The United States Mint has unveiled design candidates for the 2016 America the Beautiful Quarters and companion 2016 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins.
These quarters and coins mark the 7th year in their related series and the 31st through 35th releases. Designs are emblematic of the following five sites of national interest:
- Shawnee National Forest of Illinois
- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park of Kentucky
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park of West Virginia
- Theodore Roosevelt National Park of North Dakota
- Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) of South Carolina
Artists created several designs candidates for each. After reviews by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), which are now complete, the U.S. Mint will eventually make recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury who is tasked with selecting final coin designs. Of note, these candidates appear more than a year and three months before any of the coins will be issued.
Images of the Design Candidates for 2016 ATB Quarters and 5 Oz Silver Coins
The CFA completed their review of the designs on Sept. 18 while the CCAC reviewed them on Sept. 23. Their recommendations are below along with images of the design candidates. Also included are brief narratives of each design as provided by the United States Mint.
Shawnee National Forest (Illinois)
Design 1 (IL-01) depicts a young girl climbing the stairway cut into rock near Bell Smith Springs.
There was no design 2 (IL-02) submitted.
Design 3 (IL-03) depicts Camel Rock, the most popular and iconic rock formation at Shawnee National Forest.
Design 4 (IL-04) depicts a close view of Camel Rock with natural vegetation in the foreground and a red-tailed hawk soaring in the sky overhead.
Design 5 (IL-05) also depicts a close view of Camel Rock with natural vegetation in the foreground.
Design 6 (IL-06) depicts Devil’s Smokestack, one of the rock features at Shawnee National Forest.
Design 7 (IL-07) depicts an overview of Camel Rock, showing the full shape of the formation.
Selected: The CCAC recommended design 4 (IL-04) while the CFA preferred design 7 (IL-07).
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (Kentucky)
Design 1 (KY-01) features a series of footprints symbolizing the journey through Cumberland Gap, the "first great gateway to the west." Cumberland Gap was first used by animals, then by Native Americans, frontiersmen, and eventually hundreds of pioneers as a gateway through the Cumberland Mountains. The additional inscription reads First Doorway to the West.
Design 2 (KY-02) features a frontiersman gazing across the mountains to the West. Many pioneers used Cumberland Gap on their journey into the western frontiers of Kentucky and Tennessee. The additional inscription reads First Doorway to the West.
Design 3 (KY-03) features Indian Rock, a large isolated boulder that became a landmark many animals and humans have passed by as they traveled through Cumberland Gap. It is reputed to be a spot from which people were ambushed; it bears scratches and messages from settlers passing through; it has been a waylaying station and a grave marker; and it also served as a billboard along the Dixie Highway, which historically led travelers through the Gap.
There was no design 4 (KY-04) submitted.
Design 5 (KY-05) shows a view from the Pinnacle Overlook at Cumberland Gap. While the overlook itself is located in Virginia, the figure in the foreground looks into Kentucky. Fern Lake is visible in the background.
Design 6 (KY-06) depicts a white-tailed deer with the Cumberland Gap in the background.
Selected: The CCAC preferred design 2 (KY-02) while the CFA chose design 6 (KY-06).
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (West Virginia)
Design 1 (WV-01) features a hand clutching a rifle emerging from the stylized water with a gear in the background. Water was the source of power for the industrial revolution. As such, the location of Harpers Ferry, where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers converged, was key to its development. The rivers were used to power the equipment at the United States Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry.
Design 2 (WV-02) is similar to design 1 including a hand clutching a rifle emerging from the stylized water with a gear in the background.
Design 3 (WV-03) depicts John Brown’s Fort, a building originally used as a fire engine and guard house for the armory at Harpers Ferry. During John Brown’s Raid, Brown, an abolitionist, took refuge in the building. The building was the only Armory building to escape destruction during the Civil War.
Design 4 (WV-04) shows two circling hawks as they fly over Jefferson Rock, a historic overlook at Harpers Ferry.
Design 5 (WV-05) also shows the hawks and Jefferson Rock but includes a replica of Thomas Jefferson’s signature.
Design 5A (WV-05A) is similar to design 5 but features less background detail.
Design 6 (WV-06) features an overview of Harpers Ferry. The image includes the historic iron bridge crossing the Potomac River and the confluence of the Potomac with the Shenandoah rivers. The steep cliffs and canopy of trees surround the historic town center.
Design 7 (WV-07) features John Brown’s Fort, the site of John Brown’s last stand during his raid on the Armory.
Selected: The CCAC recommended design 7 (WV-07) and the CFA preferred design 6 (WV-07).
Theodore Roosevelt National Park (ND)
Design 1 (ND-01) features a young Theodore Roosevelt as he surveys the badlands terrain at an area near the Little Missouri River. Roosevelt is shown mounted on a horse.
Design 2 (ND-02) offers a similar background of the badlands terrain and the Little Missouri River as design 1, but shows Theodore Roosevelt standing instead of on a horse.
Design 3 (ND-03) also has the badlands terrain and Little Missouri River in the background but depicts Theodore Roosevelt with his hand shading his eyes as he gazes off in the distance.
Design 4 (ND-04) depicts Theodore Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin.
There was no design 5 through design 7 submitted.
Design 8 (ND-08) also depicts Theodore Roosevelt’s Maltese Cross Cabin.
Design 9 (ND-09) shows three sandhill cranes as they fly over the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Selected: The CCAC preferred design 1 (ND-01), with a motion to adjust the position of the head at the border. The CFA also selected this design.
Fort Moultrie – Fort Sumter National Monument (SC)
Design 1 (SC-01) depicts the distinctive silver crescent worn by the 2nd South Carolina Regiment that garrisoned Fort Moultrie in its 1776 victory over the British. The silver crescent was inscribed with the word LIBERTY. It is set against a single palmetto frond, representing the use of the palmetto in the construction of the Fort.
Design 2 (SC-02) shows Sergeant Jasper as he plants the Regimental Flag on the ramparts of Fort Moultrie. The additional inscription reads LIBERTY.
Design 3 (SC-03) depicts Sergeant Jasper as he waves the Regimental Flag as bombs from British ships explode in front of him.
Design 4 (SC-04) shows a cannon from the Revolutionary War period as used at Fort Moultrie in 1776. The palmetto trees in the background are those used to build the fort. The open crescent in the sky is depicted as it was on the original 2nd Regimental Flag of 1776.
Design 5 (SC-05) offers Sergeant Jasper clasping the Regimental Flag. Cannon fire from British ships flies through the air and explodes on the beach around him.
Design 6 (SC-06) depicts Sergeant Jasper as he recovers the Regimental Flag and returns it to the ramparts while a British ship continues its attack.
Design 7 (SC-07) shows Sergeant Jasper planting the Regimental Flag and holding it firm as the British ships continue to bomb the fort.
Selected: The CCAC recommended design 6 (SC-06) while the CFA chose design 5 (SC-05).
America the Beautiful Quarters and Coins
2016 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins and 2016 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins are struck from 99.9% pure silver and feature diameters of three inches. The uncirculated series is sold directly to the public by the United States Mint with the bullion coins sold through the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers.
America the Beautiful Quarters, and companion silver coins, debuted in 2010. There are five new designs annually. Each honors a different site of national interest with one site chosen from each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories.