Designs of the America the Beautiful Silver Coins
All America The Beautiful silver coins have the same obverse design, but differing designs on the reverse side. The reverse side features imagery from a national park, national forest, or monument from various sites throughout the country.
On the obverse side of each coin is the standard left-profile portrait image of President George Washington found on circulation quarters. The image of the president was created in 1932 by artist John Flanagan, but was based upon an original bust of President Washington created in 1786 by William Cousins. Standard phrases and mottos such as “United States of America” and “In God We Trust” are featured on this side, along with the face value of the coin.
Initial Release of ATB Silver – 2010 ATB Silver Coins
America the Beautiful kicked off in 2010 with the release of the first five designs in the series. There are five new designs released each year by the United States Mint in this beautiful silver collection, and the release of each state or territories representative coin is generally based upon the order in which those monuments, parks, or forests were adopted as federally protected and recognized lands.
The five states represented in the 2010 ATB Silver coin series include Arkansas, Wyoming, California, Arizona, and Oregon. The designs featured on each coin breakdown as follows:
- Arkansas: The first coin in the ATB Series, the Arkansas quarter honors the Hot Springs National Park. The park was established on April 20, 1832.
- Wyoming: Yellowstone National Park was chosen to represent Wyoming on the ATB quarter series. Established on March 1, 1872, the park is one of the nation’s most popular tourist destinations.
- California: Yosemite National Park represents California on the ATB Silver series. The park was established on October 1, 1890.
- Arizona: This coin uses an image from the circulation State Quarters series, Arizona is represented by the Grand Canyon, which was established on February 20, 1893.
- Oregon: The final coin of the 2010 ATB Silver Coin series, Oregon is represented by Mt. Hood National Forest. The forest in Oregon was established as a US Forest Service protection area on September 26, 1893.
2nd Year ATB Silver – 2011 ATB Silver Coins
In the second year of the ATB series, the U.S. Mint released coins representing the following states and places:
- Pennsylvania: The first coin released in the 2011 series featured Gettysburg National Military Park. The site of America’s bloodiest battle ever, this coin commemorates the battlefield, which was established as a national park on February 11, 1895.
- Montana: Glacier National Park was chosen to represent Montana in the ATB series. The area was established as a national park on February 22, 1897.
- Washington: Olympic National Park is home to Mount Olympia, one of the highest peaks in the lower 48 states. The mountain and its surrounding environment were established as a protected park on the same day as Glacier National Park in 1897.
- Mississippi: Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates one of the Civil War’s most significant turning points, which resulted in the defeat of Confederate forces by the Union.
- Oklahoma: The last coin in the 2011 ATB series depicts Chickasaw National Recreation Area. The region was established as a federally protected area on July 1, 1902.
3rd Year ATB Silver – 2012 ATB Silver Coins
The following describes the five new coins introduced as part of the 2012 ATB Silver coin series:
- Puerto Rico: The first coin of the 2012 series is also the first coin to represent a territory of the US. El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical rainforest found in US territory. The area was recognized and protected by American officials on January 17, 1903 following annexation of the island after the Spanish-American War.
- New Mexico: Chaco Culture National Historic Park was established on March 11, 1907.
- Maine: Acadia National Park is home to the highest peak in the Eastern United States. Established as a national park on July 8, 1916.
- Hawaii: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is home to two of the world’s most active volcanoes. The park was established as a protective zone on August 1, 1916.
- Alaska: Denali National Park and Reserve is home to Denali, otherwise known as Mount McKinley, which is the highest peak in the United States and North America. The preserve was designated as protected land on February 26, 1917.
4th Year ATB Silver – 2013 ATB Silver Coins
As with previous release years in the ATB series, the 2013 ATB releases each represented a new jurisdiction from the United States. The coins introduced as part of the 2013 ATB Silver Coin series include:
- New Hampshire: White Mountain National Forest was established as a protectorate of the US Forest Service on May 16, 1918.
- Ohio: Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. The park and International Peace Memorial honoring lasting peace between the US, UK, and Canada, was established on March 3, 1919.
- Nevada: The Great Basin Park National Park in Nevada was established on January 24, 1922. The reverse side features the famous bristlecone pine which is found in the park.
- Maryland: This coin features Fort McHenry, which was established as a protected site on March 3, 1925.
- South Dakota: In the Black Hills of southwestern South Dakota, the faces of four of America’s greatest presidents were carved into the rock face. The Mount Rushmore design used on this ATB series coin is the same as that from the state quarters series.
