PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — The United States Mint celebrated the launching of the American Samoa commemorative quarter–dollar coin yesterday at the Samoana High School Gym in Pago Pago, the territory’s capital city. United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart and American Samoa Governor Togiola T.A. Tulafono led the celebration of the fourth coin in the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program.
“This beautiful quarter–dollar coin honoring American Samoa’s vibrant traditional culture and rugged beauty is a welcome addition to American coinage,” Brunhart told the crowd.
The reverse (tails side) of the American Samoa quarter, sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor–Engraver Charles L. Vickers, features the ava bowl (“tanoa”), whisk and staff in the foreground, with the shore featured in the background. The ava ceremony is considered the most significant traditional event in the Samoan culture. Inscribed on the coin’s reverse are AMERICAN SAMOA and SAMOA MUAMUA LE ATUA, which means “Samoa, God is First.”
Following the ceremony, Tulafono and Brunhart distributed new American Samoa quarters to children 18 years old and younger to commemorate the event. Adults exchanged their currency for $10 rolls of American Samoa quarters.
On Wednesday evening, Brunhart hosted a collector’s coin forum, where he discussed United States Mint programs. Audience members shared their ideas about what they would like to see on U.S. coinage in the future.
The United States Mint is offering the American Samoa quarter for sale in two–roll sets (40 coins per roll) containing one roll each from the United States Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver, and in bags of 100 and 1,000 coins. To place an order, visit the United States Mint Web site at www.usmint.gov/catalog or call 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). The 2009 American Samoa Quarter Two–Roll Sets and the American Samoa 100–Coin Bags are $32.95 each, and the American Samoa 1,000–Coins Bags are $309.95 each.
For a digital image of the American Samoa quarter, go to: /learn/dc-and-us-territories/index.
Free United States Mint lesson plans about the American Samoa quarter may be downloaded at:
The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.