A standing room only crowd filled the Education Center of the Homestead National Monument near Beatrice on Monday night as area residents, coin collectors and National Park Service personnel learned about the process of putting the monument on U.S. currency.
The Homestead is the first of 2015 and the 26th overall in the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
David Croft, associate director of manufacturing for the U.S. Mint, says the quarters program began in 2009.
Croft, who works at the U.S. Mint in Denver, travels across the country and has participated in many of the quarter launches. He says the quarter program is succeeding at sparking interest in the process.
“The best thing that I find when I do these is the children that come to it,” Croft says. “What we’re really trying to do is create a market for more coin collectors because our current group of coin ollectors is aging and we want to get more people involved.”
The new 25-cent piece was created by U.S. Mint artist Ron Sanders. It depicts a homesteader’s cabin, two ears of corn and a water pump. It represents the things homesteaders needed to survive: housing, food and water.
The Homestead quarter is the first of five quarters being launched this year. Croft will be making trips this year to Louisiana, North Carolina, Delaware and New York. He says it’s not unusual to see familiar faces at each quarter launches.
Each coin in the America the Beautiful series will feature a national park on the reverse side of the quarter while the “heads” side will continue to bear the image of George Washington.
Quarters that have been launched since 2010 have featured parks such as Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon National Park and Glacier National Park.
By Dave Niedfeldt, KWBE, Beatrice