50 State quarters

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50 State quarter
United States
Value0.25 US Dollar
Mass6.25 (Ag); 5.67 (Cu-Ni) g
Diameter24.26 mm (0.955 in)
Thickness1.75 mm (0.069 in)
Edge119 reeds
Composition91.67% Cu 8.33% Ni (standard)
90% Ag 10% Cu (proof only)
Years of minting1999–2008
Mint marks P, D, S (proof only)
2006 Quarter Proof.png
Design George Washington
Designer John Flanagan (1932 version) from a 1786 bust by Houdon / William Cousins (modification to Flanagan's design)
Design date1999
2008 HI Proof.png
Designvarious; five designs per year (latest shown)
Design date2008

The 50 State quarters (authorized by Pub. L. Tooltip Public Law (United States)  105–124 (text) (PDF) , 111  Stat.   2534 , enacted December 1, 1997) was a series of circulating commemorative quarters released by the United States Mint. Minted from 1999 through 2008, they featured unique designs for each of the 50 US states on the reverse.


The 50 State Quarters Program was started to support a new generation of coin collectors, [1] [2] and it became the most successful numismatic program in US history, with roughly half of the US population collecting the coins, either in a casual manner or as a serious pursuit. [3] The US federal government so far has made additional profits of $3 billion from collectors taking the coins out of circulation. [4]

In 2009, the US Mint began issuing quarters under the 2009 District of Columbia and US Territories Program. The Territories Quarter Program was authorized by the passage of a newer legislative act, H.R. 2764. This program features the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. [5]


The 50 State Quarters program was initially inspired by a 1992 Royal Canadian Mint program, "Canada 125", marking the 125th anniversary of the country's Confederation with a series of commemorative 25-cent pieces representing each of its 12 (at the time) provinces and territories. The Canada 125 program sparked a revival of interest in coin collecting among Canadians, which led American numismatists to advocate for the United States Mint to create a similar series of coins representing U.S. states. [6] [7]

In 1992, Congress passed the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games Commemorative Coin Act. In addition to authorizing a series of commemorative coins marking the 1996 Summer Olympics, the law also established the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee (CCCAC) to consider ideas for future releases. [8] After Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen appointed the committee in December 1993, several of its members, led by David Ganz, urged the committee to endorse a state quarters program. Initially, Ganz found support from only Charles Atherton, from the Federal Commission on Fine Arts, and Dan Hoffman, a young numismatist from South Carolina who also served on the CCCAC. However, by 1995, the CCCAC finally endorsed the idea. The committee then sought the support of Representative Michael Castle (R-Delaware), chairman of the House Banking subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nation's coinage. Castle's initial caution was resolved when Diehl suggested the coins be issued in the order the states entered the Union or ratified the Constitution. Delaware, Castle's home state, was the first state to ratify the Constitution, and would thus get to be the first state to have its quarter released. Castle subsequently held hearings and filed legislation to authorize the program. [9]

Despite the support of the director of the mint and the Treasury Secretary-appointed CCCAC, the Treasury Department opposed the 50 States Quarters Program, as commemorative coinage had come to be identified with abuses and excesses. [10] The Mint's economic models estimated the program would earn the government between $2.6 billion and $5.1 billion in additional seignorage and $110 million in additional numismatic profits. Diehl and Castle used these profit projections to urge the Treasury's support, but Treasury officials found the projections to lack credibility (at the program's conclusion, the Mint estimated the program had earned $3 billion in additional seignorage and $136.2 million in additional numismatic profits). [4]

Diehl worked with Castle behind the scenes to move legislation forward despite the Treasury's opposition to the program. [1] [11] However, the Treasury suggested to Castle that the department should conduct a study to determine the feasibility of the program. With Diehl's advice, Castle accepted the Treasury's offer, and the agreement was codified in the United States Commemorative Coin Act of 1996. [12] [13] The act also authorized the Secretary to proceed with the 50 States Quarters Program without further congressional action if the results of the feasibility study were favorable.

