2015 National Park Service Commemorative Coins Design Candidates

Next year, a commemorative coin program will recognize the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

The program was authorized under section 3055 of Public Law 113-291 and provides for the minting and issuance of up to 100,000 $5 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars, and 750,000 clad half dollars. Surcharges added to the cost of each coin will be distributable to the National Park Foundation for projects and programs that help preserve and protect resources under the stewardship of the National Park Service and promote public enjoyment and appreciation of those resources.

The designs for the coins are to be emblematic of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and will be selected by the Secretary of the Treasury following consultation with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, the Commission of Fine Arts, and review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

At a meeting held today, the Citizens Coinage Advisory reviewed the design candidates provided by the United States Mint. These designs can be viewed below. Click any image to expand.

$5 Gold Coin Obverse Design Candidates



$5 Gold Coin Reverse Design Candidates


Silver Dollar Obverse Design Candidates


Silver Dollar Reverse Design Candidates


Clad Half Dollar Obverse Design Candidates


Clad Half Dollar Reverse Design Candidates


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  1. JBK says

    Many very interesting designs. Some of them served to remind me that the NPS does more than look after Yosemite and forests. Here in New England much of their presence is in mainaining certain historic houses and buildings.

  2. GoldFishin says

    2016- A little late now that the CCAC has made its recommendations. There were a few that would have made a nice coin, but I am out on this offering. Too many other goodies coming next year.

  3. Tinto says

    The CCAC already made their recommendations according to the Coinworld and if those are selected by the Secretary of the Treasury then I’m just buying the gold.

    What do musical instruments have to do with the NPS ? Maybe I’m behind the times on the NPS but ..,,,,

    And for the half, it would have been better IMO to use the design with the park ranger talking to the little girl (those are what I remember, talks given by park rangers to visitors) instead of a skeleton of a dinosaur … (are they trying to advertise a particular park or some parks where dinosaur bones were found?) which is more fitting to showcase a museum of natural history … JMO …..

  4. cagcrisp says

    Just took the Survey that Some mentioned Yesterday. Mine was about Platinum. Sorry, but IF you like Platinum, you did NOT get any Help from me…

  5. Larry says

    Looks like the a bare breast to me. Got to give the mint credit, that took guts. Of course it could change by the time it comes out.

  6. thePhelps says

    Well…. unlike this years Marshals offering… I am probably not going to spend a lot on these designs. I was underwhelmed by most of the designs, and can’t find a single half dollar that would work for me. That and the fact we are in the middle of a parks of America tour already with the ATB coins.

    I think I’ll do as others and save my cash for the anniversary releases and buy a bare minimum of these.

  7. oldfolkie says

    There are a few great designs for the gold coin, but that’s a small canvas
    for those detailed drawings. I’d much rather see some of those Muir and Roosevelt designs on the silver dollar. Truly disappointed

  8. oldfolkie says

    The more I look the more I am repulsed by almost all the silver dollar and half dollar designs, Roosevelt and Muir are so important in the history of the National Park Service why can’t they be on the silver dollar, and what’s with all the Native American designs for the dollar, I thought this was to honor the 100th anniversary of the Park service, so why not Stephen Mather and Horace Albright.? Selling out real history for political correctness is why so many of these coins are losers from the start.

  9. Tinto says


    Nope, but I think I see one in the group. But I still can’t believe the CCAC would choose a dinosaur ….

    I hope the final selection will be different for the dollar and half …. if not well I’ll save some money and maybe use it towards the 2016 gold specials or Mark Twain ..

  10. oldfolkie says

    I should have just put this and the last two together but I just checked the selections from Coin World and I can live with the gold coin, very nice, and even the half, very kid friendly; but the silver dollar design is pathetic–who the hell thinks of this kind of thing when they think of the National Parks–Hopefully the other “Art” committee will stick to the parks and their history as most Americans think of them and appreciate them and make it easy to skip over this other selection. Sad, but with the artwork they have to choose from the Silver Dollar sales will be abysmal.

