The five commemorative quarter-dollars to be issued in 2010 and the sister five-ounce, .999 fine silver bullion versions are part of the America the Beautiful Quarters and the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins programs.
The new programs over the next 11 years will feature rotating reverse designs -- 56 for each -- that honor national parks and other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia (DC) and each United States territory -- Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Mariana Islands.
Two groups have already received candidate coin designs from the United States Mint. They include the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), consisting of 11 members, and the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), containing 7 members. The CCAC and the CFA have also provided their recommendations, which are included in the comments below. The Secretary of the Treasury is responsible for selecting the final quarter-dollar designs.
The CFA chose the quarter design featuring the doorway of the main Park’s building with a fountain in front of it, designated as AR-02. The CCAC opted for just an image of a fountain, designated as AR-04.
The Advisory Committee selected an image of a bison in the foreground with the Old Faithful Geyser in the background, designated as design candidate WY-01. The Commission of Fine Arts rejected all submissions.
The CCAC preferred and chose design CA-03 depicting El Capitan. The CFA selected design candidate CA-04 which depicts the granite Half Dome, but did recommended adjustments.
The CFA and CCAC favored an image showing the Colorado River winding through a detailed canyon wall, depicted on quarter design candidate AZ-01. However, since the Grand Canyon was also featured on the Arizona Quarter in 2008, the CFA asked for several adjustments.
A design featuring a rippling lake surrounded by pine trees in front of the beautiful Mount Hood, as depicted on quarter design candidate OR-3, was recommended by both the CFA and CCAC.
CCAC Recommendations for 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters
For reference, the following is a copy of the recommendations the CCAC sent to the Treasury on Sept. 30, 2009:
The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner
Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
Dear Secretary Geithner:
A public meeting of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee was held on September 22, 2009, at United States Mint Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The Committee reviewed proposed reverse designs for the 2010 issues of the America the Beautiful Quarters™ program, and recommends the following:
For the coin portraying Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, the Committee strongly recommends design 4, which shows a focused view of the public fountain in front of the site’s headquarters building. Members appreciated the design’s clear imagery, emphasis on water, and incorporation of natural landscape.
For the coin portraying Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, the Committee strongly prefers design 1, showing Old Faithful geyser with bison in the foreground and background. Members felt that design 1 would work well on a small coin, and that the depiction of animal life enhanced the design.
For the coin portraying Yosemite National Park in California, the Committee prefers design 3, featuring a view of El Capitan. Members praised the simplicity and ruggedness of the design, and its effective composition.
For the coin portraying Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, the Committee narrowly prefers design 1, featuring a canyon-level view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta, over design 4, which features an aerial view of the canyon. Both were considered to be powerful images, with design 1 preferred for its more immediate, human-scaled view of the canyon.
For the coin portraying Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon, the Committee overwhelmingly prefers design 3, featuring a view of Mount Hood with Lost Lake in the foreground. Design 3 was lauded for the artistry of its imagery, and for the absence of design elements that would detract from the view of the mountain.
The Committee also reviewed proposed obverse and reverse designs for the 2010 issues of the First Spouse Gold Bullion coin program, and recommends the following:
Abigail Fillmore Obverse: Design 3
Abigail Fillmore Reverse: Design 5
Jane Pierce Obverse: Design 1
Jane Pierce Reverse: Design 3
James Buchanan’s Liberty Obverse: Design 1
James Buchanan’s Liberty Reverse: Design 4
Mary Todd Lincoln Obverse: Design 5
Mary Todd Lincoln Reverse: Design 2
CFA Recommendations for 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters
For reference, the following is a copy of the recommendations the CFA sent to the US Mint Director Ed Moy on Sept. 24, 2009:
Dear Mr. Moy:
In its meeting of 17 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternatives for the first five reverse designs for the "America the Beautiful" Quarters Program. The Commission provided several general comments regarding this coin series program, acknowledging the challenge of depicting a variety of national sites—many of which are notable for their vast scale—on the small size of a quarter. They recommended the use of familiar iconic images when feasible, in order to assist the public in recognizing these small-scale depictions of major scenic landmarks; they commented further that the source material should not be limited to that provided by the park superintendents.
The Commission members expressed general support for the proposed template for the reverse but strongly recommended that the inner circle be continuous, eliminating the flat segment shown at the bottom of each coin; they emphasized the critical importance of the circle's continuity as a fundamental design element. The Commission's recommendations for the five coins were as follows:
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. The Commission recommended alternative #2, depicting the doorway of the park's main building from the 1930s. The Commission members commented favorably on the simplicity of this design but questioned the quality of the drawings presented, and recommended that the small National Park Service sign beside the doorway be eliminated from the design due to its illegibility at the scale of a coin.
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The Commission rejected all of the designs presented for their poor quality. The Commission members supported the idea of depicting Old Faithful, but suggested consideration of additional source material, such as the paintings of Thomas Moran.
Yosemite National Park, California. The Commission recommended alternative #4 depicting the Half Dome rock formation, with the comment that the artwork appears unfinished and should be further developed. The Commission suggested that other historic sources, such as the photographs of Ansel Adams, be considered in refining this image.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. The Commission acknowledged the difficulty of distinguishing the subject from its previous depiction on the Arizona state quarter, a concern that may recur over the course of this new series. The Commission recommended alternative #1, due the depth of the perspective view, but suggested several modifications. Noting that the foreground scree is given too much dominance in the composition, the Commission members recommended shifting the strong vertical alignment at the center of the coin to the right to emphasize the deep perspective toward the left side of the composition.
Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon. The Commission recommended alternative #3 due to its superior composition and simplicity of elements.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Edmund C. Moy, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint
The America the Beautiful Quarters specifications have not changed from the quarters that have been circulating in US change for years. However, the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins specifications are not standard by any stretch of the imagination. Each will:
- have a diameter of 3.0 inches;
- weigh 5.0 ounces;
- contain .999 fine silver;
- have incused into the edge the fineness and weight of the bullion coin;
- bear an inscription of the denomination of such coin, which shall be 'quarter dollar'; and
- not be minted or issued by the United States Mint as so-called 'fractional' bullion coins or in any size other than the size described in paragraph
Their diameters will be twice the size of early US silver dollars, like the Morgans, and nearly double that of today's American Eagle Silver, which is 1.598 inches in diameter and includes one ounce of silver.
For additional information on the quarter series, also see the sister site to World Mint Coins at National Park Quarters.