The Treasury Department engaged the consulting firm Coopers and Lybrand to conduct the study in 1997, which confirmed the Mint's demand, seignorage, and numismatic profit projections for the program. [10] Among other conclusions, the study found that 98 million Americans were likely to save one or more full sets of the quarters (at the program's conclusion, the Mint estimated that 147 million Americans collected the 50 state quarters). Nevertheless, the Treasury Department continued to oppose the program and declined to proceed with it without a congressional mandate to do so. [4]

In 1997, Congress issued that mandate in the form of S. 1228, the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act, which was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 1, 1997.

50 State Quarters Program

The 50 State quarters were released by the United States Mint every ten weeks, or five each year. They were released in the same order that the states ratified the Constitution or were admitted to the Union. Each quarter's reverse commemorated one of the 50 states with a design emblematic of its unique history, traditions, and symbols. Certain design elements, such as state flags, images of living persons, and head-and-shoulder images of deceased persons were prohibited.

The authorizing legislation and Mint procedures gave each state a substantial role and considerable discretion in determining the design that would represent their state. The majority of states followed a process by which the governor solicited the state's citizens to submit design concepts and appointed an advisory group to oversee the process. Governors submitted three to five finalist design concepts to the Secretary of the Treasury for approval. Approved designs were returned to the states for selection of a final design.

States usually employed one of two approaches in making this selection. In 33 states, the governor selected the final recommended design, often based on the recommendations of advisory groups and citizens. In the other 17 states, citizens selected the final design through online, telephone, mail, or other public votes. US Mint engravers applied all final design concepts approved by the Treasury Secretary. The media and public attention surrounding this process and the release of each state's quarter was intense and produced significant publicity for the program. [4] [14]

The 50 State Quarters Program was the most popular commemorative coin program in United States history; the United States Mint has estimated that 147 million Americans have collected state quarters and 3.5 million participated in the selection of state quarter designs. [4]

By the end of 2008, all of the original 50 States quarters had been minted and released. The official total, according to the US Mint, was 34,797,600,000 coins. The average mintage was 695,952,000 coins per state, but ranged from Virginia's 1,594,616,000 to Oklahoma's 416,600,000. Demand was stronger for quarters issued early in the program. This was due to weakening economic conditions in later years and the waning of the initial surge of demand when the program was launched. Another factor was the reassertion of the Treasury Department's opposition to the program. When the director's term ended in 2000, the Treasury proceeded to reduce and finally terminate the most effective elements of the Mint's promotional program despite the high return on investment they earned.[ citation needed ]


