The United States Mint has embarked on a campaign to create a special quarter for each state. One new quarter is released every 10 weeks, starting in 1999 and going until 2008. They are released in the order in which each state was admitted to the Union. Each quarter shares the same front design: the head of George Washington, the words "Liberty", "United States of America", "Quarter Dollar", and "In God We Trust". It also has a P for the Philadelphia mint or a D for the Denver mint. Both mints make each quarter.

The back is where the quarters are different. Each one has the name of the state, the year the quarter was issued, the year of statehood, the words E Pluribus Unum, and a special design unique to that state. Each state is free to make up its own design for the back of its state quarter.

All information was gathered both from looking at the quarters themselves and from the US Mint website (http://www.usmint.gov). When I needed particular information (what bridge is that on the Rhode Island quarter?), I had to refer to the US Mint site for specifics.

Quarters released in 1999

Delaware

The first quarter issued under this program, it features a man on horseback with the words "Caesar Rodney" beside it. He is already well-discussed in his own node, so read that for more information. The words "The First State" are on the other side of the horse, reminding us all how Delaware beat the rest of us to ratification. (Like their license plates don't do that enough already.)

Pennsylvania

The "Commonwealth", a fourteen foot tall statue atop the Pennsylvania capitol, is the main attraction on this quarter. Many of the features of the statue are symbolic, but I won't get into that here. There's also an outline of the state (a feature which many other quarters use), an image of a keystone (the state nickname is "The Keystone State"), and the state motto: "Virtue Liberty Independence". Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the Constitution and so is the second quarter issued.

New Jersey

The center of this quarter is a picture of Washington's famous crossing of the Delaware River during the Revolutionary War. This allowed Washington to invade Trenton. Below this picture are the words "Crossroads of the Revolution".

Georgia

This quarter features an outline of the state, with a peach in the center and the words "Wisdom, Justice, Moderation" around everything. That's the state motto of Georgia. There are also Live Oak branches on either side of the state outline, which is the official state tree.

While the peach is often associated with Georgia, it is South Carolina that has the gigantic peach-shaped water tower.

Connecticut

The Connecticut state quarter bears a picture of the Charter Oak, already discussed in another node. One thing I've noticed is that this appears to be the most common of the state quarters in circulation, as I've encountered many more of them than any other state.

Quarters released in 2000

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is another state to prominently feature an outline of the state in its design. In front of the outline is a Minuteman, a member of a very small group of irregulars who were influential during the Revolutionary War as they helped battle the British. In particular, this Minuteman is actually the statue of the same name which stands in Concord, MA. Off to the side are the words "The Bay State". Massachusetts is the only state whose design contest was limited to children.

Maryland

This quarter shows the famous Maryland Statehouse, featuring the largest nailless wooden dome in the country. It is also the only building to be serve as both a state capital and the national capital (for a short time). This is where the Treaty of Paris was signed. The quarter also bears branches of the White Oak, the official state tree, around the outside and the words "The Old Line State". This nickname was given following the skill of Maryland soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

South Carolina

The South Carolina quarter contains many of the official state symbols - the Carolina Wren (state bird), the Yellow Jessamine (state flower), and the Palmetto Tree (state tree). It also has an outline of the state with a star over the location of Columbia, the capital. Finally, the words "The Palmetto State" are written inside the outline.

New Hampshire

This New England state's quarter has The Old Man of the Mountain as its most prominent feature. This is a big rock formation on Mt. Cannon in northern New Hampshire which looks like a face if viewed from the proper angle. There's also the state motto, "Live Free or Die", and nine stars around the edge. New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, hence the nine stars.

Virginia

Virginia's design focuses on Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the country. It shows the three ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and the Discovery which brought settlers. The quarter also bears the words "Jamestown 1607-2007" indicating that one year before the state quarters program is completed, Jamestown will be 400 years old. Or something like that.

Quarters released in 2001

New York

Most prominent is the outline of the state of New York, with the Statue of Liberty standing in front. Visible on the state outline is the Hudson River and the Erie Canal, both major waterways in New York. The words "Gateway to Freedom" are off to the side, indicating how New York was viewed by the millions who came to the United States through Ellis Island. Finally, there are eleven stars around the edge of the coin, signifying this as the eleventh state to be admitted.

North Carolina

North Carolina's quarter is controversial because of the picture on it. It features the Wright Brothers on the first successful flight of their airplane at the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk. The phrase over the picture is "First Flight".

