America the Beautiful Quarters
A new generation of coins began in 2010 with America the Beautiful Quarters®. The U.S. Mint series is now in its fourth year with five new designs for 2013.
The quarters program features annually changing designs similar to the 50 States Quarters Program and the 2009 D.C. & U.S. Territories Quarters Program, but the new coins honor national parks and national sites throughout the United States and its territories. The coins are minted for circulation, with special proof, uncirculated and silver versions struck for collectors.
To quickly find information about specific America the Beautiful Quarters by location, simply hover on the site area of the map below and then click to jump to details about coin.
As the map above suggests, the new circulating quarters commemorate a historic national park or national site within each:
Unlike the first program that lasted ten years and the second which ran for one, American the Beautiful Quarters will be issued for 11 years and end with a single release in 2021.
Through the years, the United States Mint will strike a total of 56 different reverse (tails side) designs, as authorized by America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.
This 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.
"Since the launch of the successful 50 State Quarters Program 10 years ago, I have been thinking about a follow up program." Castle said after his bill was signed by Bush. "I am encouraged that this program has the potential to be every bit as successful as its predecessor-both as an educational tool and as a collector’s item."
It was the US Mint that officially dubbed the series name, the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. Public Law 110-456 provides the guidelines for America the Beautiful Quarters, and a couple of interesting clauses. One gives the Secretary of the Treasury the authority in 2018 (year 9 of the program) to extend the series for an additional 11 years. The other dictates that the US Mint strike "exact duplicates" of the quarters in .999 fine silver. These America the Beautiful Silver Coins weigh 5.0 ounces and have a diameter of 3.0 inches, or double that of the old Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars.
The America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Series Act of 2008 provides appropriate design criteria.
As also outline by the US Mint, the reverses (tails side) of America the Beautiful Quarters must be emblematic and:
"honor the national park or other national site in each host jurisdiction deemed most appropriate in terms of natural or historic significance."
The reverse or "tails side" design and selection process can be quite involved. The Federal entity responsible for the supervision, management, or conservancy of each national site appoints a liaison to "assist the United States Mint by identifying source materials for candidate designs."
Using the provided materials and in a cooperation with the liaison, the United States Mint produces three to five candidates per design for a year’s America the Beautiful Quarters..
These are submitted for review and comment to:
- The Secretary of the Interior
- The chief executive of the host jurisdiction (State/District of Columbia/Territory)
- The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA)
- The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for review and comment.
The United States Mint at its discretion makes changes and submits the quarter design recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury, who then makes a final selection.
The obverse or "heads side" design of each America the Beautiful Quarter features a restored version of the George Washington portrait that debuted 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. The new portrait includes, according to a US Mint statement, "subtle details and the beauty of the original model."
The United States Mint announced the 56 national parks and national sites to be honored back on September 9, 2009.
The selection, as determined by law, was made by Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner on August 25, 2009, after "consultation with the governor or chief executive of each host jurisdiction and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar," the US Mint said on the day of the announcement.
As mentioned, 2013 marks the fourth year of the American the Beautiful Quarters series. Designs on the coins honor:
White Mountain National Forest (New Hampshire) – Featured on the reverse is a design by Phebe Hemphill. It depicts Mount Chocorua, the easternmost peak of the Sandwich Range, framed by birch trees. Inscriptions include WHITE MOUNTAIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (Ohio) – Designed by Don Everhart, the reverse shows the statue of Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry with the Peace Memorial located in the distance. Inscriptions include PERRY’S VICTORY, OHIO, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Great Basin National Park (Nevada) – Designed by Ronald D. Sanders, the reverse depicts the beauty and unique qualities of a single Bristlecone Pine tree and the rocky glacial moraines where they grow. Inscriptions include GREAT BASIN, NEVADA, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Maryland) – Designed by Joseph Menna, the reverse represents the site during the "Defenders Day" celebration, the centerpiece annual event held at Fort McHenry. The fireworks symbolize the "rocket’s red glare," linking the fort to its historic past. Inscriptions include FORT McHENRY, MARYLAND, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial (South Dakota) – Also designed by Joseph Menna, this reverse is inspired by photos of men who are adding the final details to Thomas Jefferson’s face. Inscriptions include MOUNT RUSHMORE, SOUTH DAKOTA, 2013 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The US Mint created a National Site Registry listing the order for the quarters, which was based on when a site was first established as a national park or site. (See the Quarters Release Schedule.)
As in previous quarter-dollar programs, circulating-quality coins are struck by the United States Mint, shipped through the Federal Reserve banking system, and then make their way into daily change.
The US Mint also offers options to order circulation strike America the Beautiful Quarters in bags and rolls. The collector proof and uncirculated coins will be available throughout each year, and directly from the Mint.
Public Law 110-456 does provide an option for the Director of the National Park Service to purchase the silver bullion duplicates for resale. The main distribution for these will be through the US Mint’s authorized dealers.