The US Mint has been busy recently updating quarters for the different states in the United States. This year, they are following the ‘America the Beautiful Quarters Program’, with a quarter that features the Samoan Fruit Bat to honor the National Park of American Samoa. The new quarter has more of a Gothic look and should be an interesting addition to your pocket.
On the back of the coin, you will see a Samoan fruit bat mother in a tree upside down with a baby under her wing. The US mint states: “The image evokes the remarkable care and energy that this species puts into their offspring. The design is intended to promote awareness to the species’ threatened status due to habitat loss and commercial hunting.
The National Park of American Samoa is the only park in the United States that is home to the Samoan fruit bat.” Richard Masters designed the raised image and it was sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
The National Park Service reports that fruit bats are an unusual animal in American Samoa. The region has three distinct species of bats. Two of the fruit bats are large and one is small, but all of them eat insects.
The National Park of American Samoa is part of the Hawaiian Islands and is some 2600 miles southwest of Hawaii. There is not another US national Park system that is more remote. The park has 13,500 acres in total, with 4000 acres underwater. It also encompasses land on three different islands, but most of the land is made up of volcanic islands with rain forests.
2010 was the official launch of the multi-year America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The goal is to touch on 56 national parks and other national sites. The official statement has the following to say: “Under this program, five new reverse designs will appear on the quarter-dollar each year beginning in 2010 and through 2021.”
Other coins have also been released, including Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in U.S. Virgin Islands, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas.
The coin will be inscribed with the words, ‘National Park American Samoa 2020’ along with ‘E Pluribus Unum’, which is the traditional US motto. E Pluribus Unum is translated, “out of many, one” and it appears on all US coins. You will also find George Washington on the coin with the text, “United States Of America Quarter Dollar.” The words ‘Liberty’ and ‘In God We Trust’ will be on either side of Washington’s head.