While it's true that the Wright Brothers did make the first flight in North Carolina, they did the majority of their work at their bike shop in Ohio. Consequently, Ohio often claims to be the state which gave birth to the flying age. North Carolina makes the same claim, even though it was only the site of the flight.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island's quarter shows off one of the few things in the state - its abundant beaches and places for sailing. In particular, the quarter shows the Pell Bridge and a sail boat in Narragansett Bay. The words "The Ocean State" sit right above the middle of the bridge.

Vermont

Vermont's quarter features Camel's Hump Mountain in the background, with maple trees in front. A man is carrying sap buckets away from the trees. Vermont is well-known for its maple syrup production which is where the image of the maple trees comes from. On the right side of the coin are the words "Freedom and Unity", which may or may not be the state motto (our Vermont node is lacking).

Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is probably best known for its horses and horse racing (though they have some damn good caves too). So it's no surprise that their quarter shows a horse standing behind a fence, with the Federal Hill mansion in the background. It was at this house where Stephen Foster wrote the official state song, My Old Kentucky Home. These words are also written towards the top, just above the horse's head.

Quarters released in 2002

Tennessee

This quarter celebrates the reputation Tennessee has gained for music. There are three musical instruments in the center - a guitar, trumpet, and fiddle. These represent the country, blues, and Appalachian styles, respectively. There are also three stare around the instruments which represent the same thing. A banner with the words "Musical Heritage" is hung under the instruments.

Ohio

This quarter features the words "Birthplace of Aviation Promises" with prominent pictures of the Wright Brothers' airplane and an astronaut. The astronaut is present because both Neil Armstrong and John Glenn are both Ohians. This is all over a state outline. I had a feeling Ohio would put the Wright Brothers on their quarter, just like North Carolina did. :)

Louisiana

Unlike most other state quarters, Louisiana's doesn't have an outline of the state. Instead, it has an outline of the entire country with a big shaded in section and the words "Louisiana Purchase" beside it. It also bears the pelican (the state bird) and a horn with some music notes. The horn symbolizes the jazz music which has made New Orleans famous throughout the world.

US State Quarters released in 2002 Indiana

The Indiana quarter, the fourth quarter of 2002 and nineteenth in the series, represents the state pride in the famous Indianapolis 500 race. The design features the image of a racecar superimposed on an outline of the state with the inscription "Crossroads of America." The design also includes 19 stars signifying Indiana as the 19th state admitted into the Union.

Mississippi

The Mississippi quarter, the fifth and last quarter of 2002 and 20th in the series, showcases the beauty and elegance of the state flower, combining the blossoms and leaves of two magnolias with the inscription "The Magnolia State."

Quarters released in 2003

Illinois

The Illinois quarter is the first quarter of 2003, and the 21st in the 50 State Quarters® Program. The Illinois quarter design depicts a young Abraham Lincoln within the outline of the state. A farm scene and the Chicago skyline appear on the left and to the right of the state's outline. Twenty-one stars border the coin, signifying Illinois as the 21st state to be admitted into the Union on December 3, 1818.

Alabama

The Alabama quarter is the second quarter of 2003, and the 22nd in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Alabama became the 22nd state to be admitted into the Union on December 14, 1819. The Alabama quarter design features an image of Helen Keller with her name in English, and in a reduced-size version of braille. The Alabama quarter is the first U.S. circulating coin to feature braille. An Alabama long leaf pine branch and magnolias grace the sides of the design, and a "Spirit of Courage" banner underlines the central image.

Maine

The Maine quarter is the third quarter of 2003, and the 23rd in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Maine became the 23rd state to be admitted into the Union, as part of the Missouri Compromise on March 15, 1820. The Maine quarter design incorporates a rendition of the Pemaquid Point Light atop a granite coast and of a schooner at sea.

Missouri

The Missouri quarter is the fourth quarter of 2003, and the 24th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821, as a part of the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri quarter depicts Lewis and Clark’s historic return to St. Louis down the Missouri River, with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) in the background. The quarter is inscribed "Corps of Discovery 1804-2004."

Arkansas

The Arkansas quarter is the fifth and final quarter of 2003, and the 25th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Arkansas was admitted into the Union on June 15, 1836. Arkansas was acquired through the Louisiana Purchase and later became the Arkansas Territory before gaining statehood. The Arkansas quarter design bears the image of rice stalks, a diamond and a mallard gracefully flying above a lake.


