NPS 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act Passes House

View of El Capitan in Yosemite National ParkOn April 29, 2014, the House of Representatives passed the National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act, bill H.R. 627.

Should this legislation become law, one of the U.S. Mint’s commemorative coin programs in 2016 would celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) with $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins and clad half dollars in numismatic qualities of proof and uncirculated.

Introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen on Feb. 13, 2013, H.R. 627 received the support of 307 cosponsors and passed the House by a wide vote margin of 403-13. A similar bill, H.R. 5840, was introduced in 2012 during the 112th Congress but died due to inaction.

Congress established the NPS as a bureau within the Department of the Interior to administer America’s national parks and monuments. It has since grown from 37 park units with 6,000,000 acres of land in the western United States to more than 395 units with 84,000,000 acres of land.

Coins of the 2016 commemorative program would feature designs emblematic of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service. Authorized amounts would include up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 $1 silver coins, and 750,000 clad half dollars. The $5 gold coins would have a composition of 90% gold and 10% alloy, the $1 silver coins would have a composition of 90% silver and 10% copper, and the clad half dollars would have a composition of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel.

Standard to all commemorative coin legislation, surcharges would exist for each coin sold. U.S. Mint sales prices would include surcharge amounts of $35 per $5 gold coin, $10 per silver coin, and $5 per clad half-dollar. The funds would help finance the needs of the NPS’s parks and programs, but could not be used to purchase more land. Also a requirement of H.R. 627, no funds would be distributed if the commemorative coins did not turn a profit.

The Senate already has a similar version of the bill, S. 1158, in committee with the same title. The National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act will become law if it passes in the Senate and is signed by President Obama.

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