  11. A Bob says

    I also do not like the $ and half designs. Not a chance of selling out with these proposed designs. Too bad.
    The Muir / Roosvelt design is too close to the MOD coin this year. Let’s beat that to death.

  12. Jerry Diekmann says

    Like Louis said, some of these we will love and some of these we will hate!

    Here’s my choices, for what it’s worth:

    Gold – the best designs of all the coins: obverse- O-03, O-05, O-10, or O-11; O-12 or O-13 if paired with R-01 or R-02; otherwise, R-03. Point – why the prominence of Devils, Tower in Wyoming on these coins. Yes, it was the first national MONUMENT (in 1906), but it was NOT the first national PARK. Besides, the depiction reminds me of the people standing in front of the tower in the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Finally, the design shows trees all around the tower. Yes, there are some trees, but Devils Tower is in NE Wyoming, on the high prairie.

    Silver dollare – mostly disappointing selections: obverse = O-04 or O-07. Reverse – NONE! Suggest they use one or more of the gold coin candidates for the silver dollar.

    Clad half dollar: O-08, O-09, or O-10. Reverse: R-09A orR-10. Again, the gold designs are better, and maybe one of those could be used. Dinosaurs? Yes, there is a Dinosaur National Monument in western Colorado, but we are supposed to be commemorating our national PARKS.

  13. Louis says

    Tinto- Yeah, the rumor is it will be announced tomorrow and happen in 2020. We will see if it’s true. I am fine with it.

  14. Ends in Error says

    Oh gawd. Some of the proposed designs feature hands. I really don’t like hands as art. Someone please run the hand artist off. Bad enough the MOD had a hand. Too much the Sisytoga will have hands. No more hands!

  15. John Roberts says

    I really like the designs for the gold dime, quarter and half dollar, especially the latter. Very happy that they stuck to the original designs instead of trying something funky. I will definitely be buying and I hope mintages for all three coins are limited.

  16. Jerry Diekmann says

    GoldFishin – If you are talking about the Albertosaurus on the Canadian coin, his right arm is hidden in his massive frame, but it’s there. If you’retalking about the dinosaur skeleton on the proposed US dollar coin, probably it was bitten off by the Albertosaurus!

  17. Jerry Diekmann says

    Larry – it would be the Mint’s greatest opportunity missed if these three dime-quarter-half dollar coins are not issued in silver. I wonder if there is anyone in Congress who would be bold enough, or care enough, to introduce legislation to strike these three coins in silver, the metal they were struck in 100 years ago, and the only metal they were struck in during their entire time they were minted. This is such a no-brainer i don’t know why the numismatic community is not taking a stronger approach in asking that these beautiful coins be struck in silver.

    Here’s another idea but it would probably be DOA in Congress. Suspend the current dime, quarter, and half dollar designs for 2016, and issue instead clad coins of the original designs from 1916 in 2016 only. This is the ONLY way the general public will ever see how beautiful our coins once were.

  18. Jerry Diekmann says

    Tinto – I’m all in favor in having a woman represented on one of our bills, but I thought they were going to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20.00 bill, not Alexander Hamilton on the $10.00 bill. In all fairness, Hamilton, like Washington and Lincoln, should remain on our federal reserve notes forever. Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury and he designed our nation’s coinage system. Also, far more $20.00 bills are printed than $10.00 bills. If we awant to portray a woman on one of our notes, then the logical choice should be to show her on the $20.00 bill.

    The next question is who should that woman be? Eleanor Roosevelt comes to mind, but I’m sure there are many other women deserving enough to be portrayed on one of our notes. What would be wrong with showing the face of the Statue of Liberty?

  19. Dustyroads says

    Stuart Bradley, I’ve been watching for that HH limit on the C&C sets, I think it’s fare. Those wanting to buy these better be alert and quick. If the Mint website is ever going to experience problems during heavy traffic, the 30th should be a good test.

