50 State Commemorative Quarters
Statehood Quarters – most popular program in history of coin collecting • The US Mint's 50 statehood quarters program was launched with much fanfare in 1999 and met with lots of enthusiasm – especially among new collectors. It was an initiative that honored each of the states in the order they ratified the Constitution or were admitted to the Union. Each year, five statehood quarters were unveiled. Each statehood quarter was struck for 10 weeks, and will never be produced again.
Introduced as 50 States Commemorative Coins Programs Act
Signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 1, 1997, the act creating statehood quarters is considered one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting circulating coins since the Coinage Act of 1965. There's more about this act to create statehood quarters at our Learn Center.
New Series celebrated America's heritage and diversity
The design goal of the new statehood quarter series was to raise awareness of U.S. history and geography. To accommodate state designs on the reverse, or tail, the words "United States of America," "Quarter Dollar," "Liberty," and "In God We Trust" all appear on the obverse, or head, along with the profile of our nation's first president, George Washington. Each state's theme was proposed, and approved, by the governor of that state. Final drawings were created by US Mint designers.
Circulating statehood quarters in cupro-nickel clad were struck at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. Proof coins struck in 90% silver were issued by the prestigious San Francisco Mint. A handy list of all the statehood quarters and their designs can be found here.
As part of its statehood quarters program, the US Mint struck circulating coins for the District of Columbia and the five U.S. Territories for just one year – 2009, and issued two months apart. These statehood quarters celebrate Washington, D.C. and the commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. Each island boasts unique geography, historic sites and customs that are reflected on their statehood quarter's reverse design. The D.C. statehood quarter honors Duke Ellington, the internationally renowned composer and musician who is seated at a grand piano.
In addition, the San Francisco each year struck clad Proof sets with beautiful frosty motifs that pop against mirrorlike surfaces.