The following information was collected from the US Mint website, and used under Public Domain doctrine per the published Terms of Use: usmint.gov/policy/index.cfm?action=TermsOfUse.

CST Approved

More information can be found at the US Mint website: http://usmint.gov/

Quarters released in 2004

Michigan

Michigan was the 26th state added to the Union and hence the 26th state quarter issued. The coin features the outline of the state with a textured surface and the five Great Lakes that surround it. Four of the Great Lakes border Michigan. Other designs for the state quarter considered the Mackinac Bridge that connects the Lower Peninsula with the Upper Peninsula and an early model automobile.

Florida

  • Statehood Date: Mar. 3, 1845
  • Release Date: Mar. 29, 2004
  • Coin Caption: "Gateway To Discovery"

The coin for the state of Florida, the 27th state, shows a Spanish Galleon, Sabal Palm trees and the Space shuttle. The Sabal Palm is the Florida state tree. The ship and the space shuttle symbolize Florida's role in exploration. The Everglades and St. Augustine were considered in other designs.

Texas

The Texas coin shows the outline of the state, an icon itself, with a single star superimposed on the state. A lariat of rope borders the perimeter of the coin face. The name Texas comes from the Indian word tejas that means "friendship", which is the state motto. Other designs included images of longhorn cattle, an oil derrick and The Alamo.

Iowa

  • Statehood Date: Dec. 28, 1846
  • Release Date: Aug. 30, 2004
  • Coin Captions: "Foundation In Education" and "Grant Wood"

The scene on the Iowa coin was taken from Grant Wood's painting, "Arbor Day. It shows a one-room school house and a teacher with students planting a tree. Other designs that had been considered were "American Gothic", probably Wood's most famous painting, and The Sullivan Brothers who were all killed on the USS Juneau during World War II .

Wisconsin

  • Statehood Date: May 29, 1848
  • Release Date: Oct. 25, 2004
  • Coin Caption: "Forward"

The Wisconsin state quarter features the head of a cow, a round of cheeze and an ear of corn. The Wisconsin motto "Forward" does carry some weight since they led the way in such social programs as workman's compensation and assistance for the elderly. One minting of the state quarter was defective. It showed what looked to be an extra leaf on the ear of corn. The defective coin is more valuable to collectors because of its rarity.


Quarters released in 2005

California

California was the 31st state of the United States. This quarter features John Muir during a hike (possibly in the Yosemite Valley), a condor in flight and Half Dome, which is a 4500 feet high granite wall shaped like a large arc. in Yosemite Valley. Muir helped found the Sierra Club.

Minnesota

The Minnesota coin shows two people fishing on a lake with Norway pines on the far shore. A Common Loon is in the foreground on the lake. The Common Loon is the state bird. An outline of the state with the caption "Land of 10,000 Lakes" is embossed on it. Just for the record, Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes.

Oregon

  • Statehood Date: Feb. 14, 1859
  • Release Date: Jun. 6, 2005
  • Coin Caption: "Crater Lake"

The Oregon quarter shows a portion of Crater Lake and Wizard Island. Crater Lake, almost 2000 feet deep is the deepest lake in the United States. In the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, author Robert Pirsig described taking his young son to see Crater Lake. The boy was not impressed. He's probably not alone . It would have been impressive to see Mount Mazama collapse, which is what contributed to the formation of Crater Lake.

Kansas

  • Statehood Date: Jan. 29, 1861
  • Release Date: Aug. 29, 2005
  • Coin Caption: None

The Kansas state quarter shows the American bison and a sunflower. The American bison is the official state animal of Kansas and the sunflower is the state flower. The bison is more commonly known as the buffalo to most Americans. It was hunted almost to extiction in the 19th century.

West Virginia

The West Virginia state quarter displays an image of the New River Gorge Bridge. The bridge is a landmark achievement in the gorge, a place of splendid natural beauty. The New River is possibly the oldest river in the country. The famous Mothman was also considered as a possible subject for the state coin.


Quarters released in 2006

Nevada

Nevada was the 36th state of the United States. This quarter features wild mustangs, the sun rising behind mountains and wild sagebrush bordering each side. Silver is the state metal. The theme of the Nevada quarter is "Morning in Nevada". Critics claim that the mountains in the background are the Sierra Nevada which are actually to the west in California. Perhaps they could change it to Evening in Nevada. Despite that and a couple other discrepancies it is still a beautiful coin.

