The designs approved for three of the five 2014 America the
Beautiful quarter dollars are modified from the renditions reviewed by
two federal advisory panels in November 2012.
On Nov. 12, the U.S. Mint released the five designs approved by
Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal S. Wolin for the 2014 quarter dollars.
Wolin left the Treasury post at the end of August.
The approved reverse designs recognize Great Smoky Mountains
National Park in Tennessee, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia,
Arches National Park in Utah, Great Sand Dunes National Park in
Colorado and Everglades National Park in Florida.
Three of the five Treasury-approved designs — for Great Smoky
Mountains, Shenandoah and Everglades national parks — were recommended
by the Commission of Fine Arts in 2012.
Of the three CFA-recommended designs that the Treasury Department
approved, two — for Shenandoah and Everglades — were modified from the
original renditions that were reviewed Nov. 15, 2012, by the CFA and
Nov. 27, 2012, by Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee members.
Of the other two 2014 quarter dollars, the Treasury Department
approved an Arches National Park design featuring a different
rendition of Delicate Arch than the CFA recommended. The adopted Great
Sand Dunes design also is a completely different design than the one
the CFA recommended.
The CCAC recommended designs for the Shenandoah, Arches and
Everglades coins, but not for the Great Smoky Mountains or Great Sand
The CCAC had panned some of the proposed artwork at its Nov. 27,
2012, session as “post card” designs.
In a Nov. 12, 2013, email, CCAC member Michael Bugeja said he and
other numismatists have encouraged designers to take into account the
24.3-millimeter diameter of the quarter dollar when executing their
designs. He said not all of the proposed 2014 quarter dollar designs
took the diameter into consideration.
“I write about technology’s impact on the senses,” said Bugeja, a
professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at
Iowa State University.
“Because of widespread use of computers, which also happens in
coin design, we tend to see things from the frame of a screen or
monitor. We’re able to expand, reduce and manipulate digital artwork.
As any sculptor will tell you, the feel of clay is a lot different
than the touch of a keyboard using a 3-D application.
“We need more of a feel for numismatic design, in the traditional
artistic sense,” Bugeja said in the email message.
The Treasury-adopted design for the Great Smoky Mountains National
Park quarter dollar depicts a historic log cabin found within the
park, with a hawk circling above. The adopted design is as it was
originally proposed. The CFA recommended the design.
The CCAC made no recommendation for that quarter dollar, since
none of the four proposed designs garnered enough votes. Each member
is allowed to give a design up to three points. To win CCAC
recommendation, a design must get more than half of the possible 30 points.
The design approved for the Shenandoah National Park quarter
dollar depicts a day hiker taking in the view from Little Stony Man
summit. The design was recommended by both the CFA and CCAC. The
Treasury-approved design was modified from the original version
reviewed by the two advisory panels. A tree branch behind the hiker on
the original design was removed.
The seven designs submitted for the Arches National Park quarter
dollar all depicted different renditions of Delicate Arch, a 65-foot,
freestanding, natural arch. It is a widely recognizable landmark in
Utah and the most famous arch found in the park. It has been depicted
on postage stamps and license plates. The La Sal Mountains are visible
in the background. The approved design was the one recommended by the
CCAC. The CFA recommended a different rendition of Delicate Arch.
For the Great Sand Dunes National Park quarter dollar, the
approved design features a father and son playing in the sand next to
the creek bed. The distinctive mountains and sand dunes are featured
in the background.
The CCAC recommended none of the seven proposed designs. The CFA
had recommended a design depicting the various geographic zones —
grasslands, sand dunes and mountains.
Members of the CFA and CCAC both recommended the same proposed
design for the Everglades National Park quarter dollar. It depicts an
anhinga with outstretched wings on a willow tree, with a roseate
spoonbill visible in the mid-ground. Both birds are found throughout
the Everglades National Park. The approved design was modified from
the proposed design through the removal of clouds from the upper left field.
For details about the release of the five 2014 coins, see the
article in the Nov. 25 issue of Coin World. ■