The America the Beautiful Quarters Program debuted on the heels of the 50 State Quarters Program and its adjunct District of Columbia and Territories program.
Authorized by Public Law 110–456, the America the Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008, called for the “issuance of redesigned quarters dollars emblematic of national parks or other national sites in each state, the District of Columbia, and each territory.
Similar to the issuance order of the 50 State Quarters Program, America the Beautiful National Parks quarters are issued one per state, based on the order in which the selected site were first established as a National Park.
Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountain National Park quarter was the first issue of 2014, released on January 27. It is the 21st quarter in the 56-coin series.
A modern reworking of John Flanagan’s Washington quarter design. Washington’s left-facing bust sits in the center of the coin. Flanagan’s initials “JF” is visible in the bust truncation. Wrapping around the top of the coin is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. To Washington’s left is the inscription LIBERTY. To his right, the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The coin’s denomination wraps around the bottom of the coin, written as QUARTER DOLLAR.
U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program artist Chris Costello designed the reverse; his initials CTC are found on the bottom of the central design, above and to the left of the “2” in “2014”. Sculptor-engraver Renata Gordon engraved the quarter, making sure the design met the requirements for coining. Her initials RG are on the bottom of the central design and to the right of the “4” in “2014”.
The design itself focuses on a log cabin typical of the kind found in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It most closely resembles Cook Cabin in the Cataloochee Valley area of the Smokies in North Carolina, not Tennessee. Still, the cabin is presumably an amalgam and not strictly designed to represent one single landmark.
In front of the cabin is a log fence. Behind the cabin are the woods, and behind the woods are a few peaks of the Smoky Mountains. A hawk flies free above the scene.
Designer(s): American sculptor John Flanagan’s work in the medallic and metal arts ranks him as one of the best artists of his generation. For generations of coin collectors, he is best known for his Washington quarter design (View Designer’s Profile). Chris Costello is another Artistic Infusion Program artist and designer currently working with the U.S. Mint. Renata Gordon is part of the United States Mint’s sculpting-engraving department, working on several designs for the First Spouse and America the Beautiful Quarters programs (View Designer’s Profile).
|Year Of Issue:||2014|
|Mint Mark:||P, D, S (Proof)|
|Mintage:||P: 73,200,000; D: 99,400,000; S (Clad Proof): 46,844|
|Alloy:||91.69% Copper, 8.33% Nickel (business strike, clad proof) .900 Silver (Proof)|
|Weight:||5.67 grams (Cu-Ni), 6.25 grams (.900 silver)|
|OBV Designer||John Flanagan|
|REV Designer||Chris Costello / Renata Gordon|
|Quality:||Uncirculated & Proof|
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarters Currently Available on eBay