The Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter was released into general circulation Monday, November 14, 2011. At noon Eastern Time on the same day, the United States Mint started offering 100-coin bags and two-roll sets of the 2011 Chickasaw Quarter on its website at http://www.usmint.gov/ and via its customer service phone line at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
Like other 2011 issues, the 100-coin bags are $49.95 and the two-roll sets are $39.95. Buyers have a choice of bags from the mint facility in Philadelphia or Denver, the two that are responsible for producing U.S. circulating coins. The two-roll set includes one $10 quarter roll from each facility, totaling 80 quarters in all.
Items purchased directly from the United States Mint can be distinguished from items picked up at local banks by their packaging. The United States Mint sells products that sport its logo, while those from banks will come with orange lettering or something entirely different on its packaging. Direct orders from the United States Mint contain circulation quality strikes that have not yet been used in general circulation.
Tuesday, November 15, the United States Mint will hold a free coin forum for the public. It will be at the Travertine Nature Center Auditorium at 7 PM Central Time. The auditorium is near the eastern edge of the Platt Historic District of the Chickasaw National Recreational Area. During the coin forum, attendees may ask officials from the Mint questions about past, present, and future American coinage.
Finally, on Wednesday, November 16, the United States Mint and the National Park Service will co-host the Chickasaw Quarter launch ceremony. Festivities will begin at 11 AM Central Time at Vendome/Flower Park, a place that has attracted people for thousands of years. It too is found in the Platt Historic District located inside the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulfur, Oklahoma.
B.B. Craig, United States Mint Associate Director for Sales and Marketing, and Bruce Noble, Chickasaw National Recreation Area Superintendent, are scheduled to speak at the ceremony before the two unveil the new quarter. Local schoolchildren will be in attendance as will be Wes Hilliard, Oklahoma State Representative, and Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham, Administrator of Chickasaw Nation History and Culture.
After the ceremony, a local bank will start a coin exchange, where adults can buy rolls of the new quarters at face value, while children aged 18 and younger will be given a free Chickasaw coin.
The Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter is the fifth of 2011 in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program and the tenth out of the 56 that will be released by 2021.
The Chickasaw quarter features the Lincoln Bridge over the Travertine Creek in the park on its reverse. The bridge was built in 1909 of limestone and dedicated during a centennial celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. Donna Weaver designed the image, and Jim Licaretz engraved it. Inscriptions include CHICKASAW, OKLAHOMA, 2011 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The park is adjacent to the city of Sulphur, Oklahoma. The area was ceded by the Chickasaw tribe to the government for protection of its minerals and fresh water springs. It was originally established as a national site on July 1, 1902.
A popular half mile trail starting at Flower Park leads to several distinctive landmarks, including the Vendome Well, Pavilion Springs, and the Lincoln Bridge.