The US Mint provided several design candidates for each of the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters that will be released honoring Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Yosemite National Park in California, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon.
America the Beautiful Quarter designs rotate at a rate of five per year and must be emblematic of “the national park or other national site in each host jurisdiction deemed most appropriate in terms of natural or historic significance.” As stated, there are several designs created for each park/site quarter and a review process to help select the best.
Part of the review process requires that the US Mint provide quarter designs to the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), before they are given to the Secretary of the Treasury who is responsible for making the final selection, as per America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 which authorized the coins. The following are the candidates provided.
The CFA chose the quarter design featuring the doorway of the main Park’s building with a fountain in front of it, designated as AR-02. The CCAC opted for just an image of a fountain, designated as AR-04.
The Advisory Committee selected an image of a bison in the foreground with the Old Faithful Geyser in the background, designated as design candidate WY-01. The Commission of Fine Arts rejected all submissions.
The CCAC preferred and chose design CA-03 depicting El Capitan. The CFA selected design candidate CA-04 which depicts the granite Half Dome, but did recommended adjustments.
The CFA and CCAC favored an image showing the Colorado River winding through a detailed canyon wall, depicted on quarter design candidate AZ-01. However, since the Grand Canyon was also featured on the Arizona Quarter in 2008, the CFA asked for several adjustments.
A design featuring a rippling lake surrounded by pine trees in front of the beautiful Mount Hood, as depicted on quarter design candidate OR-3, was recommended by both the CFA and CCAC.