Candidate designs for the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters are now available. Although release of the coin is still more than a year away, the design process involves different levels of review, which begin years before the actual circulation release dates. For the third year of release, the series will present El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Chaco Culture National Historical Park in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, and Denali National Park in Alaska.
For each of the releases, there were either four or five design candidates prepared for review by the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. The feedback and design recommendations provided will be considered by the United States Treasury Secretary, who has the final authority for coinage designs.
Images of design candidates for the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters are shown below.
Two of the design candidates feature depictions of a waterfall, while the others focus on the animal life within the forest. Since El Yunque National Forest is the home to many endangered species, the CCAC and CFA both favored the animal life designs in their reviews. Both endorsed a depiction of the endangered coqui frog and threatened Puerto Rican Parrot.