The 2010 Grand Canyon National Park Quarter was the fourth release of the new circulating commemorative quarter dollar series featuring National Parks and Sites. The design featured a depiction of the Grand Canyon located in Arizona, which was first recognized as a forest reserve in 1893, then a National Monument, and finally a National Park in 1919.
As one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon was an easy choice for Arizona’s America the Beautiful Quarter. It was also depicted on the 2008 Arizona State Quarter, along with the Saguaro cactus and a banner reading “Grand Canyon State.”
The reverse design for the new Grand Canyon National Park Quarter features a view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta near the Colorado River. The granaries were used by Ancestral Puebloans for storing food and seeds dating back to A.D. 500. The reverse was designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
The coins were officially released into circulation on September 20, 2010. On the same date, the US Mint released numismatic bags and rolls containing the quarter. Separately, the US Mint also issued several numismatic products incorporating the Grand Canyon Quarter, such as proof sets and uncirculated coin sets.
About Grand Canyon National Park
There are few places that you can go in the world that will make you feel as small as the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. Standing on the edge of the rim of this spectacular canyon, you will see vistas that for some will only have existed in their dreams. Although the Grand Canyon is not the deepest canyon that exists in the world, it is one of the most beautiful, as its immense size and yet intricate, dynamic landscape make it possible to gaze into it for hours at a time.
Although the Grand Canyon was largely ignored by America settlers until after the Civil War, it has always been valued for its geological significance, both in the ancient histories that are depicted in its rocky layers, and the minerals which prospectors have sought to extract from its depths.
After the infamous descent down the Colorado River, accomplished in 1869 by the brave Major John Wesley Powell and his men in rickety wooden boats, Americans began to realize that in addition to being geologically rich, the Grand Canyon provided a chance to experience nature in a way no other area could. Tourists soon began trickling into the Canyon as well, although there were none of the hotels or resorts that can now be found in the area. The Grand Canyon was first protected by the federal government in 1893 as part of the Forest Reserve, then later recognized as a National Monument, and eventually designated as a National Park in 1919.
Grand Canyon National Park Quarter Launch Ceremony
The National Park Service and the United States Mint hosted an official launch ceremony for the Grand Canyon National Park Quarter on September 21, 2010. The location was at the park’s South Rim, between Hopi House and Verkamp’s Visitor Center.
Steve Martin, Superintendent of the Park said, “The introduction of a Grand Canyon quarter is a momentous occasion in the human story of the park; so we were thrilled when the Nankoweap granaries were chosen as the design for the reverse side.”
The ceremony was well attended by an enthusiastic crows gathered to see the official presentation of the new issue of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. Attendees were allowed to exchange bills for $10 rolls of the new quarters following the ceremony. Children in attendance received a free quarter to mark the occasion.