On August 26, 2013, the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Quarter debuts as the four release in the program of America the Beautiful Quarters®. It is nineteenth overall in the series that launched in 2010.
Honoring the national site in the state of Maryland, Fort McHenry quarters on the 26th make their entrance into circulation through the Federal Reserve Banking system and also go on sale in United State Mint products.
These U.S. Mint products include circulating-quality versions of the quarter-dollar in 100-coin bags, two-roll sets and three roll sets. Available at the time directly from the U.S. Mint website (www.usmint.gov), buyers have the option of coins from the U.S. Mints at Philadelphia, Denver or San Francisco.
America the Beautiful Quarters found in circulation originate from either Philadelphia or Denver, carrying denoting "P" and "D" mint marks. In 2012, the Mint added San Francisco into the mix, a facility then known for its collector proof coins that have "S" mint marks. The "S" quarters continues in 2013. Circulating-quality America the Beautiful Quarters from the SF Mint are sold specifically to collectors, and they are not struck in large quantities or pushed into circulation.
Designs for 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters
Designs for the five 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters were published in line-art by the United States Mint on December 10, 2012. Actual images of the coins have since been released.
As seen in the above image, the reverse or tails side of the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Quarter depicts a scene during "Defenders Day" celebration, considered the centerpiece annual event held at Fort McHenry. The fireworks symbolize the "rocket’s red glare," linking the fort to its historic past, the Mint describes. The quarter-dollar was both designed and sculpted by Joseph Menna. Inscriptions surrounding the scene are FORT McHENRY, MARYLAND, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Also appearing at some point in 2013 are five ounce precious metal versions of this quarter in bullion and uncirculated qualities. Bullion versions, intended for investors, are sold through dealers. The U.S. Mint has not said when sales are to begin for the collectible 2013 Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin.
The four other 2013 America the Beautiful Quarters for the year include:
- White Mountain National Forest Quarter – January 18, 2013
- Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial Quarter – April 1, 2013
- Great Basin National Park Quarter – June 10, 2013
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial Quarter – November 4, 2013
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Maryland
Fort McHenry, located in Maryland, is best known for the role it played in the creation of perhaps the country’s most famous song, the national anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Written as a poem by Francis Scott Key, the song recalls the 25-hour bombardment of the fort by British war ships during the War of 1812. US forces within the fort were able to fend of the British, despite having inferior weapons, and prevented the Baltimore Harbor from being invaded.
The fort was originally designed in 1798 and was named after surgeon-soldier James McHenry, a Scot-Irish immigrant who served as the Secretary of War under the first President of the United States George Washington.
In the years since the War of 1812, the area has seen many different uses including a prison during the American Civil War, a hospital during World War I and a Coast Guard Base during World War II. Virtually no signs of these facilities remain today, with the fort still closely resembling the structure as it was during the War of 1812.
Today, an estimated three quarters of a million people visit the fort annually.