The United States Mint's new 2016 National Park Service Centennial coins will honor some of the most famous landmarks in the country. The commemorative National Park Service half dollar, silver dollar, and $5 gold half eagle were released on March 24, 2016 and are sure to appeal to anybody who loves the great outdoors.
The three commemorative coins honor the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS), which was established on August 25, 1916. That's when President Woodrow Wilson signed An Act to Establish A National Park Service, also widely known as the Organic Act. In 1916, the NPS oversaw 35 national parks and monuments – now, the federal organization oversees 400 sites encompassing more than 84 million acres in all 50 states.
The legacy of the NPS and its hundreds of parks and landmarks shine on the 2016 United States Mint commemorative coins. The obverse of the copper-nickel clad 2016 National Park Service Centennial half dollar features a backpacking hiker and a young child looking through at a frog under a fern. The reverse of the half dollar centrally features the National Park Service logo.
The National Park Service Centennial 2016 silver dollar obverse features an image of a bison standing near the Old Faithful geyser at Yellowstone National Park. The reverse of the NPS silver dollar shows a Latina Folklórico dancer and the National Park Service logo.
The National Park Service Centennial 2016 Gold $5 Half Eagle design includes a jugate bust of President Theodore Roosevelt and naturalist John Muir looking over Yosemite National Park's Half Dome geologic formation. The reverse of the coin depicts the National Park Service logo and a mountain vista spread out across the coin in the background.
The three National Park Service coins were, for the most part, collaboratively designed by several U.S. Mint sculptor-engravers. Barbara Fox and Michael Gaudioso designed the obverse of the half dollar, and its reverse was designed by Thomas Hipschen and sculpted by Charles L. Vickers. Joseph Menna designed and sculpted the obverse of the silver dollar, while Chris Costello designed and Jim Licaretz sculpted the reverse, respectively. Don Everhart designed and sculpted both the obverse and reverse of the $5 gold half eagle coin.
The National Park Service Centennial coins and products sell for the following prices:
- Uncirculated Denver-Mint (D) Clad Half Dollar – $24.95
- Proof San Francisco-Mint (S) Clad Half Dollar – $25.95
- Uncirculated Philadelphia-Mint (P) Silver Dollar – $49.95
- Proof San Francisco-Mint (S) Silver Dollar – $50.95
- Uncirculated West Point-Mint (W) $5 Gold Half Eagle – $412.60
- Proof West Point-Mint (W) $5 Gold Half Eagle – $417.60
- 3-Coin National Park Service Proof Set – $490.75
The National Park Service coins are popular among nature lovers, NPS employees and volunteers, and those who visit the various NPS parks. While coin collectors don't have to buy their 2016 National Park Service coins from the United States Mint, they might end up paying more buying them from an aftermarket coin dealer. It's possible that if the National Park Service coins haven't sold out by the end of the year, it will cost less to buy the coins from private coin dealers.