YearNo.StateRelease date
(statehood date) [15]
Mintage [16] DesignElements depictedEngraver
19991 Delaware January 4, 1999
(December 7, 1787)
774,824,000 1999 DE Proof.png Caesar Rodney on horseback
Captions: "The First State", "Caesar Rodney"
William Cousins
2 Pennsylvania March 8, 1999
(December 12, 1787)
707,332,000 1999 PA Proof.png Commonwealth statue, state outline, keystone
Caption: "Virtue, Liberty, Independence"
John Mercanti
3 New Jersey May 17, 1999
(December 18, 1787)
662,228,000 1999 NJ Proof.png Washington Crossing the Delaware , which includes George Washington (standing) and James Monroe (holding the flag)
Caption: "Crossroads of the Revolution"
Alfred Maletsky
4 Georgia July 19, 1999
(January 2, 1788)
939,932,000 1999 GA Proof.png Peach, live oak (state tree) sprigs, state outline
Banner with text: "Wisdom, Justice, Moderation" (the state motto)
T. James Ferrell
5 Connecticut October 12, 1999
(January 9, 1788)
1,346,624,000 1999 CT Proof.png Charter Oak
Caption: "The Charter Oak"
T. James Ferrell
20006 Massachusetts January 3, 2000
(February 6, 1788)
1,163,784,000 2000 MA Proof.png The Minute Man statue, state outline
Caption: "The Bay State"
Thomas D. Rodgers
7 Maryland March 13, 2000
(April 28, 1788)
1,234,732,000 2000 MD Proof.png Dome of the Maryland State House, white oak (state tree) clusters
Caption: "The Old Line State"
Thomas D. Rodgers
8 South Carolina May 22, 2000
(May 23, 1788)
1,308,784,000 2000 SC Proof.png Carolina wren (state bird), yellow jessamine (state flower), cabbage palmetto (state tree), state outline
Caption: "The Palmetto State"
Thomas D. Rodgers
9 New Hampshire August 7, 2000
(June 21, 1788)
1,169,016,000 2000 NH Proof.png Old Man of the Mountain, nine stars (representing New Hampshire as the 9th state to join the Union)
Captions: "Old Man of the Mountain", "Live Free or Die"
William Cousins
10 Virginia October 16, 2000
(June 25, 1788)
1,594,616,000 2000 VA Proof.png Ships Susan Constant , Godspeed , Discovery
Captions: "Jamestown, 1607–2007", "Quadricentennial"
Edgar Z. Steever
200111 New York January 2, 2001
(July 26, 1788)
1,275,040,000 2001 NY Proof.png Statue of Liberty, 11 stars (representing New York as the 11th state to join the Union), state outline with line tracing Hudson River and Erie Canal
Caption: "Gateway to Freedom"
Alfred Maletsky
12 North Carolina March 12, 2001
(November 21, 1789)
1,055,476,000 2001 NC Proof.png Wright Flyer , John T. Daniels's iconic photo of the Wright brothers
Caption: "First Flight"
John Mercanti
13 Rhode Island May 21, 2001
(May 29, 1790)
870,100,000 2001 RI Proof.png America's Cup yacht Reliance on Narragansett Bay, Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge
Caption: "The Ocean State"
Thomas D. Rodgers
14 Vermont August 6, 2001
(March 4, 1791)
882,804,000 2001 VT Proof.png Maple trees with sap buckets, Camel's Hump Mountain
Caption: "Freedom and Unity"
T. James Ferrell
15 Kentucky October 15, 2001
(June 1, 1792)
723,564,000 2001 KY Proof.png Thoroughbred racehorse behind fence, Bardstown mansion, Federal Hill
Caption: "My Old Kentucky Home"
T. James Ferrell
200216 Tennessee January 2, 2002
(June 1, 1796)
648,068,000 2002 TN Proof.png Fiddle, trumpet, guitar, musical score, three stars
Banner with text: "Musical Heritage"
Donna Weaver
17 Ohio March 11, 2002
(March 1, 1803)
632,032,000 2002 OH Proof.png Wright Flyer III (built by the Wright Brothers who were from Dayton); astronaut; state outline
Caption: "Birthplace of Aviation Pioneers"
Donna Weaver
18 Louisiana May 20, 2002
(April 30, 1812)
764,204,000 2002 LA Proof.png Brown pelican (state bird); trumpet with musical notes, outline of Louisiana Purchase on map of US
Caption: "Louisiana Purchase"
John Mercanti
19 Indiana August 2, 2002
(December 11, 1816)
689,800,000 2002 IN Proof.png IndyCar, state outline, 19 stars (representing Indiana as the 19th state to join the Union)
Caption: "Crossroads of America"
Donna Weaver
20 Mississippi October 15, 2002
(December 10, 1817)
579,600,000 2002 MS Proof.png Two magnolia blossoms (state flower)
Caption: "The Magnolia State"
Donna Weaver
200321 Illinois January 2, 2003
(December 3, 1818)
463,200,000 2003 IL Proof.png Young Abraham Lincoln; farm scene; Chicago skyline; state outline; 21 stars, 11 on left edge and 10 on right
Captions: "Land of Lincoln;" "21st state/century"
Donna Weaver
22 Alabama March 17, 2003
(December 14, 1819)
457,400,000 2003 AL Proof.png Helen Keller, seated, longleaf pine (state tree) branch, magnolia blossoms
Banner with text: "Spirit of Courage"
Caption: "Helen Keller" in standard print and Braille
Norman E. Nemeth
23 Maine June 2, 2003
(March 15, 1820)
448,800,000 2003 ME Proof.png Pemaquid Point Lighthouse; the schooner Victory Chimes [17] at seaDonna Weaver
