WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Mint today announced that it has begun shipping the second design in the new 50 State Quarter series to the Federal Reserve for distribution to commercial banks and financial institutions. The second quarter design of the 50 State Quarters series honors Pennsylvania, the second State to join the Union. The shipment of the Pennsylvania quarters follows the release of the Delaware quarters which were shipped in January 1999, with quarters honoring New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut to be released later in the year.
“With the release of new Pennsylvania quarters, we are continuing the momentum of the U.S. Mint’s successful 50 State Quarters program. We know from the response to the Delaware quarters that Americans are eagerly awaiting Pennsylvania quarters, and are looking forward to collecting all 50 designs in this unique 10–year series,” said U.S. Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow.
“We have a special feeling for the state of Pennsylvania because Philadelphia has been the original home of the Mint since 1792,” said Mint Director Philip N. Diehl. “On behalf of the Mint, I want to thank the citizens of the Commonwealth for their part in helping to design the second of the 50 State Quarters.”
The Pennsylvania quarter features a reverse (tails) design depicting the “Commonwealth” statue which sits atop the Pennsylvania capital dome, an outline of the state, the state motto and a keystone. The famed portrait of President George Washington continues to grace the obverse (heads); however, inscriptions have been moved to accommodate the state designs on the reverse. The coin is expected to begin appearing in circulation this summer.
Legislation signed by the President in late 1997 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 with reverse designs celebrating the heritage of each state. 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 well–known “Eagle” reverse quarter is scheduled to resume in 2009.
The 50 State Quarters are 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 of up to 750 million quarters for each state reverse design.
For further information on the 50 State Quarters program and future collectible products, visit the Mint’s web site at www.usmint.gov.