Which National Monuments Should Be Featured on the Next Quarters?

September 2009

great-sand-dunesWhat should the United States Mint do now that the multi-year program to issue quarters honoring U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia has ended? It's a nice distraction from the recession and a question for U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who ended up reaching out to U.S. governors and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for ideas. The answer: Issue more quarters---specifically, an "America the Beautiful" series, featuring places like Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas and Arches National Park in Utah. And, of course, Salazar's home state (and ours) will be represented. But the obvious choice, Rocky Mountain National Park, didn't make the cut. Rather, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, established as a national monument near Alamosa in 1932, will be featured in the series of 56 quarter-dollars, according to the Denver Business Journal. After all, mountains represent Colorado on the most recently issued state quarter. But don't look for the Sand Dunes coin any time soon. It won't be issued until 2014, tucked among the Mint's long list of sites, including Grand Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Mount Rushmore National Park.