Sand Dunes quarter to be released

Mint releasing coin today

The Great Sand Dunes quarter will be officially released today.

Coin collectors, rejoice: Today, the United States Mint will unveil a new quarter - the Great Sand Dunes National Park quarter - at a commemorative celebration at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Mosca, Colo.

On Tuesday, excitement about the new coin was already palpable, with $10 rolls of Great Sand Dunes quarters going for $18 on eBay.

In 2010, the U.S. Mint started issuing quarter-dollar coins honoring national parks and other national sites as part of the mint's "America the Beautiful Quarters" program. The Great Sand Dunes quarter is one of five such quarters to debut in 2014.

Each coin in the series shares a common obverse or "head's side," emblazoned with the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan.

But the "tail's side" of the Great Sand Dunes quarter depicts "a father and son playing in the sand next to the creek bed. The distinctive mountains and sand dunes are featured in the background.

Thursday's event will be free to the public. Organizers said they are expecting to draw hundreds of people.

At the event, attendees can exchange bills for rolls of the new Great Sand Dunes National Park quarters. 1st Southwest Bank will be doing the exchange.

The smallest bill they'll exchange is a $10 and the largest is the $100.

"We are honored to be part of this historic event," said Kent Curtis, president and CEO of 1st Southwest Bank, in a release.

"The Great Sand Dunes are a natural wonder in the communities we serve and it is our pleasure to be part of commemorating this phenomenon which brings so many to our region," he said.

1st Southwest Bank will have the Great Sand Dunes quarter available at its Durango branch on Friday.