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National Park Service Centennial $5 Dollar Commemorative Coin Features John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt


John Muir 1972 National Parks Centennial Medallion

 

The National Park Service and the United States Mint announced on November 17, 2015 three designs for commemorative coins honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS). The commemorative coins went on sale on at noon Eastern Time March 24, 2016. As of this writing, the coin is no longer available from the U.S. Mint, which generally offers new commemorative coins for sale for no more than a calendar year. Like any collectibie, you may or may not now find it from private sellers. According to CoinNews.com, as of January, 2017, undoubtedly due to its very high price, the coin had the lowest reported sales of any modern commemorative coin. According to Moderncommemoratives.com, based on U.S. Mint sales reports, the last reported sales across by the end of the year reached 19,506 proofs and 5,164 uncirculated coins.

Congress authorized a three-coin program of $5 gold, $1 silver, and half dollar clad coins with designs emblematic of the 100th anniversary of the NPS. Although commemorative coins are legal tender, they are not minted for general circulation, but rather for the value as collectibles.

The $5.00 gold coin obverse (heads side) features naturalist John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt, with Yosemite National Park's Half Dome in the background. Inscriptions are "LIBERTY," "2016," and "IN GOD WE TRUST."

The reverse (tails side) features the National Park Service famous arrowhead logo, with the inscriptions "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "E PLURIBUS UNUM," and "$5."

United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart designed and sculpted both sides of this $5.00 gold coin. The gold coins are being struck at the West Point Mint and bear the W Mint mark. Under provisions of Public Law 113-291, the maximum number of these gold coins to be struck, combined, is 100,000 coins.

In addition to the $5.00 gold coin featuring Muir and Roosevelt, there will be two additional coin designs. The $1.00 silver coin features Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful geyser and a bison, while the clad half dollar coin features a hiker discovering the majesty of the wilderness and a small child discovering a frog hiding in ferns.

The coins "honor the National Park Service's first century of service to protect, preserve, and share some of our nation's greatest natural resources, culture, and history," according to NPS Director Jon Jarvis. "The coins will be a fun centennial collectible, and the proceeds will contribute to our second century of service to the American people."

Unveiling Ceremony of 2016 National Park Service Centennial Commemorative Coin. From left to right: National Park Service Centennial Coordinator Alexa Viets, Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, National Park Foundation President/CEO Will Shafroth, U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen, Scottish Government Counsellor for the Americas Donnie Jack, and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
From left to right: National Park Service Centennial Coordinator Alexa Viets, Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, National Park Foundation President/CEO Will Shafroth, U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen, Scottish Government Counsellor for the Americas Donnie Jack, and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

Unveiling Ceremony of 2016 National Park Service Centennial Commemorative Coin. From left to right: National Park Service Centennial Coordinator Alexa Viets, Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, National Park Foundation President/CEO Will Shafroth, U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen, Scottish Government Counsellor for the Americas Donnie Jack, and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
Foam Display of the 2016 National Park Service Centennial Coin at the John Muir National Historic Site
Photo by Harold Wood, April 23, 2016. [Click on image to enlarge]

During the limited period of sale of the coin by the U.S. Mint, teh pricing for the gold coins were subject to fluctuations according to the U.S. Mint's Pricing Grid for coins containing precious metal. The price of gold added literally hundreds of dollars to the actual cost. U.S. Mint policy is to set gold coin prices based on a weekly average of London gold. The $5 gold coin is 90% gold and 10% alloy and weighs 8.359 grams. Also available for a brief period to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service was the 2016 Three-Coin Proof Set. The three-coin proof set had a product limit of 15,000 units, with a salelimit of two sets per household.

There was also a difference in price between the "proof" coin and the "uncirculated" coin.

Proof coins are specially treated, hand-polished, and cleaned to ensure high-quality strikes. The coins are then carefully packaged to showcase and preserve their exceptional finish. By comparision, the "uncirculated" coin is made like circulating coins (which are used everyday as money), but with a special process that produces a brilliant finish. Both the "proof" and "uncirculated" coins, when purchased from the U.S. Mint, come with an official Certificate of Authenticity. Here is a visual comparison of the two kinds of coins:

Unveiling Ceremony of 2016 National Park Service Centennial Commemorative Coin. From left to right: National Park Service Centennial Coordinator Alexa Viets, Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, National Park Foundation President/CEO Will Shafroth, U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen, Scottish Government Counsellor for the Americas Donnie Jack, and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.
2016 NPS Commemorative $5 Gold Proof Coin.

