As the America the Beautiful quarter dollar series is winding down,
two legislators in Congress have suggested a replacement program — one
honoring the accomplishments of women.
Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, introduced
H.R. 5308 on March 15. The new measure is called the ‘‘Women’s History
and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act.’’
According to a press release from Lee’s office, the program is
intended “to honor women who have made significant contributions to America.”
If enacted, it would emulate the America the Beautiful quarter
dollars program, which ends with a single coin in 2021, and which
itself followed the path of the State quarter dollars program of 1999
to 2008 and District of Columbia and U.S. Territories program of 2009.
According to the press release, “The governor or executive of each
state or territory would recommend a design to the Treasury, in
consultation with various stakeholders. If enacted, the quarter
program would coincide with the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.”
The amendment was ratified in August 1920. Five America the
Beautiful quarter dollars are scheduled to issued in the centennial
year, 2020, and the final coin in 2021.
It calls for the final America the Beautiful quarter dollar to be
issued no earlier than Jan. 1, 2021, and no later than March 31, 2021.
Seeing doubled elements on a Lincoln cent? You
might have a doubled die variety, of which hundreds of different
varieties both common and rare exist. Also in
this issue, we reflect on a time when U.S. paper money depicted
Upon the conclusion of the America the Beautiful series, and
starting April 1, 2021, the new series would begin. According to the
legislation, each coin would “... be emblematic of the accomplishments
and contributions of a prominent woman who was a resident of a State,
the District of Columbia, or a territory; bear the name of the
prominent woman and the State, District of Columbia, or territory; and
bear other appropriate inscriptions.”
The coins would be issued for each state, the District of Columbia,
and the five U.S. territories. They would be released alphabetically,
starting with the coin for Alabama.
Behind the concept
Lee commented on the concept through the press release: “Since our
nation’s founding, women have played an instrumental role in shaping
this country — even though their sacrifices and accomplishments have
often gone unrecognized by history,” said Congresswoman Lee. “This
important bill, introduced during Women’s History Month, is designed
to correct this historic wrong. By uplifting women on our currency,
Americans will have an opportunity to learn more about the unsung
pioneers who built the United States. In the coming weeks and months,
I hope my constituents and people across the country will provide
input on the remarkable women they would like to see celebrated.”
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.
Enactment of the proposed legislation would overturn the law
authorized the current series and its two possible replacement issues.
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.
If the new legislation is not enacted, 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.
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