About the State Quarters Program
The State Quarters Program came about as a result of the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act (Public Law 105-124) which was signed into law by President Clinton on December 1, 1997.
As a result of this Act, each of the 50 United States of America have had a commemorative quarter issued in their honor.
The state quarters were issued five per year beginning in 1999 according to the order in which each state joined the union. (See list of state quarters below)
The obverse or front of the quarters didn't see much change. They still feature a portrait of George Washington, however the inscriptions - "United States of America", "Liberty", "In God We Trust", and "Quarter Dollar", which had been on the reverse of prior quarters, were moved to the obverse to leave the reverse of the coin free for each state's unique design.
Each state designed the reverse of a coin according to guidelines set out in the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act.
Here are the guidelines as quoted from the United States Mint website:
- Designs shall maintain a dignity befitting the Nation's coinage.
- Designs shall have broad appeal to the citizens of the state and avoid controversial subjects or symbols that are likely to offend.
- Suitable subject matter for designs include state landmarks (natural and man-made), landscapes, historically significant buildings, symbols of state resources or industries, official state flora and fauna, state icons (e.g.. Texas Lone Star, Wyoming bronco, etc.), and outlines of the state.
- State flags and state seals are not considered suitable for designs.
- Consistent with the authorizing legislation, the states are encouraged to submit designs that promote the diffusion of knowledge among the youth of the United States about the state, its history and geography, and the rich diversity of our national heritage.
- Priority consideration will be given to designs that are enduring representations of the state. Coins have a commercial life span of at least 30 years and are collected for generations.
- Inappropriate design concepts include, but are not limited to logos or depictions of specific commercial, private, educational, civic, religious, sports, or other organizations whose membership or ownership is not universal.
Click here to skip down to list of state quarters
It was up to the governor of each state to come up with a selection process for the design of their state quarter.
Many states had contests among citizens of the state in their selection process.
The state would then submit from 3 to 5 design concepts to The United States Mint and the Mint would produce original artwork of the concepts.
After Recommendations from The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the designs were sent to Secretary of the Treasury for review and approval.
The designs that were approved by the Secretary of the Treasury were then sent back to the state for final selections.
New Coin Collectors are Created
The State Quarter Program has been instrumental in creating thousands of new coin collectors by providing a way for ordinary people to create impressive coin collections from circulating coins found in their everyday pocket change.
The State Quarter Program is a perfect series of coins for the beginner to start with.
Finally, you have reached the list of state quarters. They are grouped by the year in which they were released.
Click on the state that you are interested in to see more about that state's quarter, including images and mintage figures.