US Coins

2024 American Women quarter designs reviewed

Proposed designs for the five 2024 American Women quarter dollars to be issued by the U.S. Mint were considered and recommendations made Feb. 16 by the Commission of Fine Arts.

The same designs are to be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee during its two-day meeting Feb. 28 and March 1.

The women to be recognized on the reverses of the 2024 quarter dollars are Celia Cruz, The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, Patsy Takemoto Mink, Zitkala-Ša, and Dr. Mary Edwards Walker.

Celia Cruz

Six proposed designs were considered by the CFA for the coin to recognize Cuban American entertainer Celia Cruz, the professed “Queen of Salsa,” who performed worldwide for more than five decades and recorded more than 50 albums.

The design recommended by the CFA illustrates a dynamic portrait of Cruz flashing her dazzling smile while performing in a rumba style dress. Her signature catchphrase ¡AZÚCAR! (Sugar), is inscribed in the field to the right.

The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray

Six proposed designs were reviewed for the quarter dollar to represent Black civil rights activist, lawyer and priest The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray. Murray became the first black women in 1977 in the United States to become an Episcopal priest and was sainted by the Episcopal Church in 2012.

In 1948, Murray penned a 748-page book, States’ Laws on Race and Color, which exposed the extent and absurdity of segregation.

The proposed design recommended for the Murray quarter dollar depicts her with her characteristic smile as her hands reverently cradle the scales of justice, a symbol emblematic of her life’s work fighting for justice and equal rights.

These designs are also a nod to her friendship and collaboration with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, whose quarter dollar design similarly features the scales. The Murray design also features the inscribed quote, AMERICA, BE WHAT YOU PROCLAIM YOURSELF TO BE.

The CFA recommends that the proposed design be modified to include a cross necklace.

Patsy Takemoto Mink

Five proposed designs were considered by the CFA for the coin to feature third-generation Japanese American Patsy Takemoto Mink, born and raised on the island of Maui in Hawaii, where she endured racial and gender discrimination.

Mink campaigned vigorously to win seats in the Hawaii Territorial Legislature, the Hawaii State Senate, and ultimately the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first Asian American woman to serve in the United States Congress. She served six consecutive terms in Congress from 1965 to 1977, and another seven consecutive terms from 1989 to 2002.

The proposed design receiving the CFA’s recommendation portrays a seated portrait of Mink wearing a flowered lei next to an image of the U.S. Capitol Building in the background. The inscription EQUITY IN EDUCATION appears at the 6 o’clock position.


An outspoken advocate, activist and author for American Indian rights, Zitkala-Ša (meaning “Red Bird”), also known as Gertrude Simmons, co-founded the National Council of American Indians to advocate on issues including education, economics, employment, health, religion and the right to vote. Her work directly led to the passage in 1924 of the Indian Citizenship Act.

Zitkala-Ša was also a gifted musician and violinist who collaborated on what is considered the first known American Indian opera — The Sun Dance Opera — which premiered in Utah in 1913.

The CFA-recommended design features Zitkala-Ša with a determined expression, holding a book, which represents her literary interests.

A diamond pattern and a stylized sun are in the background.

Inscriptions include AUTHOR, ACTIVIST, and COMPOSER, along with a cardinal.

Dr. Mary Edwards Walker

Dr. Walker was a Civil War-era surgeon and a women’s rights advocate who broke gender customs of the time by not wearing traditional women’s clothing.

Initially, she was restricted to serving as a nurse after being denied service as a surgeon because women were not allowed to serve in the military ranks.

 In 1863, her request to practice as a surgeon was finally accepted. She became the first woman U.S. Army surgeon as a “Contract Acting Assistant Surgeon (civilian)” with the 52nd Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Walker often crossed battle lines to care for wounded soldiers. Captured by Confederate troops as a suspected spy, she was held as a prisoner of war for four months at Castle Thunder prison near Richmond, Virginia, before being released as part of a prisoner exchange.

President Andrew Johnson awarded Dr. Parker the Medal of Honor on Nov. 11, 1865.

The CFA favored two of 13 proposed designs, suggesting combining design elements from both. One favored design depicts a close-up portrait of Walker holding her surgical tool kit. At left is a depiction of the Medal of Honor. The inscription MEDAL OF HONOR 1865 is in a banner at the bottom of the design.

The second favored design depicts Walker standing and the inscription CIVIL WAR SURGEON.
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