The United States Mint has announced the design selections for the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters. This series features a different national park or site from each of the 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia. The reverse designs for the coming year will feature El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, and Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
Initially, the US Mint prepared four or five design candidates for each quarter based on source materials provided by a Federal official serving as liaison for the site. These designs were reviewed by the Secretary of the Interior, the chief executive of the host jurisdiction, the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The Secretary of the Treasury had the final authority to select designs.
The reverse design for the El Yunque National Forest Quarter depicts a Coqui tree frog and a Puerto Rican parrot behind an epiphyte plant with tropical flora in the background. The reverse was designed by US Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Gary Whitley and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The anticipated circulation release date for the coin is January 23, 2012.
The design for the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Quarter features a view of two elevated kivas that are part of the Chetro Ketl Complex. Also in view are the north wall of Chetro Ketl and the north wall of the canyon. The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The anticipated circulation release date for the coin is April 2, 2012.
The reverse of the Acadia National Park Quarter features a view of the Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse before Acadia’s coastline. The design is by Artistic Infusion Program Associate Designer Barbara Fox and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna. The anticipated circulation release date for the coin is June 11, 2012.
The design of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Quarter is a dramatic portrayal of an eruption on the east rift of Kilauea Volcano. The reverse was designed and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers. The anticipated release date for this coin is August 27, 2012.
Lastly, the design for the Denali National Park Quarter features a depiction of a Dall sheep with Mount McKinley in the background. The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by US Mint Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz. The anticipated circulation release date for this coin is November 5, 2012.
The obverse design for each coin will feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington designed by John Flanagan.
The America the Beautiful Quarters Program will feature five different designs per year through 2020, with a final design released in 2021. In addition to general circulation release, the United States Mint offers various numismatic products including the quarters, as well as five ounce silver bullion coins featuring the likenesses of the quarters.