Dear Mr. Moy:
In its meeting of 21 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the proposed reverse designs for the five America the Beautiful Quarters for issue in 2012. In evaluating the alternatives, the Commission members reiterated their previous concern that the dozens of circulating coins depicting scenic beauty in this series may result in a tendency to repeat similar landscape features that will be difficult for the public to distinguish in the context of the overall series; the designs should therefore focus on a unique feature for each site. The Commission's specific recommendations were as follows:
El Yunque National Forest (Puerto Rico). The Commission recommended alternative #4, noting that the tropical animals and foliage are distinctive features of the park and are likely to be unique in this coin series. The Commission members commented on the awkward position of the plant behind the frog and recommended revision of this portion of the composition.
Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico). The Commission recommended alternative #4, commenting that this design best conveys the vastness of the setting as well as the Native American construction that has given it cultural significance.
Acadia National Park (Maine). The Commission recommended alternative #3 as a strong design depicting the distinctive rocky cliffs of Maine, and suggested that the framing be shifted leftward to move the lighthouse tower off-center and provide more space for the ocean.
Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park (Hawaii). The Commission recommended alternative #4, commenting that the strong single image of the volcano would be the most compelling for this small coin. The Commission members emphasized the stylized treatment of the volcano as a fundamental strength of this alternative, reiterating their longstanding recommendation for such treatment in numismatic design.
Denali National Park (Alaska). The Commission recommended alternative #2, due to the strong foreground image of the Dall sheep that is distinctive of this park. The Commission members noted that many coins in this series will likely feature mountains that may appear similar when rendered on a coin, and recommended rendering the mountain in low relief.
As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, AIA
Edmund C. Moy, Director
United States Mint
801 9th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20220
cc: Kaarina Budow, U.S. Mint