Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Mint today announced that it has shipped the first of the new 50 State Quarters to the Federal Reserve for distribution to commercial banks and financial institutions.
The first 50 State Quarter features a reverse (tails) design honoring the state of Delaware. The coin is expected to start appearing in circulation in late spring or early summer, and while the goal is to make the coin as widely available as possible, it will not be readily available in every part of the country.
“The United States Mint will be striking and shipping a new state quarter to the Federal Reserve every ten weeks for the next ten years,” said Mint Director Philip N. Diehl. “We begin with Delaware and continue throughout the year with quarters bearing reverse designs honoring Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut — the first changes in the designs of the U.S. circulating coins since the Bicentennial in 1976.”
By enabling Americans to collect these circulating commemorative quarters, we’ll be able to share the joys of coin collecting and expand the traditional educational role of coins nationwide. And in the near future, we’ll announce the annual collector coin sets that will include the 50 State Quarters,” Diehl added.
The Delaware coin’s reverse depicts Caesar Rodney on horseback making his historic ride to cast the tie–breaking vote in favor of independence. The famed portrait of President George Washington will continue to grace the obverse (“heads”); however, inscriptions have been moved to accommodate the State designs on the reverse. The Eagle reverse is scheduled to resume in 2009.
Signed by the President in late 1997, the legislation authorized the Mint to honor the 50 states in the order they entered the Union or ratified the Constitution by producing five quarters each year from 1999 through 2008. The design process for each quarter is determined within each state by the Governor before design concepts are sent to the Mint, and then returned to the states for final selection. Approval of the final design rests with the Treasury Secretary.
The 50 State Quarters will be manufactured at both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, which produce all legal tender U.S. circulating coins, before being shipped to the Federal Reserve for distribution through the banking system. The Federal Reserve orders new quarters to ensure an adequate supply to meet the needs of commerce as commercial banks demand. The Mint projects production for each 50 States Quarter will range from 500 million to 750 million for each state reverse design.
For further information on the 50 State Quarters Program and future collectible products, visit the Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov.