Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy, U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, Congressman Mike Castle and Under Secretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources and the Environment Harris Sherman in revealing coin designs for the five 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters, which honor America’s four oldest registered national parks and one national site.
2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Designs
"Today we celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and natural heritage of America the Beautiful, by commemorating our country’s most treasured places on our currency" Salazar said.
"When people come across one of these quarters, they will see the word ‘Liberty’ on one side and a national park, refuge, or forest on the other. They will know that Americans cherish these things dearly and desire to share both the freedom and the beauty of our land with all who likewise cherish them."
This is the inaugural year for the America Beautiful Quarters Program with featured coins honoring 56 parks and sites from each state, D.C. and U.S. territories. Specifically, through 11 years, 48 National Park sites, two U.S. Fish and Wildlife sites, and six U.S. Forest Service sites will be commemorated with unique reverse quarter designs. The order in which a site was first placed under the care of the federal government dictates when it will be honored.
According to the design selection process, it was Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the U.S. Mint who selected the specific sites for each location. These were based on recommendations from the governor or chief executive of each. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner approved the list of sites on August 25, 2009.
Up for honors this year is Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Yosemite National Park in California, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon.
Hot Springs was established as Hot Springs Reservation in 1832 only to later became a national park. Yellowstone was established in 1872 as the first national park, followed by Yosemite in 1890 and the Grand Canyon in 1893.
Until today, only 19 2010 quarter candidate designs were available to the public, with three proposed designs for Yellowstone, and four each for Hot Spring, Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Mt. Hood.
Various individuals, like the Interior Secretary, and the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) offered their recommendations and reviews for each candidate design. The final five 2010 quarter reverse designs were selected by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner after receiving recommendations from U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy.
"Through America the Beautiful Quarters coins, we will be transported to national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, part of a vast public land legacy belonging to all Americans-natural and cultural treasures protected for our recreation, relaxation, education, inspiration and transformation," Director Moy said at the unveiling ceremony.
The obverse or heads side of each coin bears a restored version of the historic George Washington portrait, which was first featured on the quarter-dollar in 1932. William Cousins modified that design slightly and his work has been seen on quarters since the 1999 launch of the 50 State Quarters® Program.
Congress passed the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, which authorized the series. The act was introduced on June 4, 2008, by Rep. Mike Castle. Castle also spearheaded the popular 50 States Quarters Program which the US Mint projected had earned the government $6.2 billion dollars. Former President Bush signed the act on Dec. 23, 2008, and it became Public Law 110-456.
Along with circulating coins, the United States Mint will strike a series of collectable quarter products each year, as well as five-ounce silver duplicates of the quarters called America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins.
The following America the Beautiful quarters design descriptions were taken directly from a US Mint press release provided after the unveiling ceremony:
2010 America the Beautiful Quarters Designs
The image on the reverse (tails side) of the Hot Springs National Park quarter depicts the facade of the Hot Springs National Park headquarters building with a fountain in the foreground. The headquarters was built in the Spanish colonial revival style and completed in 1936. The National Park Service emblem is featured to the right of the door. Inscriptions are HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The image on the reverse of the Yellowstone National Park quarter features the Old Faithful geyser with a mature bull bison in the foreground. Inscriptions are YELLOWSTONE, WYOMING, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The image on the reverse of the Yosemite National Park quarter depicts the iconic El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor and is the largest monolith of granite in the world. Inscriptions are YOSEMITE, CALIFORNIA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The image on the reverse of the Grand Canyon National Park quarter features a view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta in Marble Canyon near the Colorado River. Marble Canyon is the northernmost section of the Grand Canyon. Granaries were used for storing food and seeds (A.D. 500). Inscriptions are GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The image on the reverse of the Mount Hood National Forest quarter depicts a view of Mount Hood with Lost Lake in the foreground. Inscriptions are MOUNT HOOD, OREGON, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
More information may also be found on the US Mint site at: http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/atb/.