Unveiling Ceremony of 2016 National Park Service Centennial Commemorative Coin. From left to right: National Park Service Centennial Coordinator Alexa Viets, Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios, National Park Foundation President/CEO Will Shafroth, U.S. Representative Erik Paulsen, Scottish Government Counsellor for the Americas Donnie Jack, and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

2016 NPS Commemorative $5 Gold Uncirculated Coin.

The U.S. Mint has also released color-coded images highlighting different finishes used on the 2016 National Park Service commemorative coin. The Mint currently employs up to four varieties of laser frosting, which can be applied to designs on dies before coins are struck. The color-code illustrates how the finishes are applied on the new commemoratives. The Mint has provided the following descriptions to help collectors understand the differences between them:

  • Orange: "Standard" frosting is where the U.S. Mint started with its laser frosting parameters initially. This closely matched sand blasting.
  • Blue: "Heavy" frosting was developed to get the heaviest possible laser frosting for differentiation of certain details on a design.
  • Green: "Light" frosting was later developed as part of the Mint's multi-tone frosting process to yield lighter highlights on the more subtle elements of a design.
  • Purple: On certain designs where frosting longevity is desired (die life), the Mint developed and implemented "light-plus." This gives a lighter frosting to specific design elements and helps to add visual interest to a coin.
  • Yellow: Mirror-like Proof surface.

2016 NPS Centennial Gold Coin  - Color Coding of Finishes

 

As shown by this color-coding, the portraits of Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir feature standard frosting. The sky and lower inscriptions are rendered in Proof, while Yosemite National Park's Half Dome has a light-plus finish. The word LIBERTY, placed along the top of the design, is heavily frosted.

The reverse features a Proof field and heavily frosted inscriptions. The park service logo featured in the foreground is presented with standard frosting, while the mountain behind gets a subtler, light-plus finish.

In addition, during the limited period that the coin was on sale, pricing for the National Park Service Commemorative Coins included special surcharges--$35 for each $5 gold coin, $10 for each $1 silver coin, and $5 for each half dollar clad coin--which were authorized by the governing legislation to be paid to the non-profit National Park Foundation. The funds raised were allocated to projects that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the NPS and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of these resources.

"When fully realized, the potential impact derived from the commemorative coin sales will be tremendous," said Shafroth. "The funds will improve trails, introduce more young people to the parks, and connect our citizens to the history and culture of our nation."

"The Centennial commemorative coins serve as a lasting tribute to 100 years of the National Park Service - 'America's Best Idea'," said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. "Whether these coins are kept in a safe place at home or given as a gift to the next generation, they serve as a lasting reminder that our nation is blessed with unique natural, cultural and historical treasures. Proceeds from these coins will ensure that our nation's rich stories and spectacular natural places will thrive in their second century and beyond."

The United States Mint announced the coins' release date beginning March 24, 2016.

The commemorative coin was considered one of many ways to celebrate the 2016 centennial. Find out more at http://findyourpark.com/.

Sign up to receive information about the coin sales and view the coin designs at www.nationalparks.org/coins.

Read the U.S. Mint Press Release: National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Designs Unveiled

Downnload High-res images of the coin from the U.S. Mint News Image Library.

See also:

(Note: for any out-dated links below, you may likely access them via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.)

Photo Album of Ceremony Unveiling of NPS Centennial Commemorative Coin Designs (offsite link)

U.S. Mint Press Release - 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service Commemorative Coins Available March 24 (offsite link)

2016 National Park Service Centennial coins go on sale March 24 (offsite link)
Three-coin Proof set in commemorative program limited to 15,000 total - By Paul Gilkes , Coin World

U.S. Mint Catalog Page for 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service 2016 $5 Gold Uncirculated Coin (offsite link)

U.S. Mint Catalog Page for 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service 2016 $5 Gold Proof Coin (offsite link)

U.S. Mint Catalog Page for 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service 2016 Three-Coin Proof Set (offsite link)

 

Disclaimer: Nothing on this website shall be considered an official communication or representation of the United States Government.

 


 

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