24 Missouri August 4, 2003
(August 10, 1821)
453,200,000 2003 MO Proof.png Gateway Arch, Lewis and Clark and York [18] returning down Missouri River
Caption: "Corps of Discovery 1804–2004"
Alfred Maletsky
25 Arkansas October 20, 2003
(June 15, 1836)
457,800,000 2003 AR Proof.png Diamond (state gem), rice stalks, mallard flying above a lakeJohn Mercanti
200426 Michigan January 26, 2004
(January 26, 1837)
459,600,000 2004 MI Proof.png State outline, outline of Great Lakes system
Caption: "Great Lakes State"
Donna Weaver
27 Florida March 29, 2004
(March 3, 1845)
481,800,000 2004 FL Proof.png Spanish galleon, Sabal palmetto (state tree), Space Shuttle
Caption: "Gateway to Discovery"
T. James Ferrell
28 Texas June 1, 2004
(December 29, 1845)
541,800,000 2004 TX Proof.png State outline, star, lariat
Caption: "The Lone Star State"
Norman E. Nemeth
29 Iowa August 30, 2004
(December 28, 1846)
465,200,000 2004 IA Proof.png Schoolhouse, teacher and students planting a tree; based on the Grant Wood painting Arbor Day [19] [20]
Captions: "Foundation in Education", "Grant Wood"
John Mercanti
30 Wisconsin October 25, 2004
(May 29, 1848)
453,200,000 2004 WI Proof.png Head of a cow, round of cheese and ear of corn (state grain).
Banner with text: "Forward"
Alfred Maletsky
200531 California January 31, 2005
(September 9, 1850)
520,400,000 2005 CA Proof.png John Muir, California condor, Half Dome
Captions: "John Muir," "Yosemite Valley"
Don Everhart
32 Minnesota April 4, 2005
(May 11, 1858)
488,000,000 2005 MN Proof.png Common loon (state bird), fishing, state outline
Caption: "Land of 10,000 Lakes"
Charles L. Vickers
33 Oregon June 6, 2005
(February 14, 1859)
720,200,000 2005 OR Proof.png   Crater Lake National Park
Caption: "Crater Lake"
Donna Weaver
34 Kansas August 29, 2005
(January 29, 1861)
563,400,000 2005 KS Proof.png American bison (state mammal), sunflowers (state flower)Norman E. Nemeth
35 West Virginia October 14, 2005
(June 20, 1863)
721,600,000 2005 WV Proof.png New River Gorge Bridge
Caption: "New River Gorge"
John Mercanti
200636 Nevada January 31, 2006
(October 31, 1864)
589,800,000 2006 NV Proof.png Mustangs, mountains, rising sun, sagebrush (state flower)
Banner with text: "The Silver State"
Don Everhart
37 Nebraska April 3, 2006
(March 1, 1867)
594,400,000 2006 NE Proof.jpg Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Conestoga wagon
Caption: "Chimney Rock"
Charles L. Vickers
38 Colorado June 14, 2006
(August 1, 1876)
569,000,000 2006 CO Proof.jpg Longs Peak
Banner with text: "Colorful Colorado"
Norman E. Nemeth
39 North Dakota August 28, 2006
(November 2, 1889)
664,800,000 2006 ND Proof.png American bison, badlands Donna Weaver
40 South Dakota November 6, 2006
(November 2, 1889)
510,800,000 2006-50-state-quarters-coin-south-dakota-proof-reverse.jpg Mount Rushmore, ring-necked pheasant (state bird), wheat (state grass)John Mercanti
200741 Montana January 29, 2007
(November 8, 1889)
513,240,000 2007 MT Proof.png American bison skull in the center with mountains and the Missouri River in the background.
Caption: "Big Sky Country"
Don Everhart
42 Washington April 2, 2007
(November 11, 1889)
545,200,000 2007 WA Proof.png Salmon leaping in front of Mount Rainier
Caption: "The Evergreen State"
Charles L. Vickers
43 Idaho June 4, 2007 [21]
(July 3, 1890)
581,400,000 2007 ID Proof reverse.jpg Peregrine falcon, state outline with star indicating location of state capital Boise, Idaho
Caption: "Esto Perpetua"
Don Everhart
44 Wyoming September 4, 2007
(July 10, 1890)
564,400,000 2007 WY Proof.png Bucking Horse and Rider
Caption: "The Equality State"
Norman E. Nemeth
45 Utah November 5, 2007
(January 4, 1896)
508,200,000 2007 UT Proof.png Golden spike, Locomotives Jupiter , No. 119 , and the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad
Caption: "Crossroads of the West"
Joseph F. Menna
200846 Oklahoma January 28, 2008
(November 16, 1907)
416,600,000 2008 OK Proof.png Scissor-tailed flycatcher (state bird), with Indian blankets (state wildflower) in background Phebe Hemphill
47 New Mexico April 7, 2008
(January 6, 1912)
488,600,000 2008 NM Proof.png State outline with relief, Zia sun symbol from flag
Caption: "Land of Enchantment"
Don Everhart
48 Arizona June 2, 2008
(February 14, 1912)
509,600,000 2008 AZ Proof.png Grand Canyon, saguaro cactus closeup.
Banner with text: "Grand Canyon State"
Joseph F. Menna
49 Alaska August 25, 2008
(January 3, 1959)
505,800,000 2008 AK Proof.png Grizzly bear with salmon (state fish) and North Star
Caption: "The Great Land"
Charles L. Vickers
50 Hawaii November 3, 2008
(August 21, 1959)
517,600,000 2008 HI Proof.png Statue of Kamehameha I with state outline and motto
Caption: "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono"
Don Everhart

