The United States Mint on Thursday, December 8, released line art imagery of the final designs for the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters®. They include four national park quarter designs and one featuring a national forest. The five quarters are due to be released at intervals into circulation next year.
The release official reveals the designs chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury for use on the reverse sides of the 2012 circulating quarters from many candidates presented by the United States Mint. The four 2012 National Park Quarter and one National Forest Quarter honor five different sites of national interest and marks the third year of releases for the program. Sites honored in 2012 under the America the Beautiful Quarters Program include:
- El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico,
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park of New Mexico,
- Acadia National Park of Maine,
- Hawaii Volcanoes National Park of Hawaii and
- Denali National Park and Preserve of Alaska.
In total, twenty-four different design candidates had been presented to the Secretary of the Treasury along with final recommendations by the United States Mint. From those candidates, which included four to five for each of the quarters to be released next year, a final selection was chosen by the Secretary.
Previous to that decision, however, the candidate designs were offered for review by both the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA). In addition, liaisons from the federal entities responsible for overseeing the honored sites along with the Secretary of the Interior and the chief executive of the states or territories to be honored during the year were also conferred with during the process. Those suggestions and comments were compiled before the final selections were made.
The obverse of each quarter contains the same image of George Washington, as dictated by the authorizing legislation (Public Law 110-456, America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008). The portrait of the first President of the United States was originally designed by John Flanagan for the 1932 circulating quarter dollar.
Descriptions of the final designs for the four 2012 National Park Quarter and 2012 National Forest Quarter are offered below:
El Yunque National Forest Quarter
Shown on the reverse of the El Yunque National Forest Quarter is a design showcasing both the flora and the fauna of the forest. Shown amidst the tropical flora of the area are a Coqui tree frog and a Puerto Rican parrot.
The reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Gary Whitley and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. Also included on the reverse will be the inscriptions of EL YUNQUE, PUERTO RICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Chaco Culture National Park Quarter
The reverse of the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter offers a view of the park. This includes two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Ketl Complex along with the north wall of Chetro Ketl as well as the north wall of the canyon
Reverse inscriptions on the strike include CHACO CULTURE, NEW MEXICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. Artist of record for the design is AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and it was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
Acadia National Park Quarter
The Acadia National Park Quarter will offer a glimpse of the park on the reverse of the strike with an image of Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse. The lighthouse is shown as it really is, on the edge of the park’s rugged coastline.
This reverse was designed by AIP Associate Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. It will also include the inscriptions of ACADIA, MAINE, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter
An eruption of Kilauea Volcano is offered on the reverse of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter. The scene is shown as if occurring from the east rift of the volcano.
United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers completed both the design and the sculpting for this reverse. Inscriptions will include HAWAI’I VOLCANOES, HAWAII, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Denali National Park and Preserve Quarter
The Denali National Park and Preserve Quarter shows both the breathtaking scenery of the park as well as animal life. Shown on the reverse will be a Dall sheep. In the background, iconic Mount McKinley is shown.
AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble designed the reverse which was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz. Reverse inscriptions will include DENALI, ALASKA, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.