Washington, D.C. — The United States Senate has approved legislation (H.R. 3301) allowing the U.S. Mint flexibility in the placement of the mandatory inscriptions on the Washington quarter for the 50 States Circulating Commemorative Coin Program slated to begin next year.
“I want to express our thanks to Chairman Castle and all members of Congress who moved so expeditiously on this issue,” said Mint Director Philip N. Diehl. “We believe the public will welcome the new balanced design on the obverse side of the quarter, and our engravers will have the artistic freedom needed for the statehood designs on the reverse.”
The legislation does not affect the statutory requirement that United States coins carry the inscriptions “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, “United States of America”, and “E Pluribus Unum,” a designation of the value of the coin, and the year of minting or issuance.
In short, the legislation allows the Mint to move the inscription “United States of America” and the designation of value “quarter dollar” from the reverse to the obverse side of the quarter, and the year of minting or issuance from the obverse to the reverse side.
The bill amends chapter 51 of title 31 of the United States Code, “to allow the Secretary of the Treasury greater discretion with regard to the placement of the required inscriptions on quarter dollars issued under the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program.”
Sponsored by Representative Michael N. Castle of Delaware, the bill was introduced March 2, 1998; passed the House by voice vote on March 27, 1998, and passed the Senate on May 19, 1998. The bill will go to President Clinton for signature before becoming law.