2015 America the Beautiful Quarters Design Selections

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 Quarter

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.

Kisatchie National Forest Quarter

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

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 Quarter

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 Park Quarter

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

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Comments

  1. Paul says

    The Bombay Hook design looks EXACTLY like the Everglades quarter from this year…Really U.S. Mint??

  2. KEITHSTER says

    These should do just fine didn’t think the swords would work but with the words and date kinda brings a smile to the face unless your british. Have 4 unc $1 BHOF’s & Kenndy sets on hold but will let them run the coarse just to see how it works Good Luck All.:>:>:>

  3. TimTom says

    Love these designs!! Gonna get my first puck with the NC offering. Also love that a turkey made it on a coin as a centerpiece – – Ben Franklin would be smiling!!

  4. VA Rich says

    I’ll be smiling if the 10% subscribers discount holds on the $154 price point!

  5. says

    You guys better get in Line Early on the Louisiana Turkey 5 oz ATB. I talked to two of my Turkey hunting friends that own a local business. I had showed them a picture of the Turkey in the Spring. Today when I said the decision had been made official, I asked them how many they wanted and they said “How many can you get?” and I said “Unlimited” and they said “Well, let’s start with 10”. Now these guys have never spent a dime on a Mint product but they go all over the United States and Canada hunting. I think Turkey hunting has surpassed Deer in their eyes…

    You can’t even walk in a room in their business without running into a stuffed animal…

    NOW that is just two of my friends. I’ve got a LOT of turkey hunting friends. Good thing about these guys is that THEY are paying for their coins…All I am going to do is order, delivery and Collect.

    I Might not even tell them about the Subscription…..hmmm… 10x’s 10%? hmmm…

  6. gary says

    William… as a NY resident you should take some pride in the fact that the decisive turning point battle of the American Revolution occurred in Saratoga. From that point on, with French support… well, here we are!

    As an addicted fan of the 5 oz. P Mint ATBs, I feel there is MUCH to enjoy in these design selections. The series as a whole portrays some of the diversity and magnificence of the treasures we have among our many National Parks.

  7. Bob R says

    Nebraska really looks bad, the coin really shows off what Nebraska really looks like.
    Louisiana with a turkey, maybe Bourbon Street, at least that is all I am interested in when visiting the state.
    I do like the highway scene in North Carolina.
    Is Delaware part of southern Florida?
    New York toooo plain, reminds me of Perry’s monument.

  8. Leo S. says

    Just checked the Mint and the gold price reduction has taken place. Looks like we get a deal on the Kennedy.
    Nice bonus.

  9. VA Rich says

    Bob R – perhaps you can enjoy a little Kick’n Chicken while down on Bourbon Street.., to help with the connection! 😉

    JFK clad set pushed out to 9/02.

  10. VaBeachEd says

    OT.
    Product Name

    Quantity

    Price
    (each)

    Total

    Item Status

    Cancel

    2014 KENNEDY ANNIVERSARY UNC CLAD SET 5 $9.95 $49.75 5 units shipped on 07/30/2014

    I guess I will receive them this week. I will keep them in the mint sealed box !!! Maybe?

  11. mark says

    Dont think you will receive them this week. $50 order will be on slow boat to China.

  12. VaBeachEd says

    mark ,

    They load the boats to China here, so it will not have to be loaded up on that boat.

  13. Bob R says

    All kidding aside, I agree with Jon, the woodpecker would have been the best selection for Louisiana.

  14. fmtransmitter says

    Clark says

    July 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks, fm. I enjoy the balance your opinions bring this forum. There truly is a wealth of experience among folks who take time to contribute here. We’re a pretty cautious and fiscally conservative bunch. Anytime I’ve seen someone, including me, reach out for guidance, people are usually helpful and quick to respond with a range of diverse comments that lead to informed decisions. And in this hobby, information is almost as important as currency.

    You mean coinage? ha ha..Well said and so true, appreciate everyone’s thoughts here and the forum Michael provides is greatly appreciated…

  15. fmtransmitter says

    The silver quarter set, as always, in PF70 to continue my only set I am able to afford to chase!

  16. GoldFishin says

    @Cagcrisp – The HOF Gold coins hit a new low today for auction style listings for 70 grades at only 31 as this post, I am sure you are already aware of this. Auctions for non ER/FS 70 are now consistently above $700 with 13 out of the last 15 auctions I tracked closing above that level.

