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‘America The Beautiful’ Quarters of 2018

October 29, 2018 0 Comments

With the release of the last ‘America the Beautiful’ Quarter for 2018 just around the corner – on November 13 – this is a good moment to take a look at them, and make sure you have completed your collection for the year. This is a popular series that is easily collected for a modest investment – or none if you are assiduous with your pocket change – and one that really highlights the diversity of natural beauty available in every state – probably near where you live.

The idea of highlighting National Parks was always a good one, as these iconic places are great for visits or longer stays, and they serve as invaluable refuges and safe-zones for threatened wildlife at a time when extinction is on-going all around us.  2018 was no exception, with Parks all across the country, from Michigan to Georgia, featuring on this years selections.

The year got off to a great start in February, with a quarter depicting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. The coin carries a particularly dramatic picture of a solitary white pine tree growing on a pierced rock formation along Lake Superior, called Chapel Rock. This is just one of many colorful sandstone rock formations in the area, which certainly deserves a visit.

Next to come from the Mint was another Lakeshore preserve, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin. We usually expect to have to travel to somewhere exotic like Yellowknife for natural beauty, but Apostle Islands are within easy rich of everyone in the east. This rugged group of 12 islands are the haunts of American eagles, falcons and bears, and make great getaways for camping and hiking. Although important reserves for migrating birds, the island are not untouched by humans. The quarter features one of the historic lighthouses that can be visited, and they are yet another reason why Lake Superior is a great place for outdoor lovers.

More human interaction with nature is seen in the June release, which stayed in the north-east and featured the Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. Those early French settlers in North America were great explorers, and canoed through the wilderness, hunting and trading for the furs that were the earliest commerce of North America. It is not the voyageurs themselves who make it onto the quarter, but the loons that are today such a feature of the park.

For summer the Mint travelled south, to Georgia and the Cumberland Island National Seashore. This is the most southern of the Georgia barrier islands, that protect the coast from storms, and also provide vital resting stations for migrating birds. The Mint had a bit of a bird fetish in 2018, and it featured another bird – this time the snowy egret – on the quarter. By the time you have collected them all you will qualify as a junior ornithologist!

Once on a roll, why change it, so for the final issue of this year – Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, in the Atlantic mid-way between Rhode Island and Long Island, it was the a black-crowned night-heron that stood for the reserve – another refuge for migrating birds. Conservation of places like this, not just places with dramatic landscapes, is a vital part of really ensuring that native animals and birds survive to be enjoyed by future generations.

So now it is time to wait for next February and see what 2019 brings collectors of these beautiful quarters.

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