What happens after the close of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program?

Second series possible, then mandated designs per legislation
By , Coin World
Published : 11/22/17
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While the U.S. Mint has not yet announced what design direction the U.S. quarter dollar will take after 2021, two options for the Treasury secretary are spelled out in the legislation that authorized the America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

The 12-year America the Beautiful  quarter dollar program is currently slated to conclude in 2021 with the release of the final coin in the 56-coin program. It will honor Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Alabama.

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According to Public Law 110-456, the Treasury secretary must decide by the end of the ninth year of the program — the end of calendar year 2018 — whether to continue the program with a second round of 56 circulating commemorative quarter dollars.

If that option is selected, each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, would be recognized with a second coin bearing a reverse design recognizing another national park or historic site not previously honored.

The second round of coins would be issued in the same order as the first.

Should the Treasury secretary select this option, within 30 days of doing so, he must submit a report supporting his determination to the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Following the conclusion of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program — whether following the first round or a second round if one is authorized — the denomination’s obverse is mandated under Public Law 110-456 to revert to sculptor John Flanagan’s portrait of George Washington as introduced in 1932 on the Washington quarter dollar and last used in 1998, before the start of the 50 State Quarters Program in 1999.

The State quarter dollar obverse featuring Washington reflects a 10 to 15 percent reduction, accomplished by then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver William C. Cousins, of Flanagan’s original rendition of the first president.

Flanagan’s design is based on a portrait of Washington by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.

The reverse design mandated to appear after the America the Beautiful program ends is to reflect Gen. Washington crossing the Delaware River prior to the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolution.

Emmanuel Leutze’s 1851 painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware was used as inspiration by then U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Alfred Maletsky for the design that was approved for the reverse of the 1999 New Jersey State quarter dollar. 

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