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.