MOAB — The newest coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program will be launched Friday, featuring one of Utah's most recognizable natural wonders.
The quarter, No. 23 in a series of 56 in the United States Mint program, will feature the Delicate Arch of Arches National Park.
"We are honored that Arches National Park was selected for this program, and excited that its Delicate Arch design will help people connect (or reconnect) with the beauty and wonder of one of America's most iconic landscapes," Mary Wilson, chief of interpretation and visitor services for Arches and Canyonlands national parks, said via email.
The America the Beautiful Quarters Program is a 12-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and sites across the country. Other coins released in 2014 feature the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado and Everglades National Park in Florida.
Five new quarters are released each year from 2010 to 2021 in the order the sites were established as national parks.
Arches National Park was established as a national site on April 12, 1929, and has more than 2,000 natural stone arches.
"Hopefully, the new Arches National Park quarter will result in a greater awareness/understanding of how beautiful and unique southern Utah (including Arches National Park and surrounding public lands) truly is, and that it is worthy of our respect and protection," Wilson said via email.
U.S. Mint spokesman Mike White said both the 50 State and the America the Beautiful Quarters programs celebrate the United States and some of its treasures — "especially the national parks and the different national sites, national forests and things," he said.
White said it is unclear how many Arches National Park quarters will be released.
"The driver of coin production is just demand for commerce. It’s not predictable," he said.
The most recent coin to be released, the Shenandoah National Park quarter, has a mint number of 310,600,000, White said.
Officials from the United States Mint and the National Park Service will gather Friday for the official launch. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox and Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison are expected to attend, as well as members of the public. Those in attendance can trade their cash for $10 rolls of the new quarter.
The U.S. Mint will host a coin forum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Zions Bank Community Room, 330 S. Main, where the public can discuss future coins and learn about upcoming mint coin programs.
White said those who want Arches National Park quarters can find them in circulation or buy them from the Mint website in bags, rolls or in the annual uncirculated proof sets.