Who is in the Quarter coin? The United States quarter coin has been in circulation since 1796, with many special editions released over the years featuring prominent Americans. If you’ve ever wondered ‘Who is on the quarter?’ while digging through your pocket change, you’re not alone.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The standard United States Quarter features George Washington on the front (called the Obverse) and either an eagle or a national park/state design on the back (called the reverse).

Special edition quarters celebrate influential Americans by replacing the eagle design with portraits of honorees.

In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the history of the quarter coin, learn about George Washington’s enduring presence, see who has been featured on commemorative state and national park quarters since 1999, and spotlight some other special edition honorees.

The Original Quarter Design Featuring First President George Washington

Who Is In The Quarter Coin?

Background on Why Washington was Chosen

As the first President of the United States, George Washington was a natural choice to be featured in the inaugural quarter design in 1932. Washington was revered as the “Father of His Country” and was renowned for his military leadership in the Revolutionary War as well as his pioneering role as President in shaping the office during its formative years.

The George Washington Quarter was issued in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Washington’s birth. The choice to feature Washington in the quarter reflected his immense contributions to establishing the United States as an independent nation.

Key reasons Washington was selected:

  • As the nation’s first president, Washington set important precedents for the office of the presidency and peaceful transitions of power.
  • He was considered a non-partisan, unifying national figure that all Americans could celebrate across political affiliations.
  • His leadership as General of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War made victory against the British possible.

Honoring Washington on the quarter was intended to inspire national pride in an iconic leader who helped create the United States.

Details of Washington Quarter Design

The Washington Quarter design is famous for its profile depiction of George Washington facing the left. Washington is shown wearing a wig of the era tied back in a queue. The original 1932 design was adapted from the Jean-Antoine Houdon sculpture of Washington.

Key Details Description
Words Engraved “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, “1932”, and the mint mark images
s Engraved George Washington bust profile facing left
Coin Dimensions Weight: 5.67 grams, Diameter: 24.3mm

This familiar profile of Washington has endured on the quarter for over 90 years, cementing his iconic status. However, the Washington Quarter design has gone through a few subtle modifications over time – primarily changing the appearance of the number indicating the year minted.

Since 1932, over 21 billion Washington quarters have been minted. More than any other coin denomination, the Washington Quarter has circulated widely and enabled generations of Americans to admire Washington’s lasting legacy.

Today, Washington remains prominently featured in the US Quarter, an enduring symbol of his instrumental leadership in American history. The profile illustration with Washington gazing leftwards towards a brighter future for the fledgling nation he helped create remains a familiar sight in pocket change.

The 50 State Quarters Program Honoring Each State (1999-2008)

How the Program Came About

The 50 State Quarters program started with the United States Mint Act of 1997. This legislation authorized the production of unique quarter coins to honor each of the 50 states over 10 years, from 1999 to 2008.

The goal was to encourage people to learn about each state’s unique history, traditions, and symbols.

The governor of each state chose their quarter’s reverse design from candidate designs submitted by Mint artists. U.S. territories also got to submit designs for quarters toward the end of the program.

In all, the Mint produced 56 unique quarter designs in commemoration of the 50 states, Washington D.C., and 5 major U.S. territories.

Coins for Each of the 50 States

The 50 State Quarters program release schedule proceeded in the order the states ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union. Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut got their first year of minting in 1999. Kentucky closed out the program in 2008.

Coin designs featured distinctive state symbols, historical events, traditions, landmarks, and figures meaningful to that state. For example, New York honored the Statue of Liberty, North Carolina depicted the Wright Brothers’ first flight, and Utah recognized its role in connecting the Transcontinental Railroad.

Territories Also Included

In addition to the 50 states, the U.S. Mint issued quarters in 2009 to honor 6 territories: Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Washington D.C. Their designs reflected aspects of the territories’ history, native wildlife, landmarks, and culture.

The special 2009 quarters marked the culmination of the program before regular Washington quarter dollars resumed production. In all, the 50 State Quarters program was a resounding success that stimulated interest in coin collecting and U.S. history.

The 56 National Park Quarters Recognizing Beautiful Parks

America the Beautiful Quarters® Program Overview

The America the Beautiful Quarters program is an initiative launched by the United States Mint in 2010 to honor national parks and other national sites around the country. The U.S. Mint planned this 12-year campaign to issue 56 new quarter-dollar coins featuring designs depicting national parks and other national sites from each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories in the order that they joined the union or were established (Source: U.S. Mint).

So far, the Mint has released 50 quarters through 2022 featuring beautiful places such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park quarter (Tennessee 2014), White Mountain National Forest quarter (New Hampshire 2021), Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve quarter (U.S. Virgin Islands 2017) and more, showing the diverse landscape and preservation efforts in the U.S.

Coins Featuring National Parks and Sites

The upcoming 2023 coin releases will include quarters honoring Great Basin National Park (Nevada), San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas), and more. The full list of upcoming national sites yet to be featured is as follows:

  • Great Basin National Park (Nevada) – 2023
  • San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas) – 2023
  • New River Gorge National Park and Preserve (West Virginia) – 2024
  • Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Kansas) – 2024
  • Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site (Alabama) – 2025
  • Fruit Loops National Monument (Guam) – 2025

The National Park Quarters program has been very popular, with millions of coin collectors and park enthusiasts eager to acquire the latest Park Quarter. The U.S. Mint reported selling over 100 million America the Beautiful Quarters products from 2010 to 2021, highlighting the success of the program (Source: U.S. Mint).

As the America the Beautiful Quarters Program enters its final years, people are excited to collect the last national park quarters and remember these sites protecting America’s natural wonders and history for generations to come.

Other Special Edition Quarters Celebrating Important Americans

Washington D.C. and U.S. Territories Quarters

Beginning in 2009, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarter Program ran for 7 years, minting quarters featuring Washington D.C. and territories like Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

These diverse locations once again widened the scope of whose stories were shared on U.S. currency.

American InnovationTM Quarters

In 2018, the U.S. Mint announced the American InnovationTM $1 Coin Program, celebrating innovation and pioneering efforts across all 50 states, D.C., and 5 U.S. territories. Again this emphasized locations more than individuals, but still promoted influential achievements in American history.

Notable Individuals Honored on Quarters

Beyond the standard profile focus, many Quarters have broken the mold to honor other impactful figures. For example:

While the list of those featured is still lacking in diversity, these special Quarters indicate progress in the right direction. The U.S. Mint even conducted an online poll in 2022 asking the public which impactful woman they’d like to see on a Quarter next.

Options ranged from Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color in Congress, to Coretta Scott King, the civil rights activist.

With public input rising, we may continue seeing more inclusive and diverse representations of impactful Americans across ethnicity, gender, professions, and more. The Quarter bears not just financial value but also symbolic influence over whose legacies and stories we uplift in our society.

So the evolution of these themes merits ongoing attention in the years ahead.

Who Is In The Quarter Coin – Conclusion

As you can see, while George Washington remains a constant presence, the United States Quarter has evolved to feature portraits of influential leaders, beautiful parks, innovations, and symbols unique to each state. So next time you get a quarter in change and wonder ‘who is on the quarter?

‘, you’ll have the background knowledge to identify if it’s one of the special edition designs and who or what it celebrates.

Examining these coins can serve as mini history and civics lessons to better understand key people, places, events, and inventions that represent America. Maybe you’ll be inspired to collect them all!

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