US Coins

Public submits ideas for American Women quarters

More than 11,000 submissions of names of American women to be considered as coin subjects in the four-year circulating American Women Quarters Program were acquired during a four-month period early in calendar year 2021.

The National Women’s History Museum fielded the submissions on its website from March through June 2021. Those recommendations joined a pool of potential honorees for the quarter dollar program legislated for 2022 through 2025, with five quarter dollars released in each of the four years.

Other names for consideration could be contributed separately by museum officials, and by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative and the Congressional Bipartisan Women’s Caucus.

Designs approved featuring chosen honorees will appear on the reverses of the program’s circulating quarter dollars, paired with the common obverse, American sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser’s right-facing portrait of George Washington.

Proposed designs will be rendered by members of the U.S. Mint engraving staff and outside Artistic Infusion Program artists.

The 11,000-plus submissions of names for consideration for the American Women quarter dollar series were reduced as each was checked to meet the criteria for consideration mandated in Public Law 116-330, The Circulating Collectible Redesign Act of 2020.

The enabling act requires that the program’s 20 quarter dollars feature women with contributions from a variety of fields, including, but not limited to, suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. The women honored will be from ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse backgrounds.

The women to be honored in 2022 are:
➤ Maya Angelou — celebrated writer, performer, and social activist.
➤ Dr. Sally Ride — physicist, astronaut, educator, and first American woman in space.
➤ Wilma Mankiller — first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.
➤ Nina Otero-Warren — a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools.
➤ Anna May Wong — first Chinese American film star in Hollywood.

The five 2022 honorees were chosen before the public portal opened, to allow time for the approval process for the 2022 coin designs and beginning their production for circulation. Proposed designs were considered by both the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, with final choice and approval by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

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