In a ceremony that took less than an hour to complete, the United States Mint today (March 24, 2010) officially unveiled the first five designs for the new America the Beautiful Quarters Program.
US Mint Director Ed Moy hosted several dignitaries to the event including Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, U.S. Representative Mike Castle, U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios, writer and producer Dayton Duncan and Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman.
All were given time to speak and all praised the new program and the results it might achieve.
"Through America the Beautiful Quarters coins,” stated Mint Director Ed Moy “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."
The final designs were unveiled for the upcoming 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters, which include strikes honoring 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.
Before today, interested individuals had only the 19 design candidates released last year upon which to speculate what the final coins might look like (see 2010 Quarter Design Candidates) Of these candidates, there were four each for all of the parks except for Yellowstone which only had three submissions.
The Hot Springs Quarter features an image of a Spanish Colonial revival style facade of the Hot Springs National Park headquarters building. A fountain is shown in the foreground. Except for some minor changes, the design is similar to design candidate AR-02 first seen last year. The quarter will be released on April 19, 2010, with an official ceremony held at the park on April 20, 2010.
Yellowstone’s Quarter is based on release candidate WY-01 and shows a mature bull bison (American Buffalo) in front of the Old Faithful Geyser. In the background, another bison can be seen along with the landscape of the area. The quarter is scheduled for release in June 2010.
For the Yosemite quarter strike, design candidate CA-03 was used with 3,000 plus foot El Capitan towering in the background. The largest monolith of granite in the world is shown with multiple trees in the foreground. The quarter is scheduled for release in July 2010.
Grand Canyon’s quarter is a recreation of design candidate AZ-01 which shows the winding Colorado River. To each side, detailed canyon walls can be seen. The quarter is scheduled for release in September 2010.
Design candidate OR-03 was used for the Mount Hood Quarter. It shows the massive mountain with Lost Lake in front of it. The quarter is scheduled for release in November 2010.
All of the coins will appear this year with the Hot Springs Quarter due for release on April 19, 2010. The four remaining strikes will appear at intervals in the following months.
"Today we celebrate the breathtaking landscapes and natural heritage of ‘America the Beautiful,’ by commemorating our country’s most treasured places on our currency," Secretary 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."
In total, 56 new quarter dollars featuring sites of national interest will be minted through the program which will run until 2021.