  20. Larry says

    @Jerry Diekmann, I totally agree, the coins should be silver. I was so hoping for a proof silver Standing Liberty quarter. Also, the three gold coins will add up to 1.35 OZ of gold. That should put the price of the three coin set at about $2100.00 at today’s gold price. That is a lot for many of us.

  21. Eddie says

    I would very much like to see a silver set for the three coins. Plus a silver set makes more sense period.

  22. Jerry says

    Nothing really jumps out at me with any of these designs. Maybe our mint should incorporate the help of the people over at the British Royal Mint for some help . They seem to have it together.

  23. cagcrisp says

    Gold Jackie one week from Today….SO….Guess what? Gold Currently setting Above $1,200.00…Grrrr…..

  24. Larry says

    @ cagcrisp – you are right. I should have looked more closely at the coins. I was just thinking the half would be 3/4 OZ, like the Kennedy, and the quarter would be 1/2 OZ. So the set should be around $1340 using the American Eagles as a guide. That is much better. Good catch.

  25. cagcrisp says

    @Larry, I assumed the same thing that you did. Agreed, it will put all 3 coins in the Range of Many more people…

  26. Jamie Franki says

    I am so glad Mint News Coin Blog publishes such high res images of all the contestant designs and later releases info on committee discussion and vote. This is an excellent source for transparency in this Federal review. It’s also very cool for the forum to discuss the designs and selections thereafter. I generally find it takes several looks at a portfolio to really make all the cross references between potential obverses and reverses. When you look at these images and factor in the artistry the sculptor/engravers and finish add, I think what we get is pretty exciting .

  27. gary says

    I agree Jamie! There are some very masterful designs to select from here! The illustrations give a good resemblance as to depth of relief as well.

  28. Tinto says

    @Jerry Diekmann

    I think everyone here on MNB thought it was going to be on the $20, including the folks who petitioned for the inclusion of a woman.

    According to the article, it was the Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew who threw a curve into this by saying they were going with $10 because that one was up for a planned revision (or whatever they call it there). And even then he is saying they will somehow still have Hamilton on the bill …. or perhaps 2 $10 bill designs, one Hamilton one a woman ….

    I don’t think they wanted to change at all but chose this way out …. and the excuse that the $10 is due for change is lame IMO …. hopefully the next Treasury Secretary will not be so reluctant to change the $20 .. all IMO

  29. Jerry Diekmann says

    Tinto – then they could put Hamilton on the $20 bill! I can understand jackson’s place in history, and he was a great general and a strong President, and he brought the common man into Washington DC when the previous six presidents, honorable as they all were, came from the wealthy, land-owning class of Americans. He took on the big bad bank of the United States, something that some of our other more modern presidents should have been doing (but in all honesty, the Great recession was caused by Congress, not by any President). In any case, though, I think the time has come to move Jackson off the $20.00 bill. Or move him to the $50.00 bill and replace Grant, who was a great general, but his presidency is considered somewhat of a failure, not because of him, but because he was deceived and lied to by so many of his confidants. Grant was operating as a military man, where he expected people to tell him the truth and carry out his orders. Sadly for his presidency, the people he trusted while he was president were for the most part not worthy of the trust he placed in them. We have the same problem now, only it is slightly different – in this case we have had Congresses that are not worthy of the trust we American voters have placed in them. They are, like Grant’s confidants, evil stewards of the trust placed in them. Sorry – I guess I got off on a tangent. But keep Hamilton!

  30. Jerry Diekmann says

    Jamie Franki – Did you design one of the Westward Journey nickels that were minted in 2004 and 2005? Your name seems very familiar.

  31. Jamie Franki says

    Hi Jerry – yes, Bison nickel reverse in 2005, and the Jefferson 1800 nickel obverse which has been struck since 2006.

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