Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Saturday, October 3, 2009

2010 America the Beautiful Quarter Designs

Next year the new America the Beautiful Quarters series will begin. The series will feature five different reverse designs depicting National Parks or sites, paired with a restored obverse portrait of George Washington. With the coming year now less than three months away, the US Mint recently released images of some of the design candidates for next year's quarters.

The five quarters scheduled to be released during 2010 will feature
-Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas
-Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
-Yosemite National Park in California
-Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona
-Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon
The slide show below presents the design candidates for each location.

Find more photos like this on Coin Network - Coin Collecting Social Network

Personally, I have a difficult time mustering much enthusiasm for the designs. Some of them come across as desolate landscapes (in reality, I am sure they are breathtaking views of natural beauty). Some of the designs include animals, which seem to become the focus of attention and make the National Park merely seem like the background. During the course of the 12 year series, I also think that some designs will be difficult to differentiate based on the image- on the size of a quarter, one mountain or forest might look the same as any other.

On a more positive note, some of the designs have taken focus on a single element that can be representative for the location presented. I think the artists should try for this type of presentation whenever possible.

Any reader comments on the designs are welcomed in the comments section below.

Over at Coin Update News, you can read about the CFA's design recommendations and also get a collector's perspective on the series, which draws some comparisons between the upcoming America the Beautiful Quarters and the previous 50 State Quarters series.

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At October 3, 2009 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous Dave said...

I have mixed feelings about the America the Beautiful series of coins. I love and support the fact that we have so many beautiful national parks and monuments. But like the Territory series of this year, the America the Beautiful concept just rides the coat tails of the State quarter series. Just seems like pure marketing.

It’s coming though, so designs need to be selected. As alluded to in the article I think it’s going to be difficult to come up with designs that set each quarter apart from the others and not make it look like just another mountain or valley. For the Yellowstone qtr, I think it should incorporate Old Faithful and the Old Faithful Inn – as the one design does. Bison are not unique to Yellowstone. Yes, I know it has the only original wild herd that’s left, but they can be found elsewhere. I’m surprised though that there isn’t an entry for Yellowstone showing the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. That is truly a breathtaking view.

At October 3, 2009 at 2:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I kind of hate the fact that some of these incorporate man-made structures into the design. They should be focusing on the natural beauty of these places, not the tourist infrastructure that's been built up around them.

At October 3, 2009 at 2:32 PM , Anonymous vaughnster said...

It's amazing how most of these designs lack any sort of artistry. I know it's the back of a quarter, but the Mt. Hood designs are the worst. Why not have some clouds around it instead of a blank background? Can anyone at the Mint show some creativity? I'm actually watching the park series on PBS as I write this and realize what a bad idea the quarters program will be and most people will not be able to distinguish one from another. It will be a long 12 years.....

At October 3, 2009 at 3:15 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

A memory of the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon stands out: We were a group of students who decided to make a trip across the Canyon. So excited were we that we had a pass for 6 but ended up a group of 8 (friends of friends...). We were on our way down when we were stopped by the rangers who asked to see our pass. Well, 8 on a pass for 6 is a no-no. They asked two of us to leave the park before midnight that day. No compromises. Their explanation was that they were losing money. We decided to leave together. We made it to the Colorado river and started back up. We reached the rim late at night totally exhausted. Typical backpacks weighed 50 lbs with our equipment. SO! I am seriously thinking of passing on this coin series.

At October 3, 2009 at 4:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shame on you! Do you expect our government to every give you (as a taxpayer) anything for free. I heard that they did the exact same thing to several people touring the General Motors facility.

Seriously, I think the various quarter series are getting a little old. In my case, that usually means that these quarters will be worth a lot someday because I am not planning to intentionally buy them. Take heed.

At October 3, 2009 at 4:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The concept is a great. Just on the wrong coin. A silver dollar proof would be the way to go. Look at those Chinese Olympic silver proof coins from last year. Landmarks and cultural themes are fantastic on them. For us the decision has been made that it will be quarters so lets hope for the best, cast your vote or comment, and move on.

At October 3, 2009 at 6:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, the good news, as far as I'm concerned at least, is that the new quarters are one group of coins that I won't bother myself buying, collecting, supporting, or fretting over whether I can get on-line to order any.

Of the first group shown in Michaels original post, only the "bison" appears as a no contest shoe-in. Americans just the love the 'Buffalo' and any coin containing its image. All the others just aren't worth a tinkers dam to me. JMO.