    On the ATB’s…I like the NC and the Louisiana very much….the others just don’t do it for me at this point. They could have done so much more with Saratoga, really disappointed with that one. I am with VA RICH, wish they would have chosen one of the ones with the field cannon.

  17. VA Rich says

    Just checked out my 2012 LESPS, there’s some serious yellow toning that is forming on around the rims of the quarters and half dollar. The ASE is succumbing to light brown toning around the rim.

    Has anyone seen anything similar? I guess it’s a reaction to the chems in the paper. The set will look horrendous if it continues.

  18. fmtransmitter says

    VA Rich says

    July 30, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Just checked out my 2012 LESPS, there’s some serious yellow toning that is forming on around the rims of the quarters and half dollar. The ASE is succumbing to light brown toning around the rim.

    Has anyone seen anything similar? I guess it’s a reaction to the chems in the paper. The set will look horrendous if it continues.
    Hmmm……Will check the set and let you know….

  19. thePhelps says

    I keep looking at the Blueridge coin and wonder why the lines curve… and the shoulder is straight. I guess the lines curve to avoid this huge plant that is at the end of the tunnel?

    Over all not impressed with most of the coins – although the turkey on a coin is humorous and not badly done.

  20. says

    I do love the work Joel Iskowitz does, but have to agree it’s a bit of a repeat of his 2014 design.
    I think by the time we get the coins in our hands we are going to like the Saratogo.
    Homestead and Kisatchie may be lows, with Homestead having the edge.
    Blue Ridge Parkway could be the high with so many of the numismatic population thinking about beautiful drives like this one. I guess they didn’t want a classic Bel Air on the parkway.

  21. says

    I think the Turkey ATB will look cool…the space between the feathers should look nice. The only time I shot at (and missed) a turkey was when I was deer hunting…and I was blown away at how well wild turkeys can fly!. As has been said before, it would of been nice if the Blue Ridge Parkway had something like a ’57 Chevy cruising through the mountain curves.

  22. Larry says

    In for the Bombay Hook (whatever that is), and the Turkey! How can you not buy a US coin with a turkey? I always buy a silver quarters proof set to make my final decision on which 5 OZers to buy.

  23. Bob R says

    Left the homestead looking for some food, got lost on the highway in my 57 chevy, wound up in the swamp, next thing I knew there was British tourist’s everywhere…2015 diary…

  24. says

    @GoldFishin, Yeah…I watch ’em pretty close… One OGP closed at $729.00 yesterday with 28 bids and One closed This afternoon at $696.00 with 9 bids.
    Onward and Upward for a Circus coin that would never be worth more than Retail…
    A Gold coin that Currently is up 50% in 4 months or 150% on an annualized basis. Not a bad return…Wonder where you can get that kind of return?

  25. bfn says

    Just as I expected, the Mint has managed once again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with the BRP design – the Linn cove Viaduct is much more apropos design – but what do we know in NC – we only use the parkway on a daily basis.

  26. GoldFishin says

    @the Phelps – really funny…yea, I noticed the Dogwood tree growing out of the tunnel, I just have to imagine there is a dogwood tree outside the tunnel that really is trying to get away from the sun and loves getting all scraped up by ’57 Chevy’s. 😉

  27. Tinto says

    This Saratoga thing has to come with extra wording to explain what it represents? What were they thinking, were they trying to outdo the Perry’s Victory ATB?

  28. VaBeachSteve says

    Personally, I like the designs and will be purchasing them all.

    @ Goldfishin &Cagcrisp – I’ve been watching the avg number of auctions on the gold HOF for the last couple weeks. Early last week there were on avg 225 listings daily and today the listings are around 180 so we are definitely seeing the inventory decrease.

  29. VaBeachSteve says

    @ Cagcrisp……. And based on your stats, how much time needs to elapse before we see the listings fall below 100?

  30. says

    @VaBeachSteve, I don’t see Any way to predict that. Everyone (Including Me) has a Price. Currently there are 14 coins being offered @ $1,000.00 or more at Buy It Now. Sooner or Later the market will find its happy place where buyers and sellers are in balance.
    The Positive from All this is that both the Golds and the Silvers have taken the Best blows the Flippers and TGP’s have dished out and have withstood.
    Flippers and TGP’s are getting Out because they have Another Dance to attend starting Next Tuesday. They do Not want to be late for the Dance…

  31. Sith says

    Well I’m commented to buy them all. The NC ATB looks decent, but I’m not a turkey hunter so even thought it might look nice, it’s a turkey. Saratoga is a joke, it’s the first ATB that shows nothing about the park, so much for showing America the Beautiful. Why not show a picture of Grant for Vicksberg, and Pickets Charge for Gettysburg.