5th Year ATB Silver – 2014 ATB Silver Coins
For the fifth production year, the United States Mint released five new coin designs. States represented in the 2014 ATB Silver coin series include:
- Tennessee: This coin features the Great Smokey Mountains National Park, honoring the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains in the Eastern United States. The park was established on May 22, 1926.
- Virginia: Shenandoah National Park was chosen to represent the Commonwealth. The park was established on May 22, 1926.
- Utah: Arches National Park is home to some of the most unique geological formations in the United States. The local area features a large, underground sand deposit that has slowly eroded, leaving freestanding sandstone arches that are a marvel to behold. The park was established April 12, 1929.
- Colorado: The image chosen for this coin is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The park was established on March 17, 1932.
- Florida: Everglades National Park is one of the largest swamps in the United States. It was established on May 30, 1934.
6th Year ATB Silver – 2015 ATB Silver Coins
The 2015 ATB Silver coin releases represent some of the biggest monuments and historical places in the United States, including the first and only depiction in the series of a national roadway! The coins included in the 2015 series of the ATB program are featured below:
- Nebraska: Homestead National Monument of America. This monument honors the first tract of land claimed by an American citizen following passage of the Homestead Act by President Lincoln’s administration. The monument was approved on March 19, 1936.
- Louisiana: The Kisatchie National Forest in the northern stretches of the state includes some of the oldest rock formations in the state, as well as longleaf pine trees. The area was offered protected status on June 3, 1936.
- North Carolina: The only coin in the series to feature a roadway, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a highway that stretches more than 400 miles through the Appalachian Mountains, and connects North Carolina through the mountains to its neighboring state of Virginia.
- Delaware: Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located on Delaware Bay. It covers 15,978 acres of land, and was established as a protective region in 1937 under the administration of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
- New York: Saratoga National Historical Park. The park preserves the site of the Battles of Saratoga, and was the first significant American victory of the American Revolutionary War.
7th Year ATB Silver – 2016 ATB Silver Coins
In 2016, the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Silver collection highlighted the states of Illinois, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Dakota, and South Carolina. The representative designs feature images of the following states and locations:
- Illinois: Established as a federally protected region on September 6, 1939, Shawnee National Forest covers 265,616 acres of land in southern Illinois. The obverse features the Garden of the Gods wilderness area.
- Kentucky: The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park was established as a protected historical park on June 11, 1940.
- West Virginia: Harpers Ferry, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers in West Virginia, was at the heart of many important occurrences in American history from the Revolutionary War to the first shots of the Civil War. The park includes land in the Shenandoah Valley in Jefferson County, West Virginia; Washington County, Maryland and Loudoun County, Virginia.
- North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park lies in western North Dakota, where the Great Plains meet the rugged Badlands. A habitat for bison, elk and prairie dogs. The park is known for the South Unit’s colorful Painted Canyon and the Maltese Cross Cabin, where President Theodore Roosevelt once lived.
- South Carolina: Fort Moultrie is a part of the 171-year history of American East Coast sea defenses that guarded the fledgling nation from the early threats of the British Navy during the Revolutionary War, all the way through to the close of World War II. Fort Moultrie was the first major piece in the series, guarding the port city of Charleston, South Carolina.
8th Year ATB Silver – 2017 ATB Silver Coins
The highlight of the 2017 ATB silver series is the inclusion of the District of Columbia. It is one of six non-state regions represented in the America the Beautiful collection. Design features include the following descriptions:
- Iowa: The Effigy Mounds National Monument is a federally protected area in the state of Iowa, in Allamakee and Clayton counties, that preserves more than 200 prehistoric mounds built by various Native American tribes.
- Washington DC: The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site is located in Washington D.C. and is administered by the National Park Service. The site preserves the home and estate of Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist and prominent African American in 19th century America.
- Missouri: The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is an 80,000 acre park located in the Ozarks of southern Missouri. The park protects the Current and Jacks Forks rivers in the area.
- New Jersey: This release honors Ellis Island and represents New Jersey in the ATB Series. Ellis Island is actually just one part of the larger Statue of Liberty National Monument complex run by the U.S. National Park Service. Comprised of two islands, the national monument includes Liberty Island with the famed Statue of Liberty reaching her torch high into the sky as a light for the oppressed people of the world. On neighboring Ellis Island, the main building of the former immigration complex was the busiest immigration center on the eastern seaboard of the United States. Between 1892 and 1954 when the complex was active, an estimated 12 million immigrants came to the US through the immigration processing center on Ellis Island.
