The United States Mint unveiled images of the final designs for the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters. Although the images at this point are artwork displaying the designs, exceptional detail is shown. The 2012 quarters celebrate the following national sites: El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii and Denali National Park in Alaska.
The coins represent the third year for the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program which feature five new designs annually on the coins’ reverses that are emblematic of selected national sites in every state, U.S. territory, and the District of Columbia (D.C.). The program started in 2010 and will end in 2021. The designs are being released in the order that the sites were first placed under the care of the federal government.
2012 America the Beautiful Quarters designs were chosen after a thorough review by multiple parties. A total of 24 design candidates were drawn by United States Mint artists with the help of source materials from a liaison from each of the four national parks and the El Yunque National Forest. The liaison also had to ensure each design accurately represented the site. All 24 line art drawings were published in October 2010.
Each proposed design was reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), the Secretary of the Interior, and the chief executive of the host jurisdiction (state, territory, D.C.). Their selections or recommendations were reviewed by the United States Mint in case changes needed to be made. Lastly, the Secretary of the Treasury made the final five selections.
The following are the selected line art designs of the quarters in the order of their 2012 release. Quarter release dates are also provided.
El Yunque National Forest Quarter Design
Two iconic inhabitants grace the reverse of the El Yunque National Forest Quarter. The Coqui tree frog and a Puerto Rican parrot are featured in their tropical environment. Inscriptions are EL YUNQUE, PUERTO RICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The reverse design was created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Gary Whitley and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.
The El Yunque National Forest Quarter release date is on January 23.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter Design
From AD 850 to 1250, the area now known as Chaco Canyon in Chaco Culture National Historical Park was a major center of Puebloan culture, so it was fitting to feature it in the design for the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter.
The United States Mint described the reverse by saying it "illustrates a view to the west of two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Ketl Complex. The design also shows the north wall of Chetro Ketl and the north wall of the canyon."
Inscriptions are CHACO CULTURE, NEW MEXICO, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Capturing the essence of the area was done by AIP Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.
The Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter release date is on April 2.
Acadia National Park Quarter Design
The lighthouse theme on the reverse of the Acadia National Park Quarter is sure to win the hearts of lighthouse enthusiasts far beyond the state of Maine. The image depicts Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse nestled amongst some pine trees on the edge of Acadia’s rocky coastline. Inscriptions are ACADIA, MAINE, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
Credit for the design goes to AIP Associate Designer Barbara Fox. It was sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.
The Acadia National Park Quarter release date is on June 11.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Quarter Design
On the reverse of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter is an erupting volcano cone with lava shooting straight up, a depiction the United States Mint describes as the east rift of Kilauea Volcano. Inscriptions are HAWAI’I VOLCANOES,HAWAII, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers designed and sculpted the image.
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter release date is on August 27.
Denali National Park and Preserve Quarter Design
The chosen line art for the Denali National Park Quarter features a Dall sheep with Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, in the background. Inscriptions are DENALI, ALASKA, 2012 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The designer was AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and the sculptor was United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz.
The Denali National Park Quarter release date is on November 5.
All of the above America the Beautiful Quarter designs will not only be seen on the circulating coins but also on collector strikes and within multiple sets offered by the United States Mint. Plus, the designs will be seen on the five ounce America the Beautiful Silver Coins — in bullion and collector uncirculated strikes.