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, 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 were first established as a National Park.
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.
Fort McHenry is best known as the place where, during the the War of 1812 at the Battle of Baltimore, Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner. The song became the national anthem on March 3, 1931, exactly six years after the fort became a historical site managed by the National Park Service.
The coin was released on August 26, 2013.
Sculptor Joseph Menna designed the reverse, which features Fort McHenry during the annual “Defenders Day” celebration in Maryland on September 12. This means that the explosions as portrayed on the coin are actually fireworks, and not the “rocket’s red glare” of the British attack on the fort during the War of 1812. Inscriptions include FORT McHENRY, MARYLAND, the year and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Interestingly, the lower-case “c” in FORT McHENRY is one of a small number of instances on American coinage where an inscription is not in upper case (though any inscription including the syllable “Mc” tends to employ a lower-case “c”; the ordinal numbers, when spelled out, also tend to use lower case).
Astute observers may notice that the flag on the reverse has 15 stars, when by September 1812 there were 18 states in the Union. That’s because the 15-star flag–the flag immortalized as the Star-Spangled Banner–was in use from 1795 until 1818, by which time it was replaced by a flag with 20 stars.
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). Joseph Menna is a prolific sculptor, who joined the U.S. Mint in 2005 (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2013|
|Mint Mark:||P, D, & S|
|Mintage:||271,400,000 (P & D business strike only)|
|Alloy:||91.67% Copper, 8.33% Nickel|
|Weight:||5.670 grams (Cu-Ni)|
|Diameter:||0.955 in (24.26 mm)|
|OBV Designer||John Flanagan|
|REV Designer||Joseph Menna|
|Quality:||Business Strike, Uncirculated & Proof|
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