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Ozark Riverways Quarter Proof Coins Released by US Mint

June 19, 2017 0 Comments

We can tell the year is marching on, because the US Mint just released the third of the five ‘America the Beautiful’ quarters it scheduled for 2017. Released on June 5, this latest addition to a very collectible series features the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. This is the proof coin in the normal metal mix for circulation coins – copper with 8.33% nickel to give a silver coloring. The quarter also features in the annual silver proof set of quarters, which was released on June 6, 2017.


The Ozark Riverways protects 134 miles of scenic beauty along the Jacks Fork and Current Rivers in the Ozark Highlands, south-eastern Missouri. The area has been protected as a National Park since 1964. This area of spectacular natural beauty, covering 80,785 acres, conceals an underground spring system of over 400 caves, and a host of other unique features of natural geography. Some of the largest and best caves, like the Devil’s Well and Round Spring Caverns, can be visited on guided tours, and the park is renowned for its wild horses. There is also hope that elk will begin to return to the park soon. The dramatic blue waters of the larger springs feed the rivers, making the water clean and clear, and attracting campers and hikers from across the country and around the world.

The Ozark Riverways quarter features on its reverse Alley Mill, also known as Old Red Mill, a flour mill built in 1894 that is today a museum of Ozark history. The mill owner, John Alley, also gave his name to the tiny community of Alley Springs, where the mill is situated. The hamlet contains a general store and one-room schoolhouse, and is a real step back in time. Much of the original mill machinery can still be seen, and with its metal rollers, it was high-tech for the time, and an advance over the older stone-milling.

The flowing water of the river turned a wheel to drive the rollers, and that shows clearly on the evocative design by the artist Ron Sanders, working with the US Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program. Rushing waters flow over the mill-race of the mill, which sits on the banks of Alley Spring, nestling among the trees. Around the image are the words ‘OZARK RIVERWAYS MISSOURI’, ‘2017’, and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM’. The obverse of the coin has the head of Washington in profile, as usual, with ‘UNITED STATES OF AMERICA’, ‘LIBERTY’. ‘IN GOD WE TRUST’, and ‘QUARTER DOLLAR’ around it. With a reeded edge, the coin weights 5.670 grams and is 0.955 inch across. Three mints are producing the coins, and they are marked either ‘P’ for Philadelphia, ‘D’ for Denver, and ‘S’ for San Francisco. The dies have been created by sculptor-engraver Renata Gordon, who has already created four other quarters in the series, since joining the mint in 2011.

Whether you obtain this coin in the silver set, as proof coins in a roll, or simply as pocket-change, this is another beautiful addition to a very successful ongoing series from the US Mint.

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