US Coins

12 Days of Christmas: New Jersey coin shows key moment in war

Gen. George Washington led U.S. soldiers across the Delaware River on Dec. 25, 1776, an event immortalized in paintings and this 1999 New Jersey state quarter dollar. The attack provided a critical boost to Revolutionary War efforts against the British.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint.

Coin World concludes reviewing the “12 Days of Christmas” in numismatics.

Washington crossing the Delaware

The 1914 medal isn’t the only instance of a Christmas-related numismatic item to be born from war. 

To understand why the New Jersey State quarter dollar is on the list, you first have to understand the moment in American history captured on the reverse.

The coin’s scene shows Gen. George Washington leading troops in boats across the Delaware River.

This moment in the Revolutionary War was monumental, as 2,400 troops were ferried across the river under the cover of darkness, late during Christmas Day in 1776. This allowed Washington to direct a surprise attack against the Hessians the next morning near Trenton, N.J., which gave Washington's troops a much-needed victory. 


The event was immortalized in Emmanuel Leutze’s famous painting and, for coin collectors, on the coin. If diligent, a search of pocket change will reveal the coin for its face value. 

Its importance in American history earns it the final place in Coin World’s “12 Days of Christmas” list.

As the holiday season lengthens, this concludes our foray into the “12 Days of Christmas.” 

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