2014 America the Beautiful Quarters

Earlier this week, the United States Mint announced the design selections for the 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters. With this post, I wanted to showcase the designs and also compare the official selections with the recommendations of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and Commission of Fine Arts (CFA)

The five coins to be issued for the fifth year of the series will feature the following sites:

  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee
  • Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
  • Arches National Park in Utah
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado
  • Everglades National Park in Florida

Initially, there were four to seven design candidates prepared for each coin. These were provided to the CFA, CCAC, Secretary of the Interior, and the chief executive of the host jurisdiction for review and comment. Taking into consideration all relevant factors and the reviews and comments, the Director of the United States Mint made a final recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury who had responsibility for making the final selections.

Through coverage of the public meetings, we know the recommendations and comments of the CFA and CCAC. These can be found in articles previously published on CoinUpdate.com here and here. Each of these articles also includes images of all of the design candidates.

Without further ado, here are the official design selections for the five 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters with a brief description and information on the recommendations of the CFA and CCAC.

2014 Great Smoky Mountains Quarter

2014 Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter
Designer: Chris Costello
Engraver: Renata Gordon

The design includes a depiction of a historic log cabin found within the park, which includes a segment of lush green forest and a hawk circling above. This matched the recommendation of the CFA who found this to be a strong design which conveyed the character of the park’s landscape. The CCAC did not make a recommendation and made a motion to request new designs giving more balance between the images and negative space, and less fine detail.


2014 Shenandoah National Park Quarter
Designer and Engraver: Phebe Hemphill

The reverse design features a hiker taking in the view from Little Stony Man summit. This design was recommended by both the CFA and CCAC. The CFA had requested careful study of the geometry of the road that appears in the composition. The CCAC had a made a motion to remove the hazy hills and the tree, and to verify the proportion of the hiker to the rock formation. Comparing the final design to the design candidate shows a portion of the tree behind the hiker removed with no other alterations apparent.

2014 Arches National Park Quarter

2014 Arches National Park Quarter
Designer: Donna Weaver
Engraver: Charles L. Vickers

The design features a depiction of Delicate Arch, which is a 65 foot free standing arch located within the park. This matched the recommendation of the CCAC, while the CFA had recommended a design featuring another arch.

2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter

2014 Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter
Designer and Engraver: Don Everhart

The reverse features a depiction of a father and son playing in the sand next to the creek bed. This is a rare instance where the official design selection was not recommended by the CFA or CCAC. The CFA had recommended an alternate design with a broad landscape without any people present. The CCAC had offered no recommendation and instead made a motion to request new designs seeking more balance between negative space and objects and less fine detail.

Everglades National Park Quarter

2014 Everglades National Park Quarter
Designer: Joel Iskowitz
Engraver: Joseph Menna

The fifth and final design features an anhinga with outstretched wings on a willow tree with a roseate spoonbill visible in the midground. This design was recommended by both the CFA and CCAC. Each group requested that clouds present in the original design should be removed. These were taken out for the final design.

Weekend Reading

I wanted to bring attention to a few articles recently published on CoinUpdate.com. Yesterday, Michael Bugeja wrote his latest column covering NGC’s recent announcement that plus grading would be expanded to cover modern coins.

Today, an article from Michael Alexander covered the category winners for the 2014 Coin of the Year Awards with large sized images of all of the winning coins. The United States Mint did not have a winning coin design from their two nominees.

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  1. Sith says

    I had to look this up but apparently building sand castle in this a popular activity at the Great Sand Dunes, but IMHO it does not make for a nice looking coin.

    On a side not does anyone know when the Koalas will be out, they were suppose to be released on Nov 5

  2. says


    I think you might get your chance. I could swear I read a news story some months ago that the proof and silver proof quarters will now be laser enhanced, either here or in some publication like CoinWorld or CoinWeek.

    Nearly every quarter design that I was hoping for ended up being approved, excepting the Great Sand Dunes. 2014 has the potential to be the best year yet for the AtB series in terms of artwork quality. I’ve been anticipating these releases for months! 🙂

  3. KEITHSTER says

    Good enough do enjoy picking them up at face only the D though! The Mount Rushmore should be in soon not yet though. Also found out my coworker can pick me up a couple extra rolls as the tellers only like to give out so many 🙂 Good luck to Ya All:>

  4. VABEACHBUM says

    Thanks for all of the recent updates on all of your sites, Michael. You certainly have been cranking these past couple of days!!

