The U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarter design candidates for 2011 have been released and appraised by Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The CCAC is one of the entities responsible for reviewing all US coinage and medal designs.
The CCAC serves, according to its Web site, as "an informed, experienced and impartial resource to the Secretary of the Treasury and represents the interests of American citizens and collectors." The Treasury Secretary is the ultimate authority, and makes the final selections for all the new quarter-dollars, as well as other coins.
The body looked at 18 design proposals for the five 2011 quarters, which honor Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, Glacier National Park in Montana, Olympic National Park in Washington, Vicksburg National Military Park in Mississippi, and Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Oklahoma.
The following are the CCAC recommendations for the 2011 America the Beautiful Quarters:
Gettysburg National Military Park Quarter Designs
For the Pennsylvania quarter reverse, several CCAC members preferred design PA-01 depicting the 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument. But there were several who were not thrilled with any of the options, and would have liked themes relating to the Battle of Gettysburg. On that note and by a vote of 7-2, the committee asked the US Mint to consider soliciting more designs, suggesting that the themes could be "symbolic in nature, to convey the importance of Gettysburg National Military Park to our Nation.”
Glacier National Park Quarter Designs
For the Montana quarter reverse, design candidate MT-03 was the unanimous choice by the nine committee members. The selected design depicts a mountain goat in the foreground atop jagged rocks overlooking slopes in Glacier National Park. The CCAC concluded the design would "translate into a very appealing coin."
Olympic National Park Quarter Designs
For the Washington quarter reverse, the CCAC was again in complete agreement. Members preferred design candidate WA-01, finding it "compelling." The design depicts a Roosevelt elk in the foreground with a view of Mount Olympus in the background.
Vicksburg National Military Park Quarter Designs
For the Mississippi quarter reverse, design candidate MS-02 was strongly preferred by committee members. Depicting the Civil War era U.S.S. Cairo on the Mississippi River, the CCAC felt it has the "virtue of showcasing the historical significance of the Navy in the Civil War."
Chickasaw National Recreation Area Quarter Designs
For the Oklahoma quarter reverse, committee members favored design candidate OK-01, and voiced special appreciation for the "foreground foliage." The image depicts Buffalo Springs amid its stone spillway. Some members did have concern as to whether the human figure within the scene would be noticeable when scaled down to the size of a quarter.
The obverse of each quarter-dollar continues to feature George Washington’s portrait, as it has done since 1932.