New quarter celebrates the heritage of San Antonio Missions

SAN ANTONIO • The United States Mint (Mint) officially launched the
America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coin honoring San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in an event at Trinity University Sept. 5. This is the fourth quarter of 2019, and the 49th coin overall in the program.
The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park grounds comprise four of the five missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan and Mission Espada. The four missions, along with Mission Valero (the Alamo), were designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2015.
The park also includes Rancho de las Cabras, the ranch associated with Mission Espada, in Floresville.

The quarter pays tribute to the San Antonio missions — which were established in the early 1700s and are the largest concentrations of Spanish
missions in North America — and their role in helping to create the foundation for the City of San Antonio. The construction of aqueducts and
irrigation canals (acequias) brought water to the missions and helped sustain farming and ranching. The missions’ toolmaking, carpentry,
looming, spinning and masonry also contributed to the community’s ability to be self-sustaining.
The design of the coin depicts elements of the Spanish Colonial Real
coin. Within the quadrants are the symbols of the missions:
• Wheat symbolizes farming
• Arches and bell symbolize community
• Lion represents Spanish cultural heritage
• Water represents irrigation methods and life-sustaining resources of the San Antonio River

In his comments at the quarter introduction, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, said that the honor was a wonderful recognition of the
cultural and historical treasures the missions are, not only to the city, but to the world. “The missions have helped to shape the face of San Antonio,” he
said. “They are still a haven of culture and history; we especially value that they continue as active parishes of the archdiocese, where hundreds of
families on the city’s south side continue to gather for prayer within the original walls, which many dedicated persons have worked to preserve over the years.
In his remarks, Mint Acting Deputy Director Patrick Hernandez, a native
of Texas, said, “The San Antonio Missions quarter serves as a reminder
of the importance of diverse people coming together, sharing their skills and heritage, to form self-sustaining, multicultural communities.”


Additional guest speakers included U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, National Park Superintendent Mardi Arce and Trinity University President Danny J. Anderson. Bill Taylor from KENS 5 TV served as emcee for the gathering. Mint Artistic Infusion Program member Chris Costello, who designed the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter, received acknowledgement during the ceremony.

“The San Antonio National Park quarter was fun to sculpt because it’s almost a replica coin,” stated Joe Menna, chief engraver for the Mint, who
sculpted the San Antonio quarter. “It harkened back to an older coin. It has great historical significance as a result.”

Additional event highlights included the Mint’s customary coin forum at Mission San José on the eve of the launch ceremony, and a coin exchange
of $10 rolls of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarters following the event at Trinity.

The America the Beautiful Quarters® Program is a 12-year initiative that honors 56 national parks and other national sites. Products containing the
new quarter are available for purchase through the Mint online at https://catalog.usmint.gov. Additional information about the San Antonio Missions National Park can be found at nps.gov/saan/.

The America the Beautiful Quarters® Program is a 12-year initiative that honors 56 national parks and other national sites. Products containing the
new quarter are available for purchase through the Mint online at https://catalog.usmint.gov. Additional information about the San Antonio Missions National Park can be found at nps.gov/saan/.

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