Reverse design candidates for 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters were revealed and reviewed, but the final selection of which five will actually be used has not been announced. The 2014-dated coins will mark the 21st through the 25th issues in the ATB series.
The final five selected from the design candidates will not only appear on next year’s America the Beautiful Quarters, but also on the collectible 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins and investment-grade 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. These are the larger, three-inch diameter coins that are minted with five ounces of 99.9% pure silver.
2014 America the Beautiful Quarter reverse designs will represent these selected national sites:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee,
- Shenandoah National Park in Virginia,
- Arches National Park in Utah,
- Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, and
- Everglades National Park in Florida.
In all, 29 proposed designs offered up by the United States Mint were reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on November 21, 2012 and by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on November 27.
Design Candidates for the 2014 America the Beautiful Quarters and 5 Oz. Silver Coins
Below are images of the candidate designs plus a brief summary of the recommendations offered by the two review parties. Each of the design candidates may be enlarged by clicking on its image.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee)
With scenic mountains, black bears, log cabins, and much more, choosing just one iconic image of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park presents a challenge.
The CCAC rejected all four candidates, claiming the pieces had too much detail, and it recommended new designs with, "more balance between images and negative space and less fine detail as suitable for a quarter-dollar sized coin."
In order to receive approval though, a design must pass a 50% of the committee’s scoring process. The piece to come the closest was TN-01, featuring an adult bear with a cub, which garnered 13 of 30 possible points.
For the CFA, the choice was more straightforward.
It selected TN-03 because it "conveys the character of the park’s landscape."
In this rendition, a log cabin is nestled in front of forested trees with a line of mountains providing the backdrop.
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
Beauty abounds along the 105 miles of Skyline Drive that runs north and south through Shenandoah National Park, but it is perhaps the hikers who take in the most breathtaking views. Accordingly, the U.S. Mint drew a hiker in four of the five design candidates for the park.
Design VA-05 captured the CCAC’s vote with a score of 17 out of 30 and a recommendation to remove some of the extra details that it says detracts the focal point of the design, the top of Little Stony Man Mountain.
The CFA also selected VA-05, saying it was the "best drawing," but it too made a recommendation. It requested a study of the geometry of the road in background below the peak as it appeared uncharacteristically straight.
Arches National Park (Utah)
Artists at the Mint stepped up their efforts to capture the essence of Arches National Park with seven drawings. All seven feature a natural stone arch. The CCAC said that UT-02 earned 28 of 30 possible points with its "well executed" rendition of Delicate Arch found inside the park.
A different drawing won over the CFA. It was UT-01 that seemed to best feature a "legible landscape" for the scale of a coin.
Great Sand Dunes National Park (Colorado)
Also having seven design candidates was the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The CCAC, however, did not select one because it felt the designs would not scale down well on a metal coin. Image CO-03 scored a 9 of 30 possible points, which was the highest of the group. The committee recommended all new designs.
As for the CFA, it recommended CO-06, which showcases many tall sand dunes in the background and flat country before it.
Per the commission’s letter, the design, "best conveys a distinction between the foreground, midground, and background landscapes."
Everglades National Park (Florida)
Although Everglades National Park spans nearly 1.5 million acres, design artists chose to focus attention on the park’s history, endangered species, and iconic birds. For the CCAC, design FL-04 was selected after garnering 20 of 30 possible points. In its favor, the design showcases an anhinga with outstretched wings, but the committee also recommended removing some of the clouds and foliage.
Design FL-04 was also the selection from the CFA. It felt the drawing was "the most evocative of the park."
It too requested the removal of the clouds in the background.
Next Step in the Design Selection Process
Armed with these recommendations, the process will move forward and eventually the U.S. Secretary of Treasury will make the final 2014 America the Beautiful Quarter and five ounce coin design selections.
If the tradition holds, the five design winners will be unveiled by the U.S. Mint in December 2013.