As the first of this year’s America the Beautiful Quarters was released earlier this week, I wanted to provide readers with a look ahead to some of the potential designs for the 2014-dated releases of the series.
Designs for each release of the program are created through a somewhat lengthy process. The process starts with the United States Mint contacting the head of the federal entity responsible for the supervision, management, or conservancy of the National Park or site to be depicted. The entity head will appoint a federal official to serve as a liaison for the site who will assist the Mint with identifying source materials for candidate designs. These source materials will be used by the Mint to produce various candidate designs, while consulting with the liaison to ensure historical accuracy, authenticity, and overall composition of the candidate design.
The next step of the process is where the general public generally receives their first look at the potential designs for each quarter. A selection of final design candidates are submitted to the Secretary of the Interior, the chief executive of the host jurisdiction for the site, the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for review and comment. Next, the Director the Mint makes a final recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury, after considering the comments and recommendations of the previous reviewers. Then, the Secretary of the Treasury makes the final decision.
At this point in the process for the 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters, the design candidates have been reviewed by the CFA and CCAC whose recommendations are known. The designs have also presumably been reviewed by the Secretary of the Interior and chief executive of each host jurisdiction. The recommendations offered by the CCAC and CFA are shown below.
For the 2014 Great Smoky Mountains Quarter, the CFA recommended the design shown above.
The CCAC did not make a recommendation from the four candidates provided. The committee approved a motion recommending that the US Mint provide new designs with specific request for “artists strive for more balance between images and negative space and less fine detail as suitable for a quarter dollar sized coin.”
For the 2014 Shenandoah National Park Quarter, the both the CFA and the CCAC recommended the design candidate shown above. The CCAC made a request for the Mint to remove the three rows of mountains appearing in the background since they obscured the focal point of the design.
For the Arches National Park Quarter, the CFA recommended the design above at left, while the CCAC recommended the design above at right.
For the Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter, the CFA recommended the design shown above.
The CCAC once again did not provide a recommendation, finding that the provided candidates “would not produce well on a small quarter dollar sized coin as they were too cluttered and lacked sufficient negative space.” A motion was approved to recommend that the US Mint provide new designs.
Both the CFA and CCAC recommended the design above for the 2014 Everglades National Park Quarter. The CFA requested that the cloud be removed from the background. The CCAC also recommended removal of the cloud as well as removal of the foliage appearing the the upper most horizon.
In past instances when the CCAC has not made a recommendation, the US Mint has sometimes simply chosen from the remaining alternatives usually following the recommendation offered by the CFA. There have been a few instances when the US Mint provided a new round of design candidates which both the CCAC and CFA were able to review.