Quarter. Image: U.S. Mint.
2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Quarter. Image: U.S. Mint.

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek Notes …..
 

The America the Beautiful Quarters Program debuted just after the 50 State Quarters Program and its adjunct District of Columbia and Territories program.

The America the Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–456), authorized the “issuance of redesigned quarters dollars emblematic of national parks or other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia, and each territory.”

Similar to the 50 State Quarters Program release order, America the Beautiful National Parks quarters were issued one for each state, based on the order in which the selected site was first established as a National Park. Released on June 8, 2015, the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park quarter honoring North Carolina was the 28th coin in the 56-coin series.

The History of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Linn Cove Viaduct in autumn. Image: Adobe Stock.
Linn Cove Viaduct in autumn. Image: Adobe Stock.

The greatest challenges that Americans faced during President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration were the Great Depression and World War II. As fascism was gaining strength in Europe, the Roosevelt Administration continuously sought ways to put Americans to work. Grand infrastructure projects effectively employed millions of American workers while strengthening the nation.

One such project, the Blue Ridge Parkway, was devised as a scenic route connecting Virginia’s Skyline Drive to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Architect Stanley Abbott oversaw the project, with an initial budget of just $16 million. The Second World War stalled the parkway’s construction, which was not finished until 1987 when the Linn Cove Viaduct was completed.

The 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter Release

Crowd at the June 25 Blue Ridge Parkway America the Beautiful quarter launch ceremony in Asheville, NC. Image: United States Mint.
The crowd at the June 25 Blue Ridge Parkway America the Beautiful quarter launch ceremony in Asheville, NC. Image: United States Mint.

The 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway quarter was officially released on June 26, 2015, at a public ceremony in Asheville, North Carolina, hosted by North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods. David Holt, a Grammy-award-winning musician and TV host, was the master of ceremonies. The event culminated with a cash exchange for single coins and collectible bags and rolls.

On June 29, the United States Mint opened sales for bags and rolls of the 2015-P Blue Ridge quarter. The “P” and “D” mint mark versions were sold in both two— and three-roll configurations and 100-coin bags.

Blue Ridge Parkway America the Beautiful Quarter product table

Starting July 2, 2015, the Mint offered three coins containing Blue Ridge Parkway quarters struck at the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco mints. These sets were sold at an issue price of $9.95 USD.

How Much Is the 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter Worth?

It’s still too soon since the release of the 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway quarter to understand its true collecting potential. On the surface, this attractive collectible coin is worth 25¢ as found in change; by the time of writing in 2024, the coin will almost certainly be found with some degree of wear or mint damage.

However, truly uncirculated coins will be worth more money as collectors seek them out to fill holes in their albums or complete their sets. In the coin’s raw form, uncirculated examples routinely sell on eBay for prices between $1 and $2.25. Uncirculated rolls containing 40 coins for a face value of $10 have sold in the last month for roughly their face value. Mint sewn bags containing $25 worth of coins have sold for $33 to $35. We believe that rolls present the best value, as the coins are tightly packed and won’t get jostled around like they would in bags. Plus, rolls are easier to store than bags. The coin is also available in the 2015 United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set, which sells for about $25.

The number of certified 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway quarters is just under 400. Most of these coins were submitted during the coin’s 2015 launch window and sold by a handful of professional eBay sellers.

The range of grades falls between MS66 and MS68. PCGS tops out at MS67+, while NGC counts 17 coins in the MS68 range. This sample size is too small to gain any meaningful insight into the future grade distribution for this coin, but we can make some inferences.

First, the 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway tends to be a well-made coin.

Second, with a larger sample size, PCGS would almost certainly have graded MS68 coins.

Third, MS68+ coins are also likely in bags or rolls that have yet to be opened and submitted.

Fourth, the terminal point of this issue is currently MS67-to-MS67+, which means that a submitter will need coins to grade at the Top Pop level so as not to lose money having their coin certified.

Finally, Deep Prooflike coins exist in some quantities and may be worth ferreting as they have good potential for future value.

The highest price for a 2015-P Blue Ridge Parkway quarter in a public auction is $165.38 for one of the 17 known NGC MS68 coins. This coin sold in May 2018 at GreatCollections, and the example was not Deep Prooflike. Only one example has been sold on eBay for over 90 days, starting in January 2024.

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Market Data and Noteworthy Specimens

Top Population: PCGS MS67+ (2, 4/2024), NGC MS68 (10+7 DPL, 4/2024), and CAC None Graded (0:0 stickered:graded, 4/2024).

  • NGC MS68 #4268510-001: GreatCollections, May 27, 2018, Lot 577994 – $165.38.
  • PCGS MS67+ #34983598: GreatCollections, October 13, 2019, Lot 752247 – View.
  • PCGS MS67 #32481473: GreatCollections, September 26, 2021, Lot 1034109 – View.
  • PCGS MS66 #32486246: eBay, April 7, 2024 – $21,95.

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Design

Obverse:

This is a modern reworking by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver William Cousins of John Flanagan’s Washington quarter design. President George Washington’s left-facing bust sits in the center of the coin. Flanagan’s initials “JF” are visible in the bust truncation. Wrapping around the top of the coin is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. To Washington’s left is the inscription LIBERTY. To his right is the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The coin’s denomination wraps around the bottom of the coin, written as QUARTER DOLLAR.

Reverse:

The curving lanes of the Blue Ridge Parkway are seen from a driver’s perspective as her car exits one tunnel and approaches another. The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), the state flower of North Carolina, grows along the roadside. Rocks and trees dot the mountainside. A thick semi-circular frame wraps around the coin. At the top of the frame appears the phrase BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY. At the eight o’clock position is the inscription NORTH CAROLINA. At the five o’clock position is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. At the bottom, is the date: 2015. Frank Morris’ initials “FM” appear at the bottom left on the road, above the “A” in CAROLINA. United States Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna’s initials “JFM” appear in the flowers above the “P” in PLURIBUS.

Designers

American sculptor John Flanagan’s work in the medallic and metal arts ranks him as one of the best artists of his generation. He is best known to generations of coin collectors for his Washington Quarter design (View Designer’s Profile).

William Cousins worked as a sculptor-engraver at the Mint between 1990 and 2000. He was responsible for the revised Washington quarter obverse used during the 50 State, Territories, and America the Beautiful Quarters series. He also designed the Delaware and New Hampshire 50 State Quarter reverses and several commemorative sides.

Frank Morris joined the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) in 2012 (View Designer’s Profile).

Joseph Menna is a prolific sculptor who joined the U.S. Mint in 2005. He became Chief Engraver in 2019 (View Designer’s Profile).

Coin Specifications

Country: United States of America
Year Of Issue: 2015
Denomination: Quarter Dollar (25 Cents USD)
Mintmark: P (Philadelphia)
Mintage: 325,616,000
Alloy: 91.67% Copper, 8.33% Nickel (Business Strike, Clad Proof)
Weight: 5.67 g (Cu-Ni)
Diameter: 24.26 mm
OBV Designer: John Flanagan | William Cousins
REV Designer: Frank Morris | 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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