The America the Beautiful Quarters Program debuted on the heels of the 50 State Quarters Program and its adjunct District of Columbia and Territories program.
Authorized by Public Law 110–456 (source: PDF), the America the Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, called for 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 issuance order of the 50 State Quarters Program, America the Beautiful National Parks quarters are issued one per state, based on the order in which the selected site was first established as a National Park.
The Theodore Roosevelt National Park Quarter, representing North Dakota, is the fourth of five issues from the America the Beautiful Quarters Program for 2016 and the 34th issue in the entire series.
A modern reworking of John Flanagan’s Washington quarter design. Washington’s left-facing bust sits in the center of the coin. Flanagan’s initials “JF” is 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, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The coin’s denomination wraps around the bottom of the coin, written as QUARTER DOLLAR.
A young leather-clad Theodore Roosevelt (26th President of the United States, 1901-1909) is portrayed on horseback as he surveys land along the banks of the Little Missouri River in North Dakota. The Little Missouri, a tributary of the Missouri River and part of the large watershed of the Mississippi River, winds through major portions of the park.
Roosevelt’s connection to the park goes back to his youth when, at the age of 25, he made his first hunting trip to the North Dakota badlands. This is where his lifelong love affair with the fabled American West began. He soon built the Maltese Cross Cabin on a ranch of the same name that he had bought, returning for an extended stay in 1884 after the deaths of both his wife and his mother. Roosevelt started a second ranch that same year and ran a cattle operation for a few years.
The future president’s experiences in North Dakota would play an important role in his later conservation efforts.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park started out as the Roosevelt Recreation Demonstration Area in 1935, becoming the Theodore Roosevelt National Wildlife Refuge in 1946 under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was designated the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park in 1947, but with the addition of tens of thousands of acres of land in 1978 it was renamed the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Inscriptions include THEODORE ROOSEVELT, NORTH DAKOTA, the year of issue 2016, and E PLURIBUS UNUM. United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) designer Joel Iskowitz’s initials “JI” are found to the left of the horse’s head near the rim of the coin, above the “D” in “Dakota”. Engraver Phebe Hemphill’s initial’s “PH” are located under the horse’s belly next to Roosevelt’s foot.
Like all of the business strike and Proof quarters in the America the Beautiful series, the edge of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park quarter is reeded.
The 2016 America the Beautiful – Theodore Roosevelt National Park quarter is only the latest in a recent spate of coins to depict the popular progressive Republican president. 2016 also saw the release of the National Park Service Centennial Gold $5 commemorative coin, which features the left-facing jugate profiles of both Roosevelt and noted conservationist John Muir.
An image of Teddy Roosevelt is also found on coins from two other major multi-year programs. The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential $1 coin came out in 2013, and the South Dakota 50 States quarter entered circulation in 2006.
A commemorative silver dollar honoring Mount Rushmore was also released in 1991.
Designer(s): American sculptor John Flanagan’s work in the medallic and metal arts ranks him as one of the best artists of his generation. For generations of coin collectors, he is best known for his Washington quarter design (View Designer’s Profile). Joel Iskowitz joined the U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program in 2005 and currently holds the title of Master Designer of the United States Mint (View Designer’s Profile). Designer Phebe Hemphill joined the U.S. Mint in 2006, and since that time has become one of the nation’s most prolific coin designers (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2016|
|Mint Mark:||P, D, S (Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco)|
|Alloy:||91.67% Copper, 8.33% Nickel (business strike, clad proof)|
|Weight:||5.67 grams (Cu-Ni)|
|Diameter:||0.955 in. (24.3 mm)|
|OBV Designer||John Flanagan|
|REV Designer||Joel Iskowitz / Phebe Hemphill|
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