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Silver Coins Proposed for 100th Anniversary of National Park Service

Legislation has been introduced to the House of Representatives for the minting of commemorative $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and 50-cent clad coins to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

H.R. 5840, or the National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, would have the United States strike the coins for the calendar year 2016, marking the centennial of the creation of the National Park Service.

The service was created in 1916 by the National Park Service Organic Act in order to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

At that time, the National Park Service consisted of 37 parks with 6,000,000 acres of land and it now includes more than 395 parks with 84,000,000 acres of land.

There have been several related coins and series honoring specific national parks, though no coin has been minted for the Park Service itself.

H.R. 5840 states that each coin must be emblematic of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and the mintages of the coins will reach a maximum of 100,000 for the gold pieces, 500,000 for the silver coins, and 750,000 for the clad half dollars. The Treasury Secretary will make the final selections of submitted designs after consultations with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the CFA.

The coins are specified within the legislation to match modern commemoratives with 90 percent gold and 10 percent alloy for gold coins, 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper for silver coins and the standard clad composition found in Kennedy half dollars for the commemorative 50-cent pieces.

The National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act was introduced into the House of Representatives by John J. Duncan, R-TN2, on May 18 of this year. As of June 20, 2012, the bill has six cosponsors and resides in the House Committee on Financial Services. In order to become law, the bill must be approved by the House, the Senate, then it must be signed by the President.

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