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The E-Sylum (2/12/2017)

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The U.S. Mint's launch ceremonies for new coin designs are great events, and as a numismatist I can't help but imagine what it would be like to go back in time and attend such a gathering when one of the iconic coins of the 19th or 20th centuries were first released to the public. Such releases rarely had such fanfare, but how cool would it have been to have the coin designers and mint officials on hand to meet in person?

I enjoy reading local coverage of these events, but had to dig deep in Google News results to find a report from the latest venue in eastern Iowa where the Effigy Mounds quarters were released. Most of the coverage out there is from numismatic publications repurposing the Mint's press release. Here's a lengthy excerpt from a report from local media station KWWL, with images from their video report, which can be seen online in its entirety. -Editor

Effigy Mounds quarter launch reporter The newest quarter in the "America the Beautiful" series, depicting a popular Eastern Iowa national monument, is officially in circulation.

The quarter, featuring Effigy Mounds National Monument, officially launched Tuesday to a crowd of more than 1,000 in Waukon.

A number of fourth graders from the Allamakee School District received a quarter right away, and instantly giving it rave reviews.

Two of them said it was really cool to see Effigy Mounds on a quarter.

Senior Mason Hermeier agreed.

Effigy Mounds quarter launch audience

"It's super cool, because I've grown up having Effigy Mounds be a part of my life, and I never expected to see it on a quarter. So it's very cool to see it actually in action, at our school, getting presented," she said.

The ceremony honored the Native American heritage and history behind the famous mounds.

Astronaut and Iowa native Peggy Whitson also sent a video message from the International Space Station.

Effigy Mounds quarter designer Richard Masters

The quarter's designer, Richard Masters, was also on hand for the launch.

Masters is an Iowa native and requested this specific job.

He says capturing the iconic mounds on a quarter is easier said than done.

"It was a challenge, because these are earthen mounds that are barely visible from the ground, and I had to conceive of an interesting idea that would look good on a quarter, which is only about an inch in diameter," he said.

Many who work in the park or are familiar with it say they're thrilled to see mounds on the quarter that so closely mirror what you'll find in the park.

Those quarters are available for exchange in rolls only at all Kerndt Brothers Bank locations.

To read the complete article, see:
Effigy Mounds quarter officially launches (

While I'm usually critical of flat coin designs in this case it's warranted by the nature of the subject matter, and designer Richard Masters deserves credit for the perspective view he created. it's a nice coin, and serves its purpose well.

Here are some additional images from the U.S. Mint press release. -Editor

Effigy Mounds Launch Ceremony speaker Effigy Mounds National Monument Superintendent Jim Nepstad Effigy Coin Mounds quarter designer Richard Masters
Left: Effigy Mounds National Monument Superintendent Jim Nepstad
Right: Designer Richard Masters

Effigy Mounds Launch Ceremony girls

Effigy Mounds Launch Ceremony sales

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