    I agree with some of the Committee comments – also echoed by other readers – regarding the people in the artwork; mostly unnecessary. This series is about the significance of the areas being recognized, not the people who might visit them. Please, Mint. Keep it that way.

    Adding “Enhanced” finishes to some of these issues would be saaweet!!! The depth of field that might be added to the Shenandoah and Great Dunes coins would be incredible. With that, I think the best finishes for Arches and Everglades is going to be the Proof; lots of negative space for mirrored fields that compliment some nicely crafted, frosty devices. Too bad we cannot see either Enhanced or Proof strikes on the 5 oz ATBs. I guess a man can dream, though.

  5. thePhelps says

    VABEACH….we’ve had the same dream. I thought the FM would have really been a perfect enhanced proof… with the bombs bursting in air popping off the coin… maybe someone will do an after market coin someday.

    I thought the day at the beach dunes coin was over done. While it might be a favorite past time there… it didn’t deserve to be embraced on the coin.

    I’m glad they didn’t go back to the drawing board on the Smoky Mountains, and I thought this arch was a better selection than the alternative coin they wanted.

    The request to lessen the details… on the proof I am thinking these will really all look great – with the details.

  6. VARich says

    CO – I recall reading the same article and hope you’re right – it would set the series on fire.., imo.

    Perhaps I’m being a wee bit optimistic, what I’m really wanting to see are the ‘P’ pucks ‘enhanced’ with variations of the 7 levels of frosting that the mint has stated that they plan to use going forward; and with a mintage of 20k or less for each design. There’s a dream for ya! If they have lasers in P and W, it does open up some interesting possibilities.

  7. thePhelps says

    VARich – they said they would enhance the proof coins using the lasers. I doubt we’ll see a laser touching the frosted coins any time soon – unless they decide to make a year of proofs as well.

  8. oldfolkie says

    I would just like to add the thoughts of one old time collector that may be out of touch with many of you, but I see the enhanced coins as nothing more than gimmicks, why not just colorize them all. They are great the way they are. And second, The parks were created for the enjoyment of the people, not wanting people enjoying the parks seems pretty ridiculous to me. Four of the five will be absolutely gorgeous, coins that would make Teddy Roosevelt proud, it’s a shame he’s not on them. Come to think of it a set of all the National Parks he directly had a hand in establishing with him on the obverse would have made a great Teddy set, or just the addition of either Yellowstone, that he saved from the railroads, Grand Canyon, that he turned into a National Monument, or the great Yosemite Valley that he added to the Park at the request of John Muir with his face on the obverse would have been a nice addition I’m sure he would have appreciated.

  9. Jerry Diekmann says

    Questions on the Great Sand Dunes quarter – is that Pikes Peak in the background, and are those native Americans in the foreground – with a pail?

  10. VA Bob says

    VARich – you’re right about the enhancement, especially on the Smokey Mts. It’s going to be hard to get that depth perception right, as in the picture, without it. These all look good to me, not crazy about the sand dunes (that’s a hard one to depict anyway), so I’m in for one each next year.

  11. VA Bob says

    oldfolkie – Enhancement is just the way the dies are cut to make light bounce differently. I don’t believe one can really group that in with colorizing, holograms, or electroplating as it doesn’t alter the metal in any way. I look at as a way to bring out details that might not be easily seen. And I’m really as anti-gimmick as it goes on this board. We are talking about non-circulating, collector coins here. It would be wasted on circulating coins. One could argue that the frosted device proofs, particularly from the 90’s, were a form of ‘enhancement’ over the mirrored backgrounds.

  12. high low silver says

    I think the enhanced would be more hyped by now, instead of hearsay from an acting director at a major coin show….stay tuned.

  13. says

    The figures in the Great Sand Dunes design were needed and important. Without people in the foreground there would be little sense of scale in the landscape design. It would look like a scenic from Mars or the Moon without the human element. It’s a great design.