  32. VaBeachSteve says

    Thanks Cagcrisp . I’ve got quite a few dollars tied up in the golds & silvers . Personally I think these will be long term winners, especially the gold. I’m hoping this last wave of shipments of the silvers won’t push the prices down much lower than current levels.

  33. Jerry Diekmann says

    Pretty decent designs, considering how they could have turned out from the various alternatives. Glad they added the word “British” on the New York coin, but almost any other design would have been better. A failure for sure,, on par with the Hot Springs and Perrry’s Victory quarters as the worst designs in the series so far.

  34. Jon in CT says

    cagcrisp wrote on July 30, 2014 at 9:00 PM:

    Onward and Upward for a Circus coin that would never be worth more than Retail…
    A Gold coin that Currently is up 50% in 4 months or 150% on an annualized basis. Not a bad return…Wonder where you can get that kind of return?

    BHoF Gold = CYNK Technology.

  35. Clark says

    I empathize with those of you who feel these designs didn’t do the parks in your states justice. We in NM had to suffer the now infamous toilet seats depicting Chaco Culture N.P., which is even less exciting in person. The wonders of Carlsbad Caverns would have been amazing on the ATBs. I guess it’s what happens when people outside the state get to choose.

  36. gary says

    Clark, I happen to really like the Chaco Culture design but would agree with you that the Carlsbad Caverns could have made for some really spectacular concepts.
    I’m a hopeless addicted collector of the ATB P-Mint coins and subscriber.
    I think that Perry’s Victory is an O.K. design. I think that Hot Springs, the 1st coin, is the least attractive.
    When the America the Beautiful series was conceived, I had THOUGHT that is was to express the natural world wonders of this country but I was apparently mistaken. Important as they are, I believe that the National Parks that were established as war memorials should have been specifically excluded from consideration. Given the large 3″ diameter size of these coins to me it was a grand opportunity to create designs that successfully capture details of vast landscapes to designs of the smallest ecosystems.

  37. says

    This is the Guesstimates that I have seen for Total Sales of Gold Kennedy:

    • Cagcrisp north of 125k on 07/10
    • Louis 50k 07/10
    • VA Rich 50k +/- 8k 07/10 ; Revised upward after Clads came out but not a Specific #
    • Jeff 70k 07/10
    • Stephen m. 150k+. 07/11
    • SilverFan over/under 100k 07/11
    • Sith 60k 07/11
    • VABEACHBUMI 07/16 do not think it will either garner the interest or come anywhere close to the 109K
    • Eagle One 40-45K 07/25
    • Clark exceed 200k 07/26

    Anyone Else?
    Anyone Want to Update or Change?

  38. thePhelps says

    My guess for the Kennedy half is between 75 and 100k the first week and a total of 125k.

  39. stephen m says

    cagcrisp, With recent falling gold prices the gold Kennedy may come out of the gate strong or if gold continues falling, as it seems to be this week, the coin sales could stall as collectors wait for an even lower price. I’ll stand by my 150k+ based on the large number of Kennedy coin fans in the US and world. 2015 ATB designs are looking good.

  40. says

    I think the question to ask ourselves while trying to nail down how many will be sold should be:
    Is the age group willing to spend their money on the coin, most people do not have a disposable income.
    There are a lot of people in this group who are not big gold investors and would much rather spend a smaller amount of money on the silver release. On the other hand, there really is no shortage of money and the larger sales may depend on the extra advertising on the Mint website.
    I think there will be a lot of temptation to buy the coin, but there may also be some conflict due to past lack of interest in the Kennedy half dollar, but once again, we all are familiar with the Kennedy half dollar, so it should have a lot of potential.

  41. Clark says

    Gary–I certainly respect your view on the Chaco Culture design. I especially agree with your thought that this series should depict America’s natural wonders. It made me reflect on the 10 ATBs designs to date that portray man-made objects, namely: Hot Springs, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chaco, Perry’s Victory, Ft. McHenry, Mt. Rushmore, Homestead, Blue Ridge Pkwy, and Saratoga, with many more to follow between 2015 and 2021.

