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.
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Recent News: State Quarters
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Shepherd softball takes aim at school historyThe Times (subscription), September 24th
The Shepherd Middle School softball team will take aim at school history this weekend when it participates in the IESA Class AA quarterfinals at Champion Fields in Normal. Shepherd has yet to win an IESA title in a sport. It also is making its first...Read more
Soccer squad still headed in the right directionThe Smithville Herald, September 23rd
“Hopefully, we get to see them again when it matters in the state quarters and see how much more we've improved by then.” Kyle Wininger and Ryan Wininger both stepped into starting roles on defense and performed well against Harrisonville, while ...Read more
Paper money errors can make a collector's dayCoin World, September 18th
Michele Orzano, senior editor, paper money, is responsible for the vast majority of Coin World's paper money coverage and edits Paper Money, a section of the monthly Coin World. She joined the Coin World staff in 1985, and in addition to paper money...Read more
Steamboat and his rider are seen everywhere in WyomingThe Ranger, September 16th
The bucking horse and rider represent the toughness and never-say-die spirit that is Wyoming, says a statement from the UW athletic department. As part of the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program, Steamboat was stamped on 525 million quarters ...Read more
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
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
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