District of Columbia and United States Territories release

Additional notes on individual designs

Year map

The following map shows the years each state, federal district, or territory was released as a state quarter.
Statehood quarters map 2009.svg
The following table has the quarters grouped by year.
ColorYear1st release2nd release3rd release4th release5th release6th release
 1999 Delaware Pennsylvania New Jersey Georgia Connecticut
 2000 Massachusetts Maryland South Carolina New Hampshire Virginia
 2001 New York North Carolina Rhode Island Vermont Kentucky
 2002 Tennessee Ohio Louisiana Indiana Mississippi
 2003 Illinois Alabama Maine Missouri Arkansas
 2004 Michigan Florida Texas Iowa Wisconsin
 2005 California Minnesota Oregon Kansas West Virginia
 2006 Nevada Nebraska Colorado North Dakota South Dakota
 2007 Montana Washington Idaho Wyoming Utah
 2008 Oklahoma New Mexico Arizona Alaska Hawaii
  2009 District of Columbia Puerto Rico Guam American Samoa US Virgin Islands Northern Mariana Islands

Collectible value

In 1997, Congress passed the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act, which instructed the creation of the 50 State quarters series to "honor the unique Federal Republic of 50 States that comprise the United States; and to promote the diffusion of knowledge among the youth of the United States about the individual states, their history and geography, and the rich diversity of the national heritage...", and to encourage "young people and their families to collect memorable tokens of all of the States for the face value of the coins." [37]

Coin with partially rubbed off "In God We Trust" motto InGodWeRust.jpg
Coin with partially rubbed off "In God We Trust" motto

While mintage totals of the various designs vary widely—Virginia quarters are almost 20 times as abundant as the Northern Marianas quarters—none of the regular circulating issues are rare enough to become a valuable investment.

There was, however, a measure of collector interest over die errors in the Wisconsin quarter. Some designs from the Denver mint feature corn without a smaller leaf, others feature a small leaf pointing upwards, and still others have the leaf bending down. [38] A set of all three quarters sold on eBay in February 2005 for $300 and initially saw significant increases, such as $1500 for individual coins, but as of February 2020 PCGS lists the value of MS-62 specimens from $92 to $130 each. [39]

Another die cast error ran with the first Delaware quarters. Being the first model of state quarter made, the mint gave it a disproportionate weight causing vending machines to not accept it. The quarter die was quickly fixed. Some Delaware quarters appeared without the last E, now saying, "THE FIRST STAT".