    As much as I agree with you, the 2008 enabling legislation (H.R. 6184) actually focuses on “national sites” and uses a somewhat misleading and clever variation of the phrase “America the Beautiful” in the law’s title, “The America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008,” and thereby sets the stage for honoring people, events, landmarks, and natural wonders.

    The Mint markets the coins by incorrectly calling them “America the Beautiful” series and makes people envision amber waves of grain, purple mountains majesties, fruited plains and the like, but not man-made creations.

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr6184/text

  42. VA Bob says

    Cag- I believe it will be about 100K +/- 5k. Why? This coin has some notable attributes collectors like. It’s the first 3/4 oz. pure gold coin by the US Mint. It is the second US gold coin based on a circulating coin (the gold buff being the first). It has a popular president on it (no denying that from the left or the right). Had this been the end of the JFK half in it’s entirety, I would have raised my estimate higher.

    This would have been a good time to retire the JFK half IMO. They could have used the half as a vehicle for programs like the State and ATB quarters programs. Bigger, more spacious canvas. Not to mention a larger profit for the mint. But, would not the ATB have popped in silver (more than they do now) in a half dollar size?

  43. VA Bob says

    As for the 5oz. ATB’s, not enjoying next years designs so much, but in for a penny, in for a pound. I’ve come this far and no telling how hard it would be to go back and get them after the series ends in 2022. Some times the dogs are worth more and are the hardest to obtain in later years.

    Well, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver 1995 Special Olympics commem might be an exception. Even that might be a gem in the distant future.

  44. gary says

    Yes Clark, as you pointed out the original enabling legislation in it’s title and description left too broad a description of what could be considered for the series. As a result the series contains both natural wonders and man-made history monuments, confusing pseudo-allegories like the Homestead house paired with ears of corn, Saratoga costumed hands, etc. When the Mint decided to market the series as “America the Beautiful” they did not really address what that program name might conjure in the mind’s of the general public and to coin collector’s. The other problem with the enabling legislation was the entirely unrealistic compressed time frame requiring a 2010 debut. The Mint did not possess the ability to produce thick 3″ diameter coins in production amounts or proven ability to edge letter such large pieces. The sponsors of coin legislation need to have their brain in gear and iron out logistical issues with the Mint, CCAC, etc. BEFORE final legislation is passed.

  45. says

    The Treasury Secretary has a fairly broad area to work with when making the final decision.
    The only real restrictions I see in the law are the use of a head and shoulders portrate, or bust of a person living or dead, and the outline of any state.

    (11)

    The sites or areas within the National Park System vary widely in size and type from vast natural wilderness to birthplaces of Presidents to world heritage archaeology sites to an African burial ground memorial in Manhattan and include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

  46. says

    I actually like most of the 2015 ATB designs…yes, there does seem to be duplication with the birds, but for the most part, I will probably buy them….again…look at what other world mints charge for a 5 oz silver coin and you will not see a better price…especially when you factor in the 10% discount.

    As for flippers…well, I try my best to make a dollar if I can…but I am a “coin collector” first…and flipping as others have said, just makes things more afforadable.

    I really don’t see why anyone would give a hard time to someone that is small time…buys and flips a few coins to offset cost…

    Really…the real flippers are MCM, APMEX, Provident, Goldmanrt, etc…why do we accept these “flippers” but bash the small guy flippers?

    Anyway, I love collecting coins…and I agree with the poster that said..”why not throw a couple of hundred more dollars and buy a classic Saint Gaundens…I luv that coin

  47. says

    Well Steve, I said recently that components of modern life have created a flippers paradise. The truth is, the US Mint enjoys a strong relationship with retailers and have for a very long time. So I appreciate the Mint applying household limits, but in the case of the Kennedy gold half, it’s evident that some arrangement has been made to help the retailers a little more than the Mint did with the UHR Eagles and their one per limit. I personally don’t have any bad blood between myself and flippers, I just don’t like what happens some times, ie the RP Buffalo. In reality, I have nothing to complain about, because the coins I’m buying are holding a premium, I don’t really care how much, as long as they are in the black I’m happy. You keep doing what you are doing, you will find out after the stormy day if you did it right, I think you are.

  48. Lonni says

    Hi this question is crazy. Could you tell me if the Blue Ridge Quarter has raised areas on the backside. The quarter I have looks like the tunnel & sky is 3 – D. My friend said the quarter is a error and the whole image should be flat. No raised areas.

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