  14. matt says

    Like arches does?

    gary says:

    November 16, 2013 at 6:04 am

    The figures in the Great Sand Dunes design were needed and important. Without people in the foreground there would be little sense of scale in the landscape design. It would look like a scenic from Mars or the Moon without the human element. It’s a great design.

  15. matt says

    2011 when Chaco came out someone posted that coin looks like two toilet bowels, really. I don’t think they needed any people in it either, just a better design.

  16. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    “Toilet bowels”…hafta break out my Chaco again to see if I can spot that image! Might even be able to see a Colonoscopy being performed in there too! 🙂

    At my age, a good toilet is always a welcome thing!!

  17. Hidalgo says

    The interesting thing about the 2014 ATB quarters is that “real” people are depicted (versus statues, images, etc.). Sure, we saw statues, images of Perry, etc., before, but these were intended to be representations of noteworthy individuals.

    I wonder if this will be a trend in the future.

  18. Brent says

    The 2014 ATB designs are winners to me. I am impressed with the depictions of all the national parks, even Arches and the Sand Dunes. Those two were not going to be easy. The Everglades design with the anhinga drying its wings is spot on. Those birds are very common where I reside and the artist nailed it. The depictions of people on certain coins may very well become a trend in the future. As long as they are incorporated aesthetically into the design I’m ok with it, just not on every design issued. BTW, on the Great Sand Dune ATB the background is probably Mt. Blanca. I’ve had the pleasure of going to the sand dunes a couple of times over the years with the family.

  19. ROS says

    2014 will be a great year for the ATB program. Great designs and a selection of popular and well parks. These will pop on the 5 ozers. Speaking of 5 ozers , my guess is that they will increase the run to 50,000 per.

  20. thePhelps says

    I got both my bullion coins for Rushmore this week. I got a coin from Provident and one from MCM. Both are pretty good, probably the best bullion coins I have bought early on in the process.

    Some one asked about the airtites – the Provident came in an airtite – the MCM coin didn’t. I’ll keep that in mind the next time – since I prefer them encapsulated.

  21. Louis says

    @thePhelps- Good to know. I got a superb one from APMEX. I continue to order from them (plus Provident) because the quality has been outstanding this year.

  22. Jus-a-coin-luvr says

    Yeah I wish all the dealers would include airtite capsules as a default condition for silver coins. Even Provident sends some coins without them too such as the Mexican Libertads.

  23. Wontaker says

    More interesting topic. Wish list set for JFK 50 yrs.

    4 pcs Silver halves Set dated 1964-2014 w/50th Anniv on reeded edge
    1 sil proof
    1 sil rev proof
    1 burnished sil
    1 uhr sil

  24. fmtransmitter says

    A Teddy privy would of been nice on the above mentioned parks he was responsible for. Seems these privy’s are popular with the RCM these days. Thanks for heads up about MCM NOT sending air tight. Have to find one as that is where I got the bullion from, hasn’t even shipped yet. I know they are sending them over to NGC first and anything less than 69 will get broken out and mailed to us who ordered non graded.

  25. oldfolkie says

    Va Bob….you’re right, but I like them the way they are. It wouldn’t bother me too much if they came out with a special version of, Shenandoah with Franklin Roosevelt on the obverse since he was so responsible for that park, or as part of the Teddy special set they did it to a Yellowstone or Grand canyon coin.( That would be a neat idea) I wouldn’t want the coins changed in the middle of the set, and really wouldn’t want another variety I’d feel I have to buy. To each his own.

    I did get two Mt Rushmores from the mint and two from Apmex and they were all beautiful. while the Apmex were definitely proof like I’m not sure they’d make DMPL, but they are sure nice.

  26. Dustyroads says

    Someone at the Mint must be in an Oct frame of mind.

    BTW, Apmex came through, and in super-fast fashion.

  27. Micro says

    I received my Rushmore bullion 5oz from Provident, and it is exceptional. Since I live in Texas and they are in Texas I have avoided using them to avoid the state sales tax. But the tax was dropped in October, and with the quality of this coin, Provident just moved up to the top of my list for bullion purchases. Now I’m looking forward to the 2014’s! I know that getting bullion coins is a hit-and-miss with all of the bullion dealers, but I couldn’t be happier at the moment.