A major error occurred in 2000 when the reverse die of a Sacagawea dollar was combined with the obverse die of a state quarter on dollar-coin planchets to form what is known as a "mule". As of August 2019, only 19 of these specimens, produced on dollar planchets, are known to have escaped from the Mint. [40] [41] [42]

A 2005 Minnesota double die quarter, as well as a 2005 Minnesota quarter with extra trees (another die error), have both triggered numismatic interest. An unusual die break on some 2005 Kansas quarters created a humpback bison. [43] Relatively more common are Kansas quarters bearing the motto "IN GOD WE RUST." [44]

The United States produces proof coinage in circulating base metal and, since 1992, in separately sold sets with the dimes, quarters, and half-dollars in silver. For the silver issues, the 1999 set is the most valuable, being the first year of the series and with a relatively small mintage, although prices have significantly decreased since the 50 State Quarters Program ended. The set in base metal, of this or any other year, is worth only a fraction as much. The silver proof sets of later years, while having some intrinsic and collector worth, are also priced far lower. The public is cautioned to research prices before buying advertised state quarter year or proof sets.

In general, the program increased interest in quarter and general coin collecting. [45] Large numbers of ads, quarter products and quarter information were available during the years the program ran. Home Shopping Network, Franklin Mint, and Littleton Coin Company were among the most prominent in ad space.


Since the 50 State Quarters Program was expected to increase public demand for quarters which would be collected and taken out of circulation, the Mint used economic models to estimate the additional seigniorage the program would produce. These estimates established a range of $2.6 billion to $5.1 billion. (At the end of the program, the Mint estimated the actual increase in seigniorage to be $3 billion.) The Mint also estimated the program would earn $110 million in additional numismatic profits. (The final, post-program estimate was $136.2 million.) The Mint used these estimates to support the proposed program, and the legislation enacting the 50 States Quarters program cited these estimates. [4]


See also

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The United States Sesquicentennial coin issue consisted of a commemorative half dollar and quarter eagle struck in 1926 at the Philadelphia Mint for the 150th anniversary of American independence. The obverse of the half dollar features portraits of the first president, George Washington, and the president in 1926, Calvin Coolidge, making it the only American coin to depict a president in his lifetime.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Panama–Pacific commemorative coins</span> Series of five commemorative coins of the United States

The five Panama–Pacific commemorative coins were produced in connection with the 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Struck at that city's mint, the issue included round and octagonal $50 pieces. Excepting modern bullion coins, these two gold pieces are the highest denomination ever issued and the largest coins ever struck by the United States Mint. The octagonal $50 piece is the only U.S. coin to be issued that is not round.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">York County, Maine, Tercentenary half dollar</span> Commemorative fifty-cent coin struck by the United States Mint

The York County, Maine, Tercentenary half dollar is a 50-cent commemorative coin minted in 1936 to mark the tercentenary of the founding of York County, Maine. The obverse shows Brown's Garrison, the fort around which York County was formed, while the reverse depicts the county's arms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coins</span> American commemorative coin set

The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary commemorative coins were issued by the United States Mint in 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first crewed landing on the Moon by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Consisting of a gold half eagle, two different sizes of silver dollars, and a copper-nickel clad half dollar, each of the four was issued in proof condition, with all but the larger silver dollar also issued in uncirculated. The gold coins were struck at the West Point Mint, the silver at the Philadelphia Mint and the base metal half dollars at the mints in Denver and San Francisco.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United States Proof Set</span> Set of American proof coins

The United States Mint Proof Set, commonly known as the Proof Set in the United States, is a set of proof coins sold by the United States Mint. The proof set is popular with coin collectors as it is an affordable way to collect examples of United States coinage in proof condition.


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Preceded by 50 State quarters
Succeeded by