At October 4, 2009 at 8:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of them are ugly. Some of them will look much better on the large silver bullion coins/fat tokens though. I can't believe they are going to make 5 oz. silver bullion coins. What was wrong with 1 oz versions? Oh that's right they want to make it even more expensive for collectors. In the meantime, not use the extra silver to keep making silver eagles. Seriously, who makes these decisions? What a complete joke.

Even though I don't want to see more presidents on coins, it would have been only right to put Theodore Roosevelt on this series. The US mint continues it's tradition of failure and disgusting modern coinage.

At October 4, 2009 at 9:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the 5 oz. silver pieces, during a worldwide recession where even formerly well-off people are struggling financially, what imbecile thought the "collecting public" could afford a 5 oz item? Most can just about afford a few small 1 oz. bullion items, in proof or Unc. Not everyone is working, not retired on Social Security, or have big bank balances making them able to afford continuation of collecting annual bullion pieces. Oh well, another Mint item I won't be chasing. Good luck to those who can. - Sad, but realistic dad.

At October 4, 2009 at 9:21 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some how I get the feeling that our government and the grading companies are getting together to support the rip off of average Americans by marketing this crap.At some point and time.I think the average Americans will wake up and stop supporting these idiotic notions.

The only people who make out on these coins are the people mass grading with high grades that shouldn't have made the grade.Grading companies are clearly showing favoritism to these so called mass grading authorized dealers.So in the end what you have is people trying to get their so called registry sets updated.When they ever try to resell their so called registry sets.They will be the big losers.

Only the US Mint,The grading companies,and The authorized dealers will be laughing at these losers all the way to the bank.Don't get caught in this trap.It is a gimmick.A marketing approach that has changed coin collecting for the worse in my opinion.So you can either get in good with the Grading companies and rip people off.Or you can be the poor sole that gets ripped off by them.Good Luck in your adventures on this series.I think it will be the straw that broke the camels back and will make coin collecting go down hill.

At October 4, 2009 at 12:15 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

All the negative comments are proof that many of these quarters won't be hoarded making the mintages of nice graded coins low. The few that do collect the series, I believe, will 'eventually' we rewarded. All it takes is one of the 56 coins to be a big winner to get others on board in trying to collect the whole series.

At October 4, 2009 at 12:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with the posts commenting on the 5 Oz + high cost. This is an extended recession, with growing unemployment, and economic pressure coming in from all sides. If they pass the health care legislation, and start fining people who can't afford health insurance in the first place, coins will be the least of our worries.

At October 4, 2009 at 1:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

2012 is coming quicker then anyone will be ready for.All coins will be worthless by then.Sell all your coins now before it is to late.keep all your gold and silver.But this modern day bull crap these scumbags are marketing will be worthless.You can count on that much by 2012.That means the quarters too Lasloo

At October 4, 2009 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stated opinions on this board regarding the National Parks series of quarters has been overwhelmingly negative. But, do you really believe everyone on here and what they say? Some of them are bound to change their tune when the coins start showing up in circulation. In the end, we as collectors can't seem to HELP but try to collect everything new that comes out. Just like bugs drawn to light, we too are drawn to all of these new coins, no matter how silly and unattractive they may be. Some will stick to their guns, but I bet a higher number will not.

Due to the state of the economy at this time, there is bound to end up being some winners in this series. Those 5-ounce silver versions should have some alarmingly low mintages, so they definitely are worth watching. It's happened too many times to ignore: items unpopular at release later become golden in the collector's secondary market. Just ask anyone who's forked over several thousand dollars for an Uncirculated Jackie Robinson gold coin that only cost around $180 when it was released 12 years ago.

At October 4, 2009 at 5:50 PM , Anonymous Aureus said...

The thing that gets me about the series is that it will still be Washington on the back of the quarter and not Teddy Roosevelt. I mean, it is the state parks series after all.

I think that the designs will be fine if they can engrave them deep enough. The problem that I have with the portrait on the nickel and all of the presidential dollars is that the designs are all too flat and wear down easily. There are no sharp details to them.

At October 4, 2009 at 7:46 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

"like bugs drawn to light"!!
How true!

Aureus, I tend to agree with you. While I can understand the general dissatisfaction with this series, the only thing that really 'hits by gut' with these... is that they didn't decide to put Teddy Roosevelt on the obverse.
Anybody know if there's anyway between now and next year, for this decision to change? Technically, they are still in the advisory phase.

At October 4, 2009 at 8:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok .Put Roosevelt on a quarter and why not switch Washington to the dime and put a freakin apple tree on the dimes reverse.Hey thats a gimmick that just might work.I agree with the sharper imaging on any of the modern coins today.Technology allows it.But then there would be twice as many die breaks I'm assuming.The error community would just love that.

