US Coins

CCAC to review 2020 and 2021 quarter designs

The Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is one device suggested for Kansas’s 2020 America the Beautiful quarter dollar.

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The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee will review proposed designs June 12 for the reverses of the final six America the Beautiful quarter dollars in the 12-year series.

The Commission of Fine Arts is expected to review the same designs at its June 21 meeting.

The program comprises 56 coins, one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The reverse designs are reflective of national parks, related sites, or historic sites in each geographic area.

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For 2020, quarter dollars are to be issued honoring National Park of American Samoa in American Samoa, Weir Farm National Historic Site in Connecticut, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

The program is currently set to close in 2021 with the Tuskegee Airman National Historic Site quarter dollar for Alabama.

Under the authorizing legislation, at Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s discretion, the program can be extended another 12 years with a second round of America the Beautiful quarter dollars if Mnuchin invokes that option before the end of 2018. The second round, if approved, would be issued in the same order as that when the program was introduced in 2010 with the Hot Springs National Park quarter dollar for Arkansas. Such a second round would honor different national parks or historic sites.

Mnuchin has neither invoked the option nor indicated whether he will do so.

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According to Public Law 110-456, “The Secretary may make a determination before the end of the 9-year period beginning when the first quarter dollar is issued under this subsection to continue the period of issuance until a second national site in each State, the District of Columbia, and each territory referred to in this subsection has been honored with a design on a quarter dollar. (ii) NOTICE AND REPORT.—Within 30 days after making a determination under clause (i), the Secretary shall submit a written report on such determination to the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.”

The coins are being issued in the order each park or site honored was congressionally authorized.

Whenever the America the Beautiful Quarters Program ends, authorizing legislation mandates that successor designs be the obverse of the Washington quarter dollar that was used from 1932 to 1998, and a reverse reflecting Gen. George Washington’s crossing the Delaware River in his drive toward Trenton during the American Revolution. 

Legislation has been introduced for a new quarter dollar series starting in 2021 to honor women as a delayed celebration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment, but the proposal isn’t gaining much traction. Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., and Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, introduced H.R. 5308 on March 15. The 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.” The measure has sat in the House Committee on Financial Services since its introduction.

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