Sunday, June 23, 2013

Great Basin Quarter Ceremony

 I went to the ceremony of the launch of the Great Basin Quarter this last week. The US Mint is launching five quarters each year celebrating National Park Service areas. The parking lot was full, a rare occurrence, with people from all over. Many numismatists (coin collectors) came to the event, along with a good local turnout.

 Several people gave short talks, including Delaine from the Western Shoshone tribe, which has a long history in the area. Great Basin National Park Superintendent Steve Mietz explained the significance of the bristlecone pine, which is featured on the quarter. It is a long-lived species, with some growing over 5,000 years old. They only way they can grow that old is to live in harsh places with a lot of adversity. Bristlecone pines will grow in areas that aren't so extreme (like the parking lot of the Lehman Caves Visitor Center in Great Basin National Park), but they don't live as long.

 Ron Harrigal from the U.S. Mint presented Great Basin National Park superintendent Steve Mietz with a special plaque.

 Then they did the ceremonial pouring of the quarters. The ceremony concluded with more beautiful music and an opportunity to exchange bills for rolls of Great Basin quarters.

The First National Bank of Ely set up a temporary teller stand, and thousands of Great Basin quarters were exchanged. I followed some of the coin collectors and went to the post office for a special stamp. If we can manage not to spend the quarters, maybe they'll be worth a little more than twenty-five cents someday.

It was a nice ceremony, and the reporter from the Ely Times was there, so there is likely to be a story in this week's newspaper (out on Friday).

1 comment:

The Incredible Woody said...

I am loving the National Park series of quarters!

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