Yellowstone National Park Commemorative Silver Dollar

Commemorative Coins


Availability For Purchase

The coin was available for purchase July 16, 1999, through July 15, 2000.

What Coin Commemorates

The coin was authorized to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Yellowstone, the country’s first national park.

Yellowstone Park

For many Americans, if they want a taste of the untamed West, they head to Yellowstone Park. At 3,472 square miles the Park spans parts of three states, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

President Ulysses S. Grant created Yellowstone Park in 1872, the first in America’s National Park system.

Since 1948, the park has played host to more than one million visitors a year and in 1998, that attendance tripled. These visitors come to see the park’s hundreds of lakes, creeks, mountains, valleys, famous geysers and hot springs. The most famous of the park’s geysers is “”Old Faithful,”” so named because of the regularity of its eruptions. Yellowstone – which comes from the Minnetaree Indian word for “”Rock Yellow River”” – has 290 species of birds, including some especially rare species such as the peregrine falcon and the whooping crane.

Authorization Date

The coin was authorized on October 20, 1996.

Authorized Mintage Limits


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Recipient Organization: Yellowstone National Park and the National Park Foundation

Half of the proceeds benefited Yellowstone National Park, and half benefited other national parks via the National Park Foundation.

Commemorative Coin Surcharges

Commemorative coin programs are created by acts of Congress to honor a person, place, or event. Surcharges from the sales of these coins help fund a variety of organizations and projects that benefit the public. Commemorative coins are only available from the United States Mint for a limited time, as specified by public law.


Story of the Design

The Yellowstone Park commemorative coin was the last commemorative Silver Dollar issued by the U.S. Mint in the 20th Century.

The obverse, designed by Edgar Z. Steever, IV, shows a spouting geyser with the park's tree-lined landscape in the background. Steever also designed or modeled more than 40 medals on topics such as the U.S. Constellation; the Central Intelligence Agency; Frank Lloyd Wright; the American Red Cross; and several Secretaries of the Treasury. In addition to the Yellowstone commemorative, his credits include the Statue of Liberty Clad Half Dollar obverse; Bicentennial of the Congress Clad Half Dollar (modeled the reverse); White House Silver Dollar obverse; Prisoner of War Silver Dollar reverse; Civil War Silver Dollar (modeled the obverse); 1995 Olympic Baseball Clad Half Dollar obverse; and the 1996 Olympic Swimmer Clad Half Dollar.

The reverse, designed by William C. Cousins, shows an American Buffalo on the plains with a sun rising above the mountains in the background. In addition to the 1999 Yellowstone National Park Commemorative Silver Dollar, Cousins has worked on the Mount Rushmore Gold Five Dollar reverse; the USO Silver Dollar obverse; 1995 Olympic Soccer Clad Half Dollar obverse; 1996 Olympic Stadium Gold Five Dollar obverse. He has designed and sculptured the 1992 Olympic Clad Half Dollar obverse; the Bicentennial of the Capitol Silver Dollar obverse; the Botanic Garden Silver Dollar reverse; the Jackie Robinson Gold Five Dollar obverse; the National Community Service Silver Dollar reverse and the Delaware reverse for the 50 States Quarter Program.

Design Theme on Obverse

The obverse shows a spouting geyser with the park's tree-lined landscape in the background.

Design Theme on Reverse

The reverse, adapted from the U.S. Department of Interior's seal, shows an American Buffalo on the plains with a sun rising above the mountains in the background.

Obverse Inscriptions

• 1999

Reverse Inscriptions


Mint and Mint Mark

Artist Information

  • Designer: Edgar Z. Steever, IV
  • Designer: William C. Cousins

Related Information

Content last reviewed June 1, 2016

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