The Denali National Park Quarter was the fifth design released for the year 2012, completing the third year of the ongoing America the Beautiful Quarters Program. In the prior 50 State Quarters Program, the state of Alaska had been featured second to last. It comes early in the sequence for the new program since the order of releases was are determined based on the date each area came under federal protection.
The reverse design for the coin features the image of a Dall sheep with Mount McKinley towering in the background. Similar compositions have been used for other sites which comprise vast areas including mountain ranges. The inscriptions appearing around the outer edge of the coin include “Denali”, “Alaska”, “2012”, and “E Pluribus Unum”. The reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Jim Licaretz.
On the obverse of the coin is the 1932 portrait of George Washington with the inscriptions “United States of America”, “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and the denomination “Quarter Dollar”. The portrait was restored from the original John Flanagan design.
The Denali Quarter was officially released for circulation on November 5, 2012. The total mintage of circulating quality coins was 135,400,000 at Philadelphia and 166,600,000 for Denver, representing an enormous increase compared to the recent prior releases.
Numismatic products offered by the United States Mint included bags and rolls of circulating quality coins bearing the “P”, “D”, or “S” mint marks. The quarters were also incorporated into annual sets and America the Beautiful Quarters coins sets. Finally, the same design was used for legal tender five ounce silver bullion and uncirculated coins.
About Denali National Park
As a people, Americans have always been adventurous and restless. The early pioneers were never content to live out their lives in comfortable cities and towns. These people yearned for adventure, and viewed the wild western United States as a challenge waiting to be conquered. About as far from the Eastern cities and town as you can go, lies the untamed wilds of Alaska. With its extreme temperatures and amazing landscape, you can image why Alaska has always called to the hearts of the adventurers.
The first people to make the trip in to the wilds of Alaska were those that were hunting for gold. In the summer of 1905, prospectors by the name of Joe Quigley and Jack Horn had found enough gold in Glacier Creek to start writing home about it, and many gold rushers eager to make their fortune soon flocked to the area.
Almost as important to the history of Alaska’s Denali region as gold prospecting, many came to the area to test their brawn against the giant, unforgiving mountains. Mt. McKinley is the largest mountain in the continental United States, and many have tried to conquer it only to turn back with frozen fingers and bruised egos.
In 1917, the federal government officially recognized the beauty that was contained in the wilderness of the Denali region, and formed Mt. McKinley National Park. This would eventually become known as Denali National Park, a place for Americans to come and ponder their contribution to society in the shadow of the mighty mountains.