US Coins

Mint reveals designs for 2019 quarter dollars

The America the Beautiful quarter dollars program is winding down, with 2019 being the penultimate year in which five coins will be released. Five coins will also be issued in 2020 and a single piece in 2021. Now we know what the 2019 coins will look like.

The United States Mint released the designs for the 2019 America the Beautiful quarter dollars Aug. 14, in conjunction with the opening of American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, a short distance from the Philadelphia Mint, where the five coins were designed.


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The 2019 coins will feature two sites in the Pacific Ocean that commemorate America’s involvement in World War II in that theater of operations; another will bear design elements from a foreign coin as it pays tribute to one state’s pre-U.S. history; a fourth will show the beauty of a wilderness area in the nation’s West; and a fifth coin will recognize an industry that was vital to the economy of one of the original 13 Colonies and states.

As throughout the America the Beautiful program, the five quarter dollars will be issued for circulation in copper-nickel clad, struck in silver and copper-nickel clad versions of various finishes for numismatic sales, and in 3-inch 5-ounce silver versions for both bullion and numismatic sales.

Massachusetts

The first coin of 2019 and the 46th in the series is for Massachusetts. The coin honors the Lowell National Historical Park, a collection of various sites celebrating the era of textile manufacturing in the city of Lowell during the Industrial Revolution.

According to the Mint’s narrative for the coin, “This design depicts a mill girl working at a power loom with its prominent circular bobbin battery. A view of Lowell, including the Boott Mill clock tower, is seen through the window. Inscriptions are ‘LOWELL,’ ‘MASSACHUSETTS,’ ‘2019,’ and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM.’ ”

The coin was designed by Joel Iskowitz and sculptured by Phebe Hemphill.

The Mint narrative provides the background of the site, writing, “Lowell National Historical Park preserves and interprets the role of Lowell, MA, in the Industrial Revolution, archiving the history of the human story in addition to the industry processes and cultural environment of the time. The era was also defined in part by the ‘Mill Girls,’ young women who were recruited to work in the mills where they earned cash wages and lived in supervised, company-owned boarding houses. They became an important voice for labor by advocating for better working conditions, supporting abolition, and embracing education.”

Northern Mariana Islands

The second America the Beautiful quarter dollar for 2019 commemorates that territory’s American Memorial Park, which celebrates American sacrifice and accomplishments during World War II.

According to the Mint design narrative, “The design depicts a young Chamorro woman in traditional dress at the front of the Flag Circle and Court of Honor. She is resting her hand on the plaque whose text honors the sacrifice of those who died in the liberation of Saipan. Inscriptions are ‘AMERICAN MEMORIAL PARK,’ ‘N. MARIANA ISLANDS,’ ‘2019,’ and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM.’ ”

The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and sculptured by Phebe Hemphill.

The Mint historical narrative provides context for the site: “American Memorial Park in Northern Mariana Islands honors the thousands of American troops and local residents of Saipan who gave their lives during the Marianas Campaign of World War II. At the Court of Honor, the American flag is displayed at the center of the Flag Circle and surrounded by the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, and Coast Guard flags. The Court of Honor consists of 26 granite panels inscribed with the names of 5,204 service members who died.”

Guam

The third coin for the year, and the 48th overall, also commemorates the American war effort in the Pacific Theater. It honors Pacific National Historical Park in the territory of Guam. 

“This design depicts American forces coming ashore at Asan Bay, strengthening the number of troops on the island in the fight for Guam and its eventual liberation,” the design narrative states. “Inscriptions are ‘WAR IN THE PACIFIC,’ ‘GUAM,’ ‘2019,’ and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM.’ ”

Iskowitz designed the coin and Michael Gaudioso sculptured it.

According to the historical narrative, “The westernmost park of all the National Park Service sites, Guam’s War in the Pacific National Historical Park honors the bravery, courage, and sacrifice of those participating in the campaigns of the Pacific Theater during World War II. The park also conserves and interprets a variety of amazing resources found on the Island of Guam. War in the Pacific National Historical Park has the highest biological diversity of any national park, with both underwater and land areas.”

Texas

The subject and design for the America the Beautiful coin for Texas are distinctive in that they commemorate an element of history that predates Texas’ entry into the United States and feature design elements from a non-U.S. coin. The coin honors the San Antonio Missions.

According to the Mint narrative, “This design depicts elements of the Spanish Colonial Real coin to pay tribute to the missions. Within the quadrants are symbols of the missions: wheat symbolizes farming; the arches and bell symbolize community; a lion represents Spanish cultural heritage; and a symbol of the San Antonio River represents irrigation methods and life-sustaining resources. Inscriptions are ‘SAN ANTONIO MISSIONS,’ ‘TEXAS,’ ‘2019,’ and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM.’ ”

The design is attributed to the design team of Chris Costello, design, and Joseph Menna, sculptor.

The historical narrative states: “The San Antonio Missions were among the largest concentrations of Spanish missions in North America, established in the 1700s, and helped create the foundation for the City of San Antonio, TX. The construction of aqueducts and irrigation canals (acequias) brought water to the missions sustaining farming and ranching. The missions’ toolmaking, carpentry, looming, spinning, and masonry also contributed to the community’s ability to be self-sustaining.”

Idaho

The final America the Beautiful quarter dollar for 2019 honors Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness of Idaho.

The Mint narrative states: “This design depicts a piloted drift boat on the rushing river encompassed by the trees and rock formations of the wilderness. Inscriptions are ‘RIVER OF NO RETURN,’ ‘WILDERNESS,’ ‘IDAHO,’ ‘2019,’ and ‘E PLURIBUS UNUM.’ ”

Emily Damstra designed the coin and Renata Gordon sculptured it.

The historical narrative explains: “The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho is made up of rugged mountains, deep canyons, and wild whitewater rivers, including the Main Salmon River and Middle Fork of the Salmon River. ‘Frank Church’ was attached to the site’s name in honor of late U.S. Senator Frank Church, who played a leading role in its preservation. The area is the largest single connected wilderness in the contiguous States and contains four national forests.”

The common obverse of all five coins features the George Washington portrait of John Flanagan, plus the date, Mint mark, and various other statutory inscriptions.

The first numismatic products featuring the coins will be issued by the United States Mint in early 2019. 

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