Turn over a quarter in your pocket and you may now see a scene out of the White Mountains. New Hampshire's Mount Chocorua is the latest addition to the U.S. Mint's America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
It's the sixteenth coin in the series and was unveiled Thursday in Plymouth. The Quarters program runs over twelve years and honors 56 national parks, forests and other notable sites.
"So good morning and welcome everyone to today’s ceremonies celebrating the official launch of the White Mountain National Forest quarter. Number 16 in the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful quarters program."
That’s Bill Dauer of the Forest Service and emcee for the coin launch - which launching itself seems a tricky business.
Coins are notoriously small and private. They don’t lend themselves to grand presentation. Unveiling a quarter with a tiny bit of fabric lacks dignity. But Acting Director of the US Mint, Richard Peterson and his colleagues have devised a solution:
"Ok, so just how do you launch a coin? It’s not like down in Portsmouth when you’re launching a nuclear submarine and you break champagne over the bow, although I’ve been told I ought to try that some time."
What you do instead is make a huge replica of the coin, about the circumference of a basketball and you invite Governor Maggie Hassan and Congresswoman Annie Kuster to help you attach it to a display board. You make it big and you hang it high.
As Congresswoman Annie Kuster noted, the Mount Chocura coin will spread the news of the beauty of the White Mountains around the nation:
So it’s fitting that we’re here for this tribute to our beloved White Mountains and for all of you who consider this home it’s our chance to share the beauty with literally millions of Americans. We can be literally in the pockets of people all across our country.
And with students from the local elementary schools in attendance, Governor Hassan took a moment to highlight the day:
Now to honor the launch of the White Mountain national Forest Quarter, I have proclaimed today “Quarter Day in the Classroom”
And yes, they’re out there. Already in circulation. Falling behind seat cushions and under car seats everywhere.