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 the America the Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–456), 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 release order of the 50 State Quarters Program, America the Beautiful National Parks quarters were issued one per state, based on the order in which the selected site was first established as a National Park. Released on June 8, 2015, the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park quarter honoring North Carolina was the 28th coin in the 56-coin series. Philadelphia and Denver business strike mintages totalled 505,200,000 and 325,616,000 coins, respectively. San Francisco mintages included 1,096,620 Uncirculated pieces and 779,606 Proofs.
A modern reworking by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver William Cousins of John Flanagan’s Washington quarter design. President George 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.
The curving lanes of the Blue Ridge Parkway as seen from the perspective of a driver as her car exits one tunnel and approaches another. The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), the state flower of North Carolina, grows along the roadside. Rocks and trees dot the mountainside. A thick semi-circular frame wraps around the coin. At the top of the frame appears the phrase BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY. At the eight o’clock position is the inscription NORTH CAROLINA. At the five o’clock position is the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. At the bottom, the date 2015. Frank Morris’ initials “FM” appear at the bottom left on the road, above the “A” in CAROLINA. United States Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna’s initials “JFM” appear in the flowers above the “P” in PLURIBUS.
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)
William Cousins worked as a sculptor-engraver at the Mint between 1990 and 2000. Responsible for the revised Washington quarter obverse used during the 50 State, Territories, and America the Beautiful Quarters series, he also designed the Delaware and New Hampshire 50 State Quarter reverses and several commemorative sides.
Frank Morris joined the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) in 2012. (View Designer’s Profile)
Joseph Menna is a prolific sculptor who joined the U.S. Mint in 2005. He became Chief Engraver in 2019. (View Designer’s Profile)
|Year Of Issue:||2015|
|Mint Mark:||P, D, & S|
|Mintage:||Business Strike (P & D): 830,816,000; Uncirculated (S): 1,096,620; Proof (S): 779,606|
|Alloy:||91.67% Copper, 8.33% Nickel (Business Strike, Clad Proof)|
|Weight:||5.67 g (Cu-Ni)|
|OBV Designer||John Flanagan | William Cousins|
|REV Designer||Frank Morris | Joseph Menna|
|Quality:||Business Strike, Uncirculated, & Proof|