Nebraska

  • Statehood Date: Mar. 1, 1867
  • Release Date: Apr. 3, 2006
  • Coin Caption: "Chimney Rock"

The Nebraska coin shows a covered wagon with Chimney Rock in the background. An alternate design for the Nebraska quarter featured Standing Bear, a Native American leader who sued the federal government to entitle constitutional rights to Native Americans.

Colorado

  • Statehood Date: Aug. 1, 1876
  • Release Date: Jun. 14, 2006
  • Coin Caption: "Colorful Colorado"

Colorado,the 38th state, is know as the "Centennial State" since it joined the Union one month after the Centennial of the United States. The state quarter shows a portion of the Rocky Mountains with evergreen trees in the foreground.

North Dakota

  • Statehood Date: Nov. 2, 1889
  • Release Date: Aug. 2006
  • Coin Caption: None

The North Dakota state quarter shows American bison with a sunset behind a mesa in The Badlands. The Kansas state quarter also has American bison.

South Dakota

  • Statehood Date: Nov. 2, 1889
  • Release Date: Oct. 2006
  • Coin Caption: None

The South Dakota state quarter shows Mount Rushmore and a Chinese ring-necked pheasant. Also, the coin is bordered by heads of wheat. These look similar to the reverse of pre-1959 pennies that were nicknamed wheat backs or wheat pennies.


Quarters released in 2007

Montana

Montana is the 41st state and it's state quarter features the skull of a bison over a landscape of the Rocky Mountains. Montana got the Big Sky Country nickname from a Montana State Highway Department campaign in 1962.

Washington

The Washington quarter shows a salmon leaping out of a body of water, the far shore lined with evergreens, and Mount Rainier in the background.

Idaho

Idaho's state quarter has a Peregrine Falcon on the left side of the coin with the state's motto Esto Perpetua, Latin for "may it be forever" on the right. Below is an outline of the state with a star locating the state capitol, Boise. The Peregrine Falcon was once an endangered species but is now prolierating throughout Idaho.

Wyoming

  • Statehood Date: Jul. 3, 1890
  • Release Date: Aug. 2007
  • Coin Caption: "The Equality State"

The Wyoming state quarter features a bucking horse and rider in base relief. The motto The Equality State is also on the simple design. Some coin collectors thought the flat feature of bucking horse and rider was a minting error.

Utah

  • Statehood Date: July 4, 1896
  • Release Date: Oct. 2007
  • Coin Caption: "Crossroads of the West"

The Utah state quarter features the scene from Promontory Point in 1869 when the Golden Spike was driven to complete The Transcontinental Railroad linking the east with the west. Two steam locomotives face each other beneath a railroad spike with the motto across the top of the coin.


Quarters released in 2008

Oklahoma

  • Statehood Date: Nov. 8, 1907
  • Release Date: Jan. 2008
  • Coin Caption: none

Oklahoma, the 46th state in the United States is also known as the "Sooner State". The quarter shows an image of the Scissortail Flycatcher, the state bird, in flight over the "Indian Blanket" which is the state wildflower.

New Mexico

New Mexico is the 47th state. This coin features the Zia sun symbol over the outline of the state's border and centered over Santa Fe, the state capital. The Zia sun symbol, which originated from the Indians of Zia Pueblo, also appears on New Mexico's state flag. The Zia design represents their belief in the basic harmony of all things in the universe.

Arizona

  • Statehood Date: Feb. 14, 1912
  • Release Date: Jun. 2008
  • Coin Caption: Grand Canyon State

Arizona is the 48th state and the last of the continental states. On the coin is an image of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world carved by the Colorado River. The Saguaro Cactus is also shown on the coin and is the largest cactus in the U.S. growing as tall as 50 feet in height.

Alaska

  • Statehood Date: Jan. 3, 1959
  • Release Date: Aug. 2008
  • Coin Caption: The Great Land

Alaska is the 49th state and the word Alaska comes from the Aleutian word meaning "The Great Land". The coin features a grizzly bear with a salmon in its mouth. Also shown is the North Star in the background above the bear.

Hawaii

Hawaii is the 50th state and the last of the 50 state quarters to be issued. The Aloha State features King Kamehameha, who unified the governance of the Hawaiian Islands into one kingdom in the 19th century, and the eight major islands.



Sources:

50 State Quarters - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State Quarters)

The 50 State Quarters Program of the United States Mint (http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/50sq_program/imdex.cfm?action=schedule)

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