New quarter celebrates the cultural and natural heritage of four San Antonio Missions
The United States Mint on Thursday, September 6 officially launched the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coin honoring San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas. This is the fourth quarter of 2019, and the 49th coin overall in the program.
The reverse design of the quarter depicts elements of the Spanish Colonial Real coin to pay tribute to the missions. Within the quadrants are symbols of the missions: wheat symbolizes farming; the arches and bell symbolize community; a lion represents Spanish cultural heritage; and a symbol of the San Antonio River represents irrigation methods and life-sustaining resources.
In his remarks to the crowd, Mint Acting Deputy Director Patrick Hernandez said, “The San Antonio Missions quarter serves as a reminder of the importance of diverse people coming together, sharing their skills and heritage, to form self-sustaining, multicultural communities.”
Additional guest speakers included U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Trinity University President Danny J. Anderson, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, and National Park Superintendent Mardi Arce. Mint Artistic Infusion Program member Chris Costello, who designed the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter, received acknowledgement during the ceremony. Above is video footage of Costello, along with that of Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna, discussing their work on the quarter.
Additional event highlights included the Mint’s customary coin forum on the eve of the launch ceremony, and a coin exchange of $10 rolls of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarters following the event. Products containing the new quarter are available for purchase through the Mint’s online catalog.
Established in the 1700s, the San Antonio Missions were among the largest concentrations of Spanish missions in North America, and helped create the foundation for the Texas city of San Antonio. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park manages four of the five missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada.
The four missions, along with Mission Valero (the Alamo), were designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2015. The park also includes Rancho de las Cabras, the ranch associated with Mission Espada, in Floresville, Texas.
The America the Beautiful Quarters® Program is a 12-year initiative that honors 56 national parks and other national sites authorized by Public Law 110-456. Each year until 2020, the public will see five new national sites depicted on the reverses of the America the Beautiful Quarters coins, with a final coin scheduled for release in 2021. The Mint is issuing these quarters in the order in which the national sites were officially established.
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About the U.S. Mint
The United States Mint was created by Congress in 1792 and became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. It is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage and is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce.
The U.S. Mint also produces numismatic products, including proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. The United States Mint’s numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.