- Indiana: On the banks of the Wabash River in Vincennes, Indiana sits the site believed to be home to Fort Sackville. Originally the site was a trading post established by Sieur Juchereau, Lieutenant General of Montreal in 1702. It was renamed Fort Sackville in 1766 by British Lt. John Ramsey after he took control of the settlement and built up the fort in the name of George Germain, Lord Sackville. Today, the site is known as George Rogers Clark National Historical Park after Lt. Col. Rogers Clark who led American forces in a siege on the fort in 1779. The brother of William Clark, he defeated the British forces under British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton and captured the fort, which remained in American hands throughout the remainder of the Revolution.
9th Year ATB Silver – 2018 ATB Silver Coins
The coins in the 2018 ATB Silver Collection focus on various shorelines throughout the United States. Whether it’s the national seashore in Georgia or the vast coastlines of the Great Lakes chain, the 2018 America the Beautiful Coins feature some of the most beautiful shorelines and ecosystems in the United States. The 2018 ATB Silver Series includes the following:
- Michigan: The 2018 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the first release of 2018 and highlights the beauty of the US National Lakeshore along the banks of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The park gets its name from the colorful sandstone cliffs near Munising, Michigan which reach as high as 200 feet above the lake. Within these rocks, you’ll find a variety of shallow caves, arches, and formations that resemble figures including castle turrets and human figures.
- Wisconsin: Apostle Islands National Lake Shire coin. Set along 69,372 acres of shoreline and 21 islands, the Apostle Islands are on the northern tip of Wisconsin and include a collection of historic lighthouses, sandstone sea caves, and some of the oldest old-growth remnant forests in the US.
- Minnesota: The 2018 Voyageurs National Park coin. The park is in the far northern reaches of Minnesota near the town of International Falls, which itself sits just across the border from Canada. The park was named for the French-Canadian fur traders who voyaged through the waterways of Minnesota and lower Canada. Much of the park is only accessible via boat during the summer, with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing popular with winter visitors.
- Georgia: The only national seashore in the collection, the 2018 Cumberland Island National Seashore coin is a park in southern Georgia along the Atlantic coast which preserves most of Cumberland Island, Georgia, which is the largest of the Golden Isles in the state. Cumberland Island National Seashore has a dense diversity of coastal flora and fauna, with some 23 distinct ecological communities.
- Rhode Island: The 2018 Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is the fifth and final release in 2018. This coin celebrates the vital habitat for wildlife, particularly migratory birds, that exists offshore on picturesque Block Island. More than 70 species of migratory songbirds visit the island each fall.
10th Year ATB Silver – 2019 ATB Silver Coins
For the 10th year of the America the Beautiful Collection, the United States Mint takes collectors and investors outside of the continental United States for two of the design releases. Two more US overseas territories make their debut in the collection with the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam featuring early in the 2019 release schedule. The designs in this collection include:
- Massachusetts: The first issue among the 2019 ATB coins from the United States Mint is the Lowell National Historical Park coin representing Massachusetts. The reverse design of coin features a woman working a power loom with the Boott Mill clock tower visible out the window in the background.
- Northern Mariana Islands: Released for the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, or the CNMI, the American Memorial Park coin is one of two World War II-themed releases in the 2019 ATB Collection. The design on the reverse depicts a young Chamorro woman gazing at the Flag Circle and Court of Honor. American Memorial Park on the island of Saipan, one of 14 in the CNMI chain, remembers the 4,000 American soldiers and local Chamorro people who sacrificed their lives during World War II to defend the island against the Japanese.
- Guam: The island of Guam is part of the CNMI, but maintains its own local government and is a separate territory of the United States. Guam is now known as the “Place Where America Starts Its Day.” The reverse of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park coin includes depictions of US forces storming the beaches during the Second Battle of Guam in 1944.
- Texas: The design on the reverse of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park coins is unique in being the only one in the series to date that borrows actual coin designs from the colonial history of America. In this case, the use of the arches, bell, and Spanish lion come from the Spanish colonial real used in Spain’s Central and North American territories. The design includes waves of water representing the San Antonio River and wheat symbolizing farming in the region.
- Idaho: On the reverse of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Coin is the image of a drift boat navigating the waters of the Salmon River. The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is the longest contiguous federally managed land area in the continental US and the second longest overall in the US behind the state-managed lands in the Adirondacks in New York.
11th Year ATB Silver Designs – 2020 ATB Silver Coins
The 2020 ATB release year is significant in the America the Beautiful collection. With the series winding to a close in 2021, the 2020 ATB Silver Coin release marks the last time five fresh designs will be available as the 2021 schedule includes only one coin, the release for Alabama. Included in the 2020 ATB Silver Series are the following designs:
- American Samoa: In the first release of 2020, the ATB Series features a design for the National Park of American Samoa. The reverse design features two Samoa flying foxes. Here, you will see the mother hanging upside down as its young pup is clinging to its underside.
