Candidate designs for the new 2020 Salt River Bay National Park Quarter

Candidates for Salt River Bay

Numerous design proposals for the reverse of the 2020 Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve quarter were submitted to the U.S. Mint for consideration. The proposals are evaluated by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Commission (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for their emblematic representation of the featured site of national interest.

Salt River Bay in the U.S. Virgin Islands contains a delicate ecosystem that supports threatened and endangered flora and fauna including mangrove trees that live in coastal waters and protect the shoreline from erosion. The bay also features archaeological and historical heritage encompassing over 2,000 years of human habitation in the Virgin Islands, including the only known site where members of a Christopher Columbus expedition set foot on what is now U.S. territory.

The coin design proposals chose to emphasize the ecological importance of Salt River Bay and featured mangrove trees as well as turtles and fish swimming among the mangrove root systems. The CCAC and CFA will make recommendations on the coin designs to the Secretary of the Treasury who will make the final decision after consultation with representatives of the Salt River Bay national site.

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve featured 53rd in the National Park Quarter Series

Salt River BayA broad estuary on the northern coast of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is a site of great natural and historical significance. While protecting upland watersheds, mangrove forests and a delicate ecosystem that supports threatened and endangered species, Salt River Bay also features archaeological and historical heritage encompassing over 2,000 years and every period of human habitation in the Virgin Islands. This includes several Native American cultures, an encounter with Christopher Columbus and colonization by several European countries.

Salt River Bay’s blend of sea and land includes coral reefs, a submarine canyon and some of the largest remaining mangrove forests in the Virgin Islands. Mangrove trees and shrubs live in coastal saline or brackish water and stabilize the coastline by reducing erosion from tides, waves and storm surges.

Salt River Bay also contains the Columbus Landing Site – where Christopher Columbus sent a longboat ashore on November 14, 1493 in search of fresh water during his second voyage to the New World and where the first recorded conflict between Native Americans and European explorers took place. This National Historical Site is the only known location where members of a Columbus expedition set foot on what is now U.S. territory.

For more information, visit Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.

Weir Farm National Historic Site Quarter Design Finalized

Weir Farm quarter final designOn August 13, 2019, the U.S. Mint announced the final design for the Weir Farm National Historic Site at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL. Chosen was Justin Kunz’s design showing an artist in a long smock, painting at an easel set up outside Julian Alden Weir’s rustic studio at Weir Farm in Connecticut. The reverse design includes the inscription a national park for art, the year of issue: 2020, and the motto: e pluribus unum.

The Weir Farm National Historic Site quarter is the second release in 2020 and 52nd in the series that honors a national park or historic site in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the 5 U.S. territories. Overlapping the towns of Ridgefield and Wilton, CT, the Weir Farm National Historic Site is located half way between Danbury and Norwalk, and near the New York State border.

Weir Farm National Historic Site Quarter Candidate Designs

Weir Farm National Historic Site Quarter Candidate Designs

The U.S. Mint commissioned its artists to create candidate designs for the Weir Farm National Historic Site quarter; 15 were reviewed for accuracy, edited, finalized and presented in June 2018. The Citizen Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts asked for revisions to seven of them and a resubmission.

Liaisons from the historic site favored two of the seven designs. One featured an artist in a long smock painting outside Julian Alden Weir’s rustic studio. The other depicted a portable easel holding a canvas with an artist’s painting of the Weir house and studio portrayed in greater detail than the rest of the design.

Of the remaining five designs, one showed a stone wall in front of the Weir house. In the right foreground, a French easel featured a canvas depicting Weir’s studio. In another design, an easel with the beginnings of a painting of Weir’s studio was placed in front of the studio itself.

A third design showed an artist in a short smock painting outside Weir’s studio.

The remaining two designs were variations of the portable easel holding a canvas with the artist’s painting of the Weir house and studio portrayed in greater detail than the rest of the design.

On all, the inscription “National Park for the Arts” was included.

Overlapping the towns of Ridgefield and Wilton, CT, the Weir Farm National Historic Site is located half way between Danbury and Norwalk, and near the New York State border.

Weir Farm National Historic Site featured 52nd in National Park Quarter Series

Weir Farm and Studio

Straddling Wilton and Ridgefield, Connecticut, the Weir Farm National Historic Site is a 68-acre cultural landscape established in 1990. Its manmade panorama features 15 historic structures, including houses, barns, studios and outbuildings. Its natural landscape is characterized by bedrock outcroppings, historic gardens, stone terraces, specimen trees, orchards, fields, miles of stone laid walls and a pond. Best of all, it has hundreds of historic painting sites – all expertly preserved. The artistic tradition launched here by American impressionist painter Julian Alden Weir in 1882 is kept alive through a variety of Art in the Park programs, including an artist-in-residence program, free art supplies, night painting and art lessons.

Learn more about the Weir Farm National Historic Site.