A Numismatic Summer Road Trip #10

This week we travel to South Dakota, into the Black Hills to Mount Rushmore. Beyond Mount Rushmore being depicted on 1991 commemorative coins, the 2006 South Dakota quarter, and the 2013 Mount Rushmore National Memorial quarter, who can deny the numismatic connection of the four faces that make up this attraction.

Three of the four faces, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln,  are found on our everyday coinage — the quarter, nickel and cent respectively. In fact, for the 2006 and 2013 quarters mentioned above, Washington can be found on both sides! Of course, as presidents, each is also depicted on a Presidential dollar coin. Likewise, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln can be found on our paper money, although Jefferson’s $2 bill is much less ubiquitous in circulation than Lincoln’s $5 and Washington’s $1.

In addition to their appearance on coins and currency, as presidents who served during times of great change and challenge in our nation’s history, Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln (and their administrations) had a great impact on monetary policies and the forms of currency in use.

As for Theodore Roosevelt, while his face makes no appearance on our everyday coins or paper money, what numismatist could deny that as president he had a great personal impact on current United States coinage and on numismatics. One needs only look at the 1907 $10 and $20 gold coins designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens at Roosevelt’s request to appreciate the role that our 26th president played in enhancing the coin collecting hobby.

As for Mount Rushmore, the grounds are open starting at 5:00 AM every day, staying open through 11:00 PM (except between October 1 and March 11 when it closes at 9:00 PM). While entrance to the memorial is free, there is a cost for parking. There are free ranger programs available, including on the making of Mount Rushmore and on the history of the native tribes of the area. Weather permitting there is also an evening program that culminates with the lighting of the memorial. (

Nearby Attractions:

Custer State Park (

Needles Eye and Needles Parkway (SD87) (

Badlands National Park (

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