- Connecticut: The second release in the 2020 series features one of only two sites in the National Park Service system devoted to the visual arts. On the reverse of the 2020 ATB Weir Farm National Historic Site is the depiction of an artist outside of a home at Weir Farm National Historic Site painting on his easel.
- S. Virgin Islands: For the third design of the 2020 ATB Series, the final overseas territory of the United States is represented with the 2020 Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. The reverse design on these coins includes the image of a young red mangrove tree growing in a shallow saltwater marsh. The Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is on the island of St. Croix in the USVI and preserves various environments that include upland watersheds, mangrove forests, estuaries, and marine environments along the coast.
- Vermont: The fourth coin in the 2020 ATB Series represents the State of Vermont and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. The reverse side of the 2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park coin shows a young woman kneeling down as she carefully plants a Norway Spruce sapling in the park.
- Kansas: In the final release of the 2020 ATB Series, this coin features the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in eastern Kansas. On the reverse side of 2020 ATB Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve silver coins, you will find the image of the tops of tallgrass bending in the breeze as a Regal fritillary, a butterfly commonly found in tallgrass environments, is depicted taking flight. Tallgrass prairies once covered 400,000 square miles on the North American continent, but less than 4% of that remains today and most of it is in Flint Hills, Kansas, within Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Upcoming ATB Silver Coins
The America the Beautiful collection is currently scheduled to run through 2021, and will represent in total all 50 US states.
In the upcoming release years of the series you’ll find the following states/territories represented in the collection along with their selected historical landmark (in order by year of release):
- Alabama – Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (2021)
Foundation of the ATB Series
America the Beautiful coins have their roots in the 50 State Quarters program from the United States Mint. Authorized in December 1997 and released for the first time in 1999, this coin series featured a unique design on the reverse side of circulation quarters. There was no change to the metal content or size of the standard American 25-cent piece, but there was a special location selected to represent each of the 50 states in the Union.
Following the immense success and popularity of the circulation commemorative program, the US Mint opted to release a Territories and DC program representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, as well as Washington DC. In 2008, it was determined that a special bullion coin series was in order to capitalize on the popularity of the circulation coins.
Background on the ATB Series
ATB Silver coins were authorized by Congress in 2008 with passage of America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act. Unlike the previous 50 State Quarters program, the ATB Silver coin series called for serious alterations to the appearance of the coins in question to create a unique product. The state quarters placed unique images on the reverse of standard 25-cent pieces, while ATB Coins are struck on brand-new blanks.
The America the Beautiful quarters contain .999 pure silver with a total weight of 5 oz. The coins were struck in both uncirculated versions for collectors and exhibitors, and bullion for investors. There are a handful of important differences between the two versions. You can tell the two coins apart by looking for the following features:
- On the obverse side of uncirculated coins you’ll find a “P” mint mark below the motto “In God We Trust.” This mark identifies the Philadelphia Mint as the point of origin for the coins. Bullion coins have no mint marks.
- Uncirculated coins have a matte finish that is achieved through vapor blasting after the coins are minted. On the other hand, bullion coins have a mirror-like finish.
- Uncirculated coins ship in individual plastic capsules, placed inside of a presentation box, and are shipped with a certificate of authenticity. Bullion coins ship in the same plastic capsules, mint tubes of 10 coins, or Monster Boxes of 100 coins (10 total tubes).
The vast majority of the new coins in the ATB program featured all-new designs on the reverse side for each of the 50 states. Only Arizona, California, and South Dakota featured images representative of the same locations as used on the state quarters program, however the specific designs of the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, and Mount Rushmore (respectively) were different.
Also, while the state quarters and territories quarters were separate programs, America the Beautiful is a 56-coin program that consists of five new design releases each year. The total program consists of one coin for each of the 50 US states, the five territories mentioned earlier, and the federal district in Washington DC. The coins were first released in 2010, with five new coins released annually through 2021. The Secretary of the Treasury has been given the power to extend the program through 2033 if deemed necessary.
Selection of the Designs
America the Beautiful coin designs for the reverse were chosen through a collaborative selection process between the US Mint, the chief executive of each jurisdiction, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of the Treasury. The governor of each state or chief executive of a territory was tasked with submitting four total locations, in order of preferred location down to relevant alternatives. The Secretary of the Treasury then determined the appropriate location based upon its historical relevance, both nationally and locally.
On the obverse side of every America the Beautiful coin you’ll find the left-profile image of President George Washington. This image was refined in 1932 by John Flanagan and based upon an original 1786 bust of Washington completed by William Cousins. It has appeared on the obverse of American quarters for more than 80 years now, and remains on the America the Beautiful coin series.