U.S. Mint launches new quarter honoring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

Shiny new quarters bought an extra sparkle Wednesday to a soggy ceremony that saw the official release of Hawaii’s special America the Beautiful Quarters coin.

The ceremony at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, under a drizzling rain that would not let up, included a pouring of $500 in newly minted quarters onto a koa platter by Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando, U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye and David Croft, plant manager of the U.S. Mint in Denver.

Inouye remarked that Pele must be pleased to bless the ceremony with the rain as the dignitaries rolled out the coins that recognize Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with the engraved image of a volcanic eruption.

The U.S. Mint expects to mint 68 million HVNP quarters – half each at the Denver and Philadelphia plants.

The Hawaii quarter is the 14th in a series of 56 coins that will be unveiled five each year through 2021. The coins – which depict and promote national parks – represent each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

Next up, in November, is the unveiling of Alaska’s Denali National Park quarter. Earlier this year, coins were released at El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico; Chaco Culture National Historical Park, N.M.; and Acadia National Park, Maine.

Each coin retains the familiar 1932 bust of President George Washington, while the flipside features the words “Hawai‘i Volcanoes,” above lava spattering and spurting from Kilaeau’s East Rift Zone. Also included are the name of the state and the motto “E Pluribus Unum” and the year 2012.

The coin looks to be a sure-fire collector’s item, as hundreds of people braved the rain and stood in line to trade $10 bills for $10 rolls of quarters. The HFS Federal Credit Union brought $35,000 in quarters and doled out the majority of them on site.

In his remarks, Inouye noted that Hawaiian tradition welcomes rain a blessing of the gods.

“This is a great achievement, to have the world know that this is where Hawaii was born,” he said. “Pele is our mother.”

Orlando said she hoped the coin would spur people from across the nation to visit the park, which this year is also celebrating its 25th anniversary as a World Heritage Site.

“It is exciting to think our quarter will circulate across the nation,” she said, “It will be available for almost anyone to pull a coin from their pocket and be reminded of such an extraordinary destination, a national park.”

Orlando also said she sees extra value in the quarter.

“This amazing quarter is worth far more than its face value of 25 cents,” Orlando said. “It is vital to the economic well-being of our island and the state economy’s. To the national park and the state, it is truly priceless.”

Kumu hula Meleana Manuel led the dancers from her Halau Hula Ke Olu Makani O Mauna Loa in a hula performance dedicated to a trio of Hawaii women — Queen Emma, Queen Kapiolani and Queen Liliuokalani.

Emcee for the ceremony was Stephanie Donoho, tourism specialist with the county Research & Development Department.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park became the nation’s 15th national park after years of diligence of Lorrin Thurston and Dr. Thomas A. Jaggar. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson made it an official National Park.

The park is more than just volcanoes as it is the home of several endangered species like the honuea (hawksbill turtle), nene (Hawaiian goose), uau (Hawaiian petrel), io (Hawaiian hawk), and opeapea (Hawaiian hoary bat).

HFS banks across the Big Island will have rolls of quarters available until Sept. 7, while supplies last.

Special sets of quarters also are available from the U.S. Mint website.

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2 Responses to “U.S. Mint launches new quarter honoring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park”

  1. Broadwaycoins says:

    While I (Dan Tegtmeyer) of (Broadwaycoins) have attended every one of the Release Ceremony Events, this was the best so far. Even while it was raining, I was thinking that from the past events this is the only Senator (Daniel Inouye) that said he would be there and made it to the Release Ceremony Event which helped make the Event that much more pleasurable.
    To all that attended, and stood and sat in the rain with humidity a 100% it was well worth the time. Thanks to the US Mint and the US National Parks it was a success. A special thanks to Debbie Doson as always for her kind words and help, especially for the help she coordinates getting the kids to the Events to receive there Quarter.
    Best Regards


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