National Park of American Samoa featured 51st in National Park Quarter Series

National Park of American Samoa

National Park of American Samoa

Located in the South Pacific Ocean – halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand – the National Park of American Samoa is the only U.S. park site located south of the Equator. The park has units on four steep volcanic islands covered by lush rainforests – Ta’ū, Ofu, Olosega and Tutuila, home to American Samoa’s capital city of Pago Pago and site of the National Park Service visitor center.

Established on October 31, 1988, the park has a lease agreement with participating villages that honors the Samoan culture of communal land ownership. The deeds of cession that the United States signed when making American Samoa a United States territory in 1900 and the American Samoan constitution provide the Samoan people a guarantee of this cultural tradition.

Each park unit has unique features. On Tutuila, the Pola Island hiking trail brings visitors to view the breathtaking Vai’ava Strait, a National Natural Landmark, on neighboring Pola Island.

Linked by a foot bridge, the islands of Ofu and Olosega are renowned for their unbleached coral reefs that are home to 250 coral reef species and 950 species of reef fish. The fine-grain, white sand beaches provide a recreational opportunity for outdoor walking.

With only three villages, Ta’ū provides visitors with opportunities to experience the traditional Samoan way of life that includes farming of breadfruit, banana, coconut and taro. Sea cliff stair steps allow hikers to climb Lata Mountain, the tallest in all of American Samoa at over 3,000 feet.

The fruit bat, also known as a flying fox, is a protected species. With a wingspan of up to three feet, it flies both at night and during the day, which means it can be seen roosting as well as flying throughout all four park units. This national park is also home to 35 different bird species.

Learn more about the National Park of American Samoa.

New 2019 Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter released

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarter, the 50th issue of the National Park quarter series, is now in circulation. The official launch ceremony for this 5th and final 2019 issue took place on November 6, 2019 at Salmon Junior/Senior High School in Salmon, Idaho. Following the ceremony, a coin exchange was held and children received complimentary new quarters.

Salmon, Idaho is adjacent to the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness featured on the new coin. It’s the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states and its name has two roots. The late Idaho senator Frank Church is credited with preserving this and many other wilderness areas throughout the country. And the Salmon River which runs through the wilderness became known as the “River of No Return” because its swift currents could be navigated downstream by non-motorized boats but not upstream. The reverse of the new quarter depicts a piloted drift boat in river rapids surrounded by conifer trees, rock formations and steep canyon slopes.

This latest National Park quarter joins four previous 2019 designs featuring Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts, War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam, American Memorial Park in the Northern Marianas Islands and San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas.

2019 San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Quarter released

The new San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter, 49th in the series and fourth of five to debut in 2019, is in circulation as of August 26. Included among those quarters issued by the Denver and Philadelphia Mints are some of the 2 million San Antonio Missions quarters struck at the West Point Mint.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park is spread across nearly 819 acres in south-central Texas and along the San Antonio River. Founded by various Spanish Catholic orders to spread Christianity across the southwest in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the oldest is Mission Espada. It was established in 1690 near present-day Augusta, but was relocated to San Antonio in 1731 where Franciscan friars that same year built the Espada Aqueduct to supply irrigation water to nearby farms. Both Mission Concepción and Mission San Juan were established in 1716 in East Texas and moved to San Antonio in 1731. Mission San Jose was established in 1720 and its church was built in 1768. Each missions’ toolmaking, carpentry, looming, spinning, and masonry helped make them self-sustaining.

The 49th national historical park quarter pays homage to this heritage with a reverse design that shows elements of the Spanish Colonial Real coin. Within the four quadrants are symbols of the missions: wheat for farming; the arches and bell for community; a lion representing Spanish cultural heritage, and a symbol of the San Antonio River representing irrigation methods and the life-sustaining resource of water.

The 2019 quarters honor some of America’s most popular national parks: Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts; the War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam; the American Memorial Park on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Ocean’s Northern Mariana Islands, and the upcoming Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho.

This detailed San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter can be nicely paired with the 2004 Statehood quarter for Texas. Order today.

Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter design finalized

Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter design
Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter design

The U.S. Mint announced the final design for the reverse of the 2019 Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness quarter on August 14, 2018 at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. Featuring the 5th and final new National Park quarter design for 2019, the River of No Return quarter will depict a piloted drift boat in river rapids surrounded by conifer trees, rock formations and steep canyon slopes. Designed by Emily Damstra of the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, the reverse also bears the inscriptions river of no return, wilderness, idaho, 2019 and e pluribus unum.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho is the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower 48 states. It contains rugged mountains, deep canyons, whitewater rivers and coniferous forests. The Salmon River Mountains are the largest range and the Salmon River Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon. Popular for whitewater rafting, the Main Salmon River became known as “the river of no return” because non-motorized boats could navigate downstream by not upstream because of swift currents and rapids. “Frank Church” was added to the wilderness name in 1984 to honor a late Idaho senator for his leading role in the preservation of wilderness areas and rivers in Idaho and throughout the country.

2019 War in the Pacific Park Quarter released at local beach

The new War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarter, 48th issue of the series and the third design for 2019, is now in circulation. On May 3, 2019, the official launch ceremony for the new quarter design took place at the Asan Beach Unit, which is located in Asan, Guam.

After the ceremony, a coin exchange was held where attendees were able to get $10 rolls of the new quarters at face value. This issue shows American forces landing at Asan Bay. These troops strengthened the number available to fight for the liberation of Guam. Add the new War in the Pacific National Historical Park quarters to your collection now.