When the five 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters are released, the series of coins that celebrate the beauty of American sites will be nearly three-quarters compete, with a full eight years of history. The coins released for the year, the location of the site, and in the order they will be available are:
District of Columbia – 2017 Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Quarter
Missouri – 2017 Ozark National Scenic Riverways Quarter
New Jersey – 2017 Ellis Island National Monument Quarter
This program encompasses 56 new quarters that are released at a rate of five per year beginning in 2010 and ending in 2021. Each of these new quarters honors a site with "national interest" in each state, DC and the five US Territories. The release order for the coins is based on the date in which the site came under the control of the federal government.
The obverse of each quarter will still contain John Flanagan’s portrait of the first President of the United States, George Washington (as modified by William Cousins). The reverse will feature a design emblematic of the chosen location. Final selections for the five 2017 reverse designs will probably be released shortly before that years first coin is issued.
More information on the sites the 2017 America the Beautiful Quarters celebrate follow:
Effigy Mounds National Monument
Preserving sacred and historic structures from centuries ago is the main reason for Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. The structures being referred to here are earthen mounds which were created by the Native Americans of the area.
The Monument consists of three separate units, all of them containing mounds with the Sny Magill Unit containing the most at 112. The North and South Units are more easily accessible and contain the visitor facilities for the area.
Mounds were built for burial, lodging and ceremonies by Native Americans from the midwest to the Eastern coast, but only in this area is such a collection so dense and well preserved. The monument even includes 31 effigies which are mounds in the shape of creatures like birds, mammals and reptiles.
Frederick Douglass National National Historic Site
Commemorating the man more so than the house is the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site located in Washington, D.C.
Frederick Douglass was a well-spoken abolitionist who in his early years was actually a slave before escaping to freedom. Throughout the remainder of his life he promoted the ideas of equality, not only based on ethnicity, but also for women.
The house serving as the base of the historic site was bought by Douglass in 1877, and served as his home until he died in 1895. He named the house "Cedar Hill" and it still affords visitors a grand view of Washington, D.C. today.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Located in Southern Missouri, Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area set aside to protect a wild river system.
The Riverways claim two of the clearest spring-fed rivers in the world, the Current and the Jacks Fork. Also found in the area are many caves, some of which offer tours into their depths.
The park consists of 80,000 acres with canoeing, hunting, hiking and fishing being just some of the activities that are enjoyed there.
Ellis Island National Monument (Statue of Liberty)
Found at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York Harbor, but located mostly within New Jersey jurisdiction, Ellis Island served as a gateway to the promise of America from 1892 until 1954. During this time, an estimated 12 million immigrants passed through its doors resulting in an estimated 40% of the American population being able to trace its ancestry through Ellis.
The island itself was only 3.3 acres originally, but was expanded to 27.5 acres through fill resulting from the construction of the New York subway, ballast from ships and other sources.
Today, Ellis Island National Monument is operated under the Statue of Liberty National Monument, which is located on nearby Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty has been an iconic representation of America since its dedication in 1886.
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
Celebrating a victory for the young United States over British forces, the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana is located at the site of where Fort Sackville was believed to be.
Fort Sackville was under British control in 1779 when a group of frontiersmen led by George Rogers Clark (older brother of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame) successfully defeated the British resulting in their capture. This defeat insured American control of the frontier area almost equal in size to the original thirteen colonies.
The United States Mint will also be striking 3-inch silver bullion coins as part of the America the Beautiful Program. These coins will contain five ounces of .999 fine silver and feature the same designs as seen on the quarters.