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National Parks bill passes House

griz170.jpgA bill calling for honoring National Parks on the U.S. quarter dollar coin beginning in 2010 unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives July 9.

Introduced as H.R. 6184 June 4 by Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., the legislative father of the state quarter program and the territories program of 2009,  it would provide for a program for circulating quarter dollar coins that are emblematic of a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia, and each territory of the United States. That includes Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Guam.

The coins would be issued at a rate of five designs each year in the order in which the parks were created.

 There would also be dramatic changes in bullion coinage, a three-inch, five ounce .999 fine duplicate ?coin? that would be a legal-tender replacement for the medallions commonly made by entrepreneurs and sold widely in the numismatic marketplace.

 After a first go-around, the bill allows the Treasury Secretary to authorize round two for another 56 coins. At the end of the program after either the first 56 or a second 56 coins, the reverse design would become a depiction of Gen. Washington crossing the Delaware River prior to the Battle of Trenton.

The New Jersey quarter design selection committee should be very pleased to see that.

The amazing part of the bill is the three-inch silver pieces weighing five troy ounces of silver. It allows the Mint to challenge makers of silver bullion medallions that in the past have mimicked U.S. coin designs. These would be struck as an addition to the section of title 31, the U.S. Code section governing money that specifies denominations, specifications and design of coins.

Incused into the edge will be the fineness and weight of the bullion coin. Prohibited would be the Mint issuing fractional sizes of these large silver ?quarters.?

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