The U.S. Mint's recent state-quarters program has been a boon to coin collecting. According to a survey conducted by the Mint, nearly half of all Americans have collected the coins, resulting in billions of dollars in profits for the U.S. Treasury.
Begun in 1998, the program has introduced five new state quarters into circulation each year. Quarters were minted in the order of statehood—Delaware first, Hawaii last. On the coin’s obverse is a William Cousins update of the 1932 John Flanagan design for the Washington quarter. Because state information would take up the space on the coin’s reverse, the words "United States of America" were moved to top of the coin’s front. This pushed the word "Liberty" to the spot below Washington’s chin, which, in turn, forced the words "In God We Trust" to the area behind the founding father’s ponytail.
The design of each state quarter’s reverse side was left to the states and their governors. Delaware’s design features the historic horseback ride of Continental Congress delegate Caesar Rodney, who galloped 80 miles from his home in Dover to Philadelphia, where, on July 2, 1776, he cast the deciding vote in favor of the nation’s independence.
Other quarters are themselves pieces of history. The reverse of the New Hampshire quarter, which was minted in 2000, is dominated by a rock formation known as The Old Man of the Mountain, which crumbled in 2003. Some states chose icons (a Wright Brothers airplane for North Carolina, the Gateway Arch for Missouri), others picked animals (both Kansas and North Dakota selected buffalo), and a few states placed noted figures on its coins (Helen Keller in Alabama, John Muir in California).
Only a handful of production anomalies have occurred. Some Minnesota quarters from 2005 have an extra tree on them, while the obverse of some Kansas quarters struck the same year read "In God We Rust."
But the most famous flaw in the program occurred at the Denver mint during the striking of the Wisconsin quarter in 2004. The coin’s reverse features a dairy cow, a wheel of cheese, and an ear of corn, all above the state’s motto, "Forward." But that ear of corn has an extra leaf pointing up on some coins, and an extra leaf pointing down on others. These variations have made the Wisconsin quarter the most expensive in the program.
Finally, smaller runs of all state quarters were produced in silver versions. For these quarters, the Mint went back to the pre-1965 recipe of 90-percent silver...
In 2009, the Mint produced coins for the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, but these coins are not considered part of the state-quarters program.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
Legendary Coins and Currency
Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors
Clubs & Associations
- Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors
- American Numismatic Association
- American Numismatic Society
- Numismatic Bibliomania Society
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: State Quarters
Source: Google News
CoinWeek Q&A with Former Congressman Mike CastleCoinWeek, September 15th
While serving in this capacity, Castle sponsored legislation that authorized production of the 50 State Quarters program–the largest circulating commemorative coin program in American history. He also had jurisdiction over issues concerning coins...Read more
Constable: Citizen scientists research birds and beesChicago Daily Herald, September 14th
Hundreds of projects needing our help are posted on SciStarter.com, a massive database of diverse research opportunities from "Wasp Watcher" and tallies of marmorated stink bugs to physics experiments about the fairness of coin flips with state...Read more
Two Finleyville men arrested on burglary, other chargesObserver-Reporter, September 12th
McCartan also discovered items were missing, including precious coins including Kennedy 50-cent pieces, Pennsylvania state quarters, state quarter sets, wheat pennies and a silver penny along with other coins and a fire resistant box. When police...Read more
Too many proof sets create buyer confusionNumisMaster.com, September 11th
He also sees a market in selling sets of proof coins taken from 14-coin clad and silver sets. “I've put together sets of all the clad or silver state quarters in nice Capital holders. Those sell really well because the collector can see all the high...Read more
Ed Moy Honored at Standish Foundation 4 Children Event in Washington DCCoinWeek, September 10th
Castle worked alongside Moy on a number of coinage related issues, and is most known in numismatic circles for being a sponsor to the legislation that brought about the 50 State Quarters® program. Moy spoke about his tenure as Mint Director and the ...Read more
New York to receive new commemorative quarterNew York Post, September 8th
The coin series kicked off in 2010 with five state quarters launched each year. New York's design is by artist Barbara Fox of rural upstate. Through 2015, only four other states have chosen military landmarks for their images: Gettysburg (Pennsylvania...Read more
Man Steals Wedding Band from WWII Vet's FingerMilitary.com, September 6th
Thomas is most distraught over losing his wife's collection of bear figurines that held state quarters, he said. "My wife was a collector when she was alive," Thomas said. "She spent years putting them together. Money-wise they were nothing, but to me...Read more
Emergency calls from Sept. 5Mansfield News Journal, September 5th
He took a .22-caliber handgun and two sets of state quarters from his 58-year-old grandmother, police said. 300 block of West Third Street, Mansfield — A 36-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man were issued summonses for theft Friday morning...Read more