Dear Mr. Peterson:
In its meeting of 20 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed alternative reverse designs for the five "America the Beautiful" coins for issue in 2015 as circulating quarters and silver bullion coins. The Commission's recommendations were as follows:
Homestead National Monument of America (Nebraska). The Commission supported the recommendation of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee for a modified version of alternative #2, including elimination of the ring of stars, reduction in size of the corn husks, and insertion of the phrase "Free Land" as an arc of text toward the top of the composition; the Commission also supported the intention to use a simpler typeface for this phrase than shown in other alternatives.
Kisatchie National Forest (Louisiana). The Commission members recommended alternative #5 as the best combination of animal species and habitat with a clearly legible distinction of foreground and background elements.
Blue Ridge Parkway (North Carolina). The Commission did not recommend any alternative, reiterating its concern with a previous parkway depiction in this series: the characteristic curvatures of parkway design are not accurately rendered in the alternatives presented. The Commission members discouraged the selection of the Linn Cove Viaduct, which is an atypical feature of the parkway; they encouraged the inclusion of an automobile, as shown in alternative #6, as an indication of the parkway's use, and they commented favorably on the scene presented in alternative #7 while suggesting the reduction of the excessive scale of the foreground figures.
Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (Delaware). The Commission members recommended alternatives #6 and #8 for the depiction of the site's characteristic aquatic birds. They also commented that #6 may be the most elegant composition, which could also be improved by eliminating the bird on the left side of the composition.
Saratoga National Historical Park (New York). The Commission supported the recommendation of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee for a modified version of alternative #3 as the most focused design, with the text "British Surrender 1777."
As always, the staff is available to assist you with future submissions.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Richard A. Peterson, Deputy Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20220
cc: April Stafford, U.S. Mint