Coinyoshi's Blog

08 Aug 2021

The 50 State Quarters Program

Coins-United States | Coinyoshi

You may know that the 50 state quarters program was a series of quarters minted from 1999-2008, with a new quarter being minted about every ten weeks. The designs on the reverse have symbols showing each state's unique history and traditions. These quarters have inspired millions of Americans to begin coin collecting. Today, I will be talking about these quarters.

The 50 state quarters were released in the order the states joined the union or ratified the constitution, starting with Delaware (ratified the constitution in 1787) and ending with Hawaii (Joined the union in 1959). George Washington is still on the obverse, but as I said before, the reverse is unique to each state. The governor of each state chooses the selection process, which is then sent to the US mint with background material to show what they mean by each symbol. The designs themselves should show broad appeal and avoid controversial subjects. Some of the most popular symbols on these quarters are famous buildings, landmarks, animals, and symbols of state resources or industries.

In 1997, President Bill Clinton signed legislation which authorized the mint to honor each state with its own quarter, and that included some changes to the coin itself. Most of the changes were made to the obverse to accommodate the designs on the reverse. The words "United States of America" and "Quarter Dollar" were moved to the obverse. They also made Washington's bust smaller to make room for the words they put on there. These changes were not only made for the state quarters, but were still kept for the US territory and America the Beautiful quarter programs released after the 50 states.

Every reverse on these quarters is required to show the name of the state, the year it became a state, the year the quarter was minted, and the words E Pluribus Unum, as well as the symbols and words chosen by the state. By showing these places, events, people and words on the back of the quarter, the mint wanted to give people history lessons that they could put in their pockets.

People collect the 50 state quarters in different ways. Some just buy a full set from the mint or an authorized dealer at a certain price. Some buy a blank State Quarters map and fill it in with spare change. Some collect the proof sets with the 5 coins from every year. A "full" set of 50 state quarters would be two from every state: one with the P mintmark and the other with the D mintmark. Personally, I enjoy having the full set while filling up with my blank map.

Thanks for reading!

Bibliography: The 50 State Quarters handbook by the US MintMy own official state quarters set50 State Quarters Program


AC coin$

Level 6

Good blog .

It's Mokie

Level 6

Some of the designs were pretty pedestrian (I am looking at you Ohio) but I loved the simplicity of the Wyoming quarter, the artistic merit of the New Mexico quarter, and the throwback appeal of the Hawaii quarter.


Level 6

This is a very fun series! Nice blog! ; )


Level 5

This is the first series I completed and i'm doing it again!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

I rather enjoyed this series. I would like to see all the state seals on the reverse of quarters some day.


Level 6

Very nice blog on a popular series. Thanks.


Level 6

Hopefully, this program added new collectors


Level 5

I saw a 50 states quarter map at the thrift store yesterday ! I never got into the quarters. I have one album missing 1 quarter. Then I lost interest.

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