US Coins

CFA sides with CCAC on 2021 and beyond quarter dollar design pick

The Commission of Fine Arts Oct. 15 recommended the same proposed Washington Crossing the Delaware reverse for the 2021 Washington quarter dollar as was picked two days earlier by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. 

The design that both the CFA and CCAC recommend depicts Gen. Washington facing right standing in the bow of his boat, holding a small telescope in his left hand and with an extended sword in his right hand, directing another boat containing Continental Army soldiers, as it passes between ice chunks in the river.

According to the Mint, where practical, historically accurate racial diversity among Washington’s troops is represented in the designs reviewed.

If a Washington Crossing the Delaware design is approved for the 2021 and beyond quarter dollar, it is to be paired with sculptor John Flanagan’s portrait of George Washington as it appears on the quarter dollars struck from 1932 through 1998, before the introduction of the State quarter dollar program in 1999.

All 17 designs submitted to the CFA by the Mint’s engraving staff and Artistic Infusion Program outside artists depict some full-bodied version of Gen. Washington leading his troops across an ice-choked Delaware River during a nor’easter Dec. 25 to 26, 1776.

The bad weather added to the element of surprise in Washington’s plan to attack the enemy at Trenton in New Jersey. The ensuing Battle of Trenton, and the subsequent Battle of Princeton, constituted a turning point in the Revolutionary War and gave hope to many that the Continental Army could prevail.

Altering course

The proposed 2021 reverse design could, however, be superseded if legislation currently before Congress becomes law. In addition, a Mint proposal for an alternate quarter dollar program to begin in 2022 is pending.

H.R. 5308, the ‘‘Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act,” is currently before Congress. It seeks 56 coins that 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 Mint is considering a 10-year program to begin in 2022 that would include a 2026 coin celebrating the nation’s 250th birthday. The 2022 to 2025 coins would bear reverse designs depicting animals, and the 2027 to 2030 coins would depict youth sports. No proposal is yet public for the 2031 coin. 

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