The quarter is the United States’ 25-cent coin. The person on the obverse (heads) of the quarter is George Washington, our first president. He’s been on the quarter since 1932, the 200th anniversary of his birth.
The design on the reverse (tails) changes often. This year there are two different designs. The Tuskegee Airmen Quarter is the last coin in the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The other quarter is the General George Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter. The Mint will make these coins just for this year.
The U.S. Mint made the first quarters in 1796. They were made of silver. The early quarters, like other silver coins, didn’t show the value on the coin. At that time only copper coins like pennies were required to show their denominations. People had to know the size and weight of a silver coin to know how much it was worth. To tell the difference between a silver quarter and a silver dollar, they knew the dollar weighed four times as much.
In 1804, the Mint marked the quarter with “25c,” meaning 25 cents. It was the first silver coin to show the value.
Today’s quarters are “clad,” which means coated. The inner core is pure copper and the outer covering is copper mixed with nickel. The Mint stopped making quarters with silver in 1965.
The first quarter designs showed a figure symbolizing liberty on the obverse. The reverse included a bald eagle, our national bird. In 1932, George Washington appeared on the obverse for the 200th anniversary of his birth. In the years since 1932, the Mint has used many different reverse designs. Some of the designs were part of special quarter programs to celebrate places or events and inspire coin collecting.