At October 5, 2009 at 7:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most, if not all of the designs seem to make a great deal of use of shadowing, I doubt that will translate well into a metal coin. Additionally, the California design seems like a redesign of the 2005 state quarter. There are plenty of other parks in California, why use Yosemite again? I like the idea, I'm not sure I'm satisfied with the execution.

PS. If there has to be a dead president on the coin, Teddy Roosevelt really should occupy the obverse.

At October 5, 2009 at 7:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

82000000 for the US Virgin Island Quarters. American Somoa D QUARTER is the low so far.

At October 6, 2009 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

There seems to be many critics leaving negative comments. I for one think the scenes are wonderfully done. Although they would have been more detailed if minted on 50c pieces, the public has rejected this size coin. Keep up the good work on representing these historical treasures. I agree that only animals indigenous to the park site would be better and that Teddy would have been a better choice for the obverse.

At October 6, 2009 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Michael said...

"Anybody know if there's anyway between now and next year, for this decision to change? Technically, they are still in the advisory phase."

I think there is still a possibility for the US Mint/Treasury Secretary to back track, but it would probably take a widespread public outcry or some high level lobbying.

In a recent issue of Coin World, the editor urged collectors to contact the Mint and voice their opinions in favor of Teddy Roosevelt obverse before it is too late.

At October 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

Thanks Michael. Good idea.

Do they have an email address? I can only find snail-mail addresses on their website. Any other ways to contact them?

At October 6, 2009 at 1:28 PM , Blogger Michael said...

The Coin World editorial included

Ed. Moy @


Treasury Secretary Geithner
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20220

At November 13, 2009 at 6:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I honestly think that this series should have been shifted to the half dollar. It is an ideal platform, both because of its size and the fact that it has already essentially been removed from circulation. There would be no need to produce billions of the coins, only enough to meet collector orders. The half dollar is all but dead, with only a few million minted each year (probably more are minted for proof and uncirculated sets than as business strikes)and none being distributed to the Federal Reserve. It is due for change, it has been unchanged for 45 years (with two years out for the bicentennial). Franklin could be returned to the obverse to finish out his shortened run and the coin could find new life as a running commerative showcase. The mint could produce silver bullion versions of the coins and offer them to the public at a small enough markup to allow small investors to buy silver without the middleman (and since this would be a new market segment, the existing big players would not have any valid complaints). I too, think the five ounce coins are stupid. They are being produced to satisfy the desires of a very small number of influential mint customers who pay way too little for them. Outside of circulating coinage, the mint should give top priority to items that make the most profit (and that puts large bullion sales dead last). One of my biggest issues with using the quarter is not its size, but the fact that it is a circulating coin. That menas that any design has to bow to the demands of cheap, high volume production issues, with artistic content taking second concern. We loose relief. We loose detail. We loose beauty.

At December 20, 2009 at 9:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea, I'll be buying them. I love our National parks. Not every state deserves one of these, some states should have two, like California, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, and Alaska to name a few. I'll buy the 5 ouncers, but if it were truly meant to be a "peoples coin" 1 ounce would have been plenty. AND TEDDY ROOSEVELT should be on this coin.

At August 9, 2010 at 10:11 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think ;this is a ripoff after my mom explainde that it was $18 PER panel i found it was gonna be expensive i thought it was $18 for the whole thing so anyone whos gonna do this dont its a total ripoff ur gonna be spending approximatly 800 dollars.

At August 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM , Blogger Lasloo said...

To Anonymous (August 9, 2010 10:11 AM):
You do know you can get the quarters themselves uncirculated and in Mint conditions from a variety of sources for less than $18 a piece... in many cases (like the bank) for face value, i.e. 25 cents a pop.

The $18 a panel thing you must be looking at is either something you saw in the mail or on TV... in which case, they are trying to sell you more on the packaging of the coin rather than the coins themselves.

Yes, if you're only interested in the coins themselves, then $18 a pop is a ripoff. But many people do like the convenience and packaging that goes with the types of offers you're probably looking at. Though, even with that said, I would agree that $18 is still a bit much unless something really difficult is involved in making the panels... I don't know like a stamp postmarked on the day of release or something of the sort... *smirk*

At May 21, 2011 at 3:59 PM , Anonymous Mike said...

Interesting coming back and reading these comments. I wish Teddy Roosevelt had been on the obverse. I just started getting into coins in the last year.


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