  28. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    Nixon rolls still backordered. I wonder why the Mint doesn’t get on it. But was able to buy the the 3-coin Nixon, Ford, Regan dollar set. Looking forward to the 2-coin set 100th Ann. of the merc dime and walker later this year.

  29. thePhelps says

    hls… had we only been able to forsee a massive government program failing, I would never have expected it based on all the other massive government programs that have succeeded. I thought the website worked as well as could be expected, given how little time and money was invested in it.

  30. fmtransmitter says

    OT: I was surfing the web and came across a 1947 Silver Crown Douglas MacArthur Philippines coin. KM# 185. I only have ONE gold coin and it is from 2013 so decided to jump on this. It is 90% silver and there were 100,000 struck and was the first coins struck after the liberation of that Country. There is a 50 cent piece as well. Decided to pass on that, maybe later but I think this coin will go great with my only gold coin. Watch for a jump in Kennedy’s with the 50 year Anniversary. Time to re think the US Mint’s $.50 silver program??

  31. thePhelps says

    fm… those coins were also made in America! I believe it is the same image of MacArthur that is used on the medal in the generals set as well. I have several of those including the 50 cent piece.

  32. simon says

    OT : RP Buffalo “in stock and reserved” – last hour order 420165xx – for some this may be of interest.

  33. VA Bob says

    oldfolkie – yeah my 5oz. Rushmore from the Mint came in on Saturday. I’m very pleased with it. With a lot of smooth surfaces on this one, it would be really easy IMO to get a poor example. Sounds like most of the comments, P and UNC, are positive ones. I hope the Mint keeps the high quality trend up.

    I do hope they do something for the Kennedy half 50th , but I also wish that would be the end of it (and all former presidents on the coinage). They have all had a good run. Probably won’t happen for political reasons though. Since most of the presidents will be honored with a dollar coin, enough is enough.

  34. MarkInFlorida says

    The capsules for the 5 oz seem to have gotten smaller in the last couple years, and now it looks like a full set of the 5 oz. bullion will fit nicely in a 5 oz. monster box (without tubes). I had been using 3.25 inch red cardboard boxes (which are still good for the numismatic ones) but this is a nice compact way to keep the whole set of bullion in one box.

  35. Ray says

    There’s no chance that the 5 oz unc 5 star general coin will be the new low. Similar thing happened last year, and there was over 1200 coins ordered in the last 3 weeks. Sane will happen this year. Buy the gold buff if u want a winner. It may or may not be a new low, but if 2012 is any indication, it doesn’t matter.

  36. merryxmasmrscrooge says

    oh, yeah. std. lib. quarters with the merc. dime and walker. That would be a cool 100 Ann. set for 2016.
    not really venting about Obama. He has had a tough job trying to bring America back from the foolishness of the previous administration.

  37. stephen m says

    and the next President will have an even tougher job to straighten out things from the foolishness of this administration, at our grand kids expense of course.

  38. VARich says

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 16000 threshold for the first time in history, just 136 trading days after the blue-chip average closed above the 15000 mark. S&P 500 about to cross over 18000 for the first time after just punching thru 17.

    Yeah Dusty & VAB – I think PMs continually get better looking ever day now.., from a contrarian angle! Good luck!

  39. Wylson says

    Yah…. really S&P 18,000, more like 1,800. We have enough sensationalism in the media already without this type of misinformation.

  40. Eddie says

    The 2014 quarters are starting to grow on me. I’m starting to like each one more and more the only one I have any trouble with is the Sand Dunes quarter. I am going to try my best to get all 5 of the 5 ozers as long silver doesn’t go up. Right now they are at a decent price I would like to see them at $139.00 or $149.00 but I know that won’t happen anytime soon. $125.00 would be the ideal price for me.

  41. MarkInFlorida says

    The Zimbabwe stock marker reached new heights as they were printing money to pay the bills too!

  42. thePhelps says

    On the bright side…. a 102 year old coin collectors – collection solf for $23 million…. Since I’m not making a killing in stocks…. I’ll hold on to that.

  43. Olde Sailor Bill says

    Mark in Florida- how many Capsules fit (5 or 6 coins) in each of the 10 sections the monster box ? thank Bill

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