The United States Mint has announced the design selections for the 2015 America the Beautiful Quarters. As in the past, I will showcase the design selections and also mention the recommendations that had been offered by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA).
The five coins to be issued for the upcoming year will feature the following sites:
- Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska
- Kisatchie National Forest in Louisiana
- Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina
- Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware
- Saratoga National Historical Park in New York
Initially, there were six to twelve design candidates under consideration for each coin. The design selection process for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program includes review and comment by the CFA, CCAC, Secretary of the Interior, and the chief executive of the host jurisdiction. After taking into consideration all relevant factors, reviews, and comments, the Director of the United States Mint makes a final recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury who has the authority to make the final design selection.
The reviews and recommendations from the CCAC and CFA were covered in Coin Update articles which can be found here and here. The articles also include images of all of the initial design candidates for each coin.
2015 Homestead National Monument of America Quarter
Designer: Ronald D. Sanders
Engraver: Jim Licaretz
The design represents the three fundamentals of survival common to all homesteaders: food, water, and shelter. The final design differs from the original candidate by the removal of thirty stars, which previously appeared surrounding the image to symbolize the 30 states that participated in the Homestead Act. The cornstalks also appear reduced in size, while the house and water pump are enlarged.
Both the CFA and CCAC had recommended the selected design, with suggested modifications which were implemented. The CCAC had also suggested inserting the phrase “Free Land”, which was not added to the final design.
2015 Kisatchie National Forest Quarter
Designer: Susan Gamble
Engraver: Joseph Menna
The design for the quarter features a wild turkey in flight over blue stem grass with a long leaf pine in the background. The final design shows some slight changes from the original candidate including the removal of previous overlap of the turkey’s tail feathers with the tree and shortening the grass.
The CFA had recommended the selected design. The CCAC had recommended an alternate design depicting a a red cockaded woodpecker in flight against long leaf pine trees.
2015 Blue Ridge Parkway Quarter
Designer: Frank Morris
Engraver: Joseph Menna
The design depicts a section of the parkway, which highlights the grace and curvature of the road hugging the side of a mountain with the North Carolina state flower appearing in the foreground. The final design differs from the original candidate with the removal of the North Carolina state bird, the Cardinal, from the foreground.
The CCAC had recommended an alternative design depicting the Parkway at the Linn Cove Viaduct. The CFA had offered no recommendation from the provided candidates, expressing concern that the characteristic curvatures of the parkway were not accurately depicted.
2015 Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge Quarter
Designer: Joel Iskowitz
Engraver: Phebe Hemphill
The design for the coin features a depiction of a great blue heron in the foreground with a great egret in the background.
The CFA had recommended the selected design, but expressed their opinion that it could be improved by removing the egret from the background. They had also recommended a second design depicting a blue egret in flight. The CCAC had recommended another alternative which depicted a great blue heron with a fish in its beak.
2015 Saratoga National Historical Park Quarter
Designer: Barbara Fox
Engraver: Renata Gordon
The design carries a close up depiction of the moment when General John Bugoyne surrendered his sword to General Horatio Gates, a pivotal moment many believe marked the ‘beginning of the end of the American Revolutionary War.’ The design shows a modification from the original design candidate with the addition of the word “British” to the text “Surrender 1777”.
Both the CCAC and CFA had recommended the selected design and suggested the modification to the text.
Today on Coin Update: Background and History of the West Point Mint