IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Mint today announced that it has begun production of the seventh design in the 50 State Quarters series, and will begin shipping new Maryland quarters to Federal Reserve banks on March 13, 2000. The striking of Maryland quarters signals the end of production for Massachusetts quarters, as each design in the 50 State Quarters™ Program is produced for just 10 weeks.
“As the public looks forward to the new Maryland quarter, it is important to remember that there are now six ‘retired’ quarter designs,” said U.S. Mint Director Philip N. Diehl. “The quarter designs for Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut and Massachusetts are currently circulating in pocket change and available in collectors editions, but they are no longer being produced.”
The Maryland quarter features a reverse design depicting the Maryland State House dome in Annapolis. “As the oldest working state house in the country, our magnificent capitol building represents Maryland’s rich history and the unique role our State has played in American history,” said Governor Parris N. Glendening. “Among its many distinctions, the Maryland State House is the only state house in the country ever to have served as the nation’s capitol. The new quarter will be a lasting reminder of Maryland’s heritage and its place in American history.” On the quarter, the state house dome is surrounded by the nickname “The Old Line State” and balanced on both sides by oak leaf clusters.
Maryland quarters will begin appearing in circulation by late spring. Following the release of the Maryland quarter, state designs being produced in 2000 will honor South Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia.
“Due to increased consumer demand for the 50 State Quarters Program coins, we will be striking more than one billion quarters to satisfy the 10–week period when Maryland is honored with a quarter design,” said Diehl. “This quantity represents more than a 50% increase over the number of quarters we produced for Delaware, the first design in the 50 State Quarters series.”
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 Program coins 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.