By CoinWeek News Staff …..
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) held its most recent meeting at United States Mint headquarters last week to discuss designs for the final six entries in the long-running America the Beautiful Quarters program. Specifically, the Committee reviewed candidate artwork for the National Park of American Samoa, Weir Farm National Historic Site (Connecticut), Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve (U.S. Virgin Islands), Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (Vermont), Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Kansas), and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (Alabama) quarter reverses. Coming out in 2021, the Tuskegee Airmen quarter will be the 56th and final entry in the program; the other quarters discussed by the CCAC are to be issued in 2020.
The June 12 meeting was open to the public, either in person or via teleconference.
2020 America the Beautiful Quarters
The America the Beautiful Quarters Program began right after the completion of the 50 State Quarters Program and its adjunct District of Columbia and Territories program.
Authorized by Public Law 110–456 (source: PDF), the America the Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, called for the Treasury Department and the Mint to issue “redesigned quarters dollars emblematic of national parks or other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia, and each territory.
The CCAC reviews each set of designs and makes its recommendations to the Secretary of the Treasury, who is ultimately responsible for the selection.
Like the issuance of the 50 State Quarters Program, America the Beautiful National Parks quarters are released one per state, based on the order in which the selected site was first established as a National Park. Five parks are honored each year of the program.
2020 and 2021 will be the 11th and 12th years of the putative 12-year program that started in 2010. If no other legislation creates a new program of changing commemorative reverses for the quarter dollar, the U.S. Mint may produce a second program of America the Beautiful National Park quarters.
National Park of American Samoa
The only park in the United States National Park Service in the Southern Hemisphere, the National Park of American Samoa was established in 1988. It is notable for its ecological diversity and snorkeling opportunities.
In the CCAC-recommended design (reverse 13), a threadfin butterflyfish (Chaetodon auriga)–a tropical species native to American Samoa–is prominently portrayed in front of Samoan and Polynesian designs and symbols.
Weir Farm National Historic Site
Along with the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire, the Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut is one of only two places in the national park system that are dedicated to the arts, with both featuring artist-in-residence programs. Weir Farm was originally a place where several noted American artists lived and worked, including Childe Hassam, Albert Pinkham Ryder, John Singer Sargent, and the farm’s namesake, J. Alden Weir. The park was established in 1990.
Unfortunately, the CCAC was unable to recommend any of the candidate designs to the Treasury Department, and has requested that certain designs be revised and resubmitted for discussion at another meeting in the future.
Salt River Bay National Historical Park
Located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve contains the only site within the United States where members of one of the Christopher Columbus expeditions are known to have landed.
Reverse 1 features an endangered young mangrove tree growing out of the Bay waters.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont honors the progressive environmental ideas of George Perkins Marsh, an important figure in the U.S. conservation movement. The working farm is the location of one of this country’s first managed forests; as such, the quarter design recommended by the CCAC (reverse 1A) features a pair of hands in the act of planting a sapling sugar maple – a tree for which the state of Vermont is famous.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Established in 1996, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas maintains almost all of the remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystem that once covered much of North America. Reverse 9, the coin design recommended by the CCAC, shows several slender stalks of prarie grass blowing in the wind with a butterfly located at the top.
2021 America the Beautiful Quarters
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee, Alabama commemorates the contributions of African-American airmen–the famous Tuskegee Airmen–to both the war effort during the Second World War and the burgeoning fight for equality and civil rights back home. The CCAC’s recommended design (reverse 1) features the legend THEY FOUGHT TWO WARS, which refers to this fact. In the foreground, a pilot adjusts his helmet while two P-51 Mustangs fly by the control tower at Moton Field.