The United States Mint opened the doors of its San Francisco facility to the media today for a ceremonial striking of the 2016 National Park Service (NPS) Proof Clad Half Dollar.
“Every day, across the Nation, the Mint connects Americans through coins, and in 2016 it will be our great privilege to connect America to the legacy of the National Park Service and its distinguished service to our country since 1916,” said United States Mint Chief of Staff Elisa Basnight.
The strike ceremony offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the coin’s production prior to its release March 24. In addition to Ms. Basnight, participants included Tom Leatherman, NPS superintendent for the Eugene O’Neill National Historic Site, John Muir National Historic Site, Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial, and the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park; David Jacobs, plant manager of the Mint’s San Francisco facility; NPS junior ranger Fisher Tomlinson; and NPS park ranger Betty Soskin.
Soskin, who is 94 years old and the oldest full-time ranger, is assigned to the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park.
The obverse of the 2016 National Park Service Proof Clad Half Dollar features a hiker discovering the majesty of the wilderness and a small child discovering a frog hiding in ferns, celebrating the diversity and breadth of the NPS. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “2016,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “1916,” and “NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.” The obverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
The coin’s reverse features the NPS logo, with the inscriptions “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “HALF DOLLAR,” “STEWARDSHIP,” and “RECREATION.” The reverse was designed by AIP artist Thomas Hipschen and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers.
The 2016 National Park Service Proof Clad Half Dollar Coin is part of a three-coin program authorized by Public Law 113-291 to celebrate the centennial of the NPS. As required by the public law, the Mint will mint and issue 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 half dollar clad coins in proof and uncirculated qualities.
Surcharges collected from the sales of each coin–$35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each $1 silver coin, and $5 for each half dollar clad coin–are authorized to be paid to the National Park Foundation. The funds are to be used for projects that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the NPS and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of these resources.
The Mint will begin accepting orders for the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service Commemorative Coins Program March 24 at noon Eastern Time.
About the United States 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 United States 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.
Digital images of the NPS 100th Anniversary Proof Clad Half Dollar, as well as the $5 gold and silver dollar coins, are available at http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/?action=photo#NPSCentennial.