The United States Mint recently announced the designs for the upcoming 2011 strikes of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program. These strikes represent the second year for the program and the sixth through the tenth in the series overall which just debuted in 2010.
Under the program, five new quarter dollars are issued annually with reverse designs emblematic of selected sites of national interest from around the United States. These America the Beautiful coins are then released at a rate of five per year until the program is completed in 2021.
The same designs that will be used on these quarters will also be found on the US Mint's America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin® Program and the recently announced America the Beautiful Five Ounce Uncirculated Coins. On the obverse of every coin in all of the programs, a portrait of George Washington will be found, as designed by John Flanagan.
The five designs chosen for the 2011 strikes were all reviewed earlier in the year by the two bodies charged with the responsibility for commenting on design candidates for upcoming American coinage - the Citizen's Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). The CCAC made their review on January 26, 2010 and the CFA completed their commentary on the possible designs on January 21, 2010.
From those design candidates, the Treasury Secretary made the final decision on which designs would be used based on the reviews of the two previously mentioned organizations and also based on the recommendations of the United States Mint. The chosen designs are shown below:
For this coin, the design showcases the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument and was designed designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
This coin shows some of the breathtaking scenery offered within the park as well as a creature the park is well-known for. Shown on the coin is a mountain goat poised sure-footed on the rugged terrain as Mount Reynolds towers in the distance. It was designed by AIP Associate Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers.
Once again, the chosen design showcases not only the scenery offered in the park, but also an animal that signifies the park well. In this instance, a Roosevelt elk is shown strolling along Hoh River with a view of Mount Olympus behind it. It was designed by AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
This design shows the U.S.S. Cairo on the Yazoo River as it would have appeared during the American Civil War. The Cairo was restored and is now on display at Vicksburg. The design was completed by AIP Master Designer Thomas Cleveland and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
Shown on the reverse of this coin is a structural icon of the national recreation area known as Lincoln's Bridge. This bridge was the first major improvement completed within the recreation area and was named after President Abraham Lincoln and dedicated on the centennial of his birth in 1909. The design is the work of AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.