US Coins

Redesign bill back to House after Senate amendment

Pending legislation would include a one-year redesign of all circulating coin denominations in 2026 for the nation’s 250th anniversary, including the Kennedy half dollar.

Images courtesy of the United States Mint

Comprehensive legislation seeking major redesigns of United States coins in multiple configurations will be returned to the House for reconsideration after the Senate approved the bill Dec. 17, with an amendment. The Senate added guarantees that the programs will not contribute to a net financial loss to the government.

H.R. 1923, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020, was introduced March 27, in the House by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. The House approved the legislation on Sept. 22.

The Senate approved the legislation Dec. 17 with an amendment from Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., that reads, “No coin or medal minted and issued under this Act, or an amendment made by this Act, may be sold at a price such that would result in a net cost to the Federal Government.”

The redesign initiative to begin in 2022 includes provisions succeeding the 56-coin America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which concludes in 2021 with the circulation release of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site quarter dollar for Alabama and related numismatic products.

19th Amendment quarters

The Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 directs the Treasury Department, through the United States Mint, “to mint and issue quarter-dollar coins in commemoration of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote. The design on the reverse of each coin shall be emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a prominent woman who was a resident of a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory.”

“Such coins shall be issued in alphabetical order of the area represented, starting with the state of Alabama. Treasury shall initiate a program to promote collection of the coins and recognition of their subjects, and strike and make available for sale silver bullion coins that are the exact duplicates of the coins.”

The coins will be issued in copper-nickel clad and .999 fine compositions, and in different finishes to include Proof and Uncirculated for numismatic products.

The .999 fine silver versions will be struck in Proof quality for annual Silver Proof sets and variants and also in 5-ounce silver bullion and Uncirculated numismatic 3-inch diameter versions bearing the same designs as the circulating versions.

The quarter dollars in the proposed program would follow in the tradition of the State quarters program of 1999 to 2008, the District of Columbia and Territories series of 2009, and the America the Beautiful quarters program of 2010 to 2021. It would also mean that the planned 2021 Washington quarter dollar with a new reverse of Washington Crossing the Delaware, intended as the new permanent design, could be a one-year issue.

According to U.S. Mint spokeswoman Carolyn Fields, “The bill amended by the Senate only added some financial assurance language. It kept all of the elements that the House passed. ...”

These are the main programs sought by the bill:
➤ Up to five reverse designs annually for prominent American women on quarter dollars (2022 to 2025)
➤ Up to five reverse designs for quarter dollars celebrating the Semiquincentennial, with one of the designs to depict women. Additionally, all circulating coins (cent, 5-cent coin, dime, half dollar and dollar) will have a redesign of reverse and obverse for the 250th anniversary (2026).
➤ Up to five reverse designs of youth sports on quarter dollars and one reverse design of Paralympic sports on half dollar annually (2027 to 2030).
➤ Authorization to be able to design and strike the U.S. Olympic medals.

“Due to the Senate slight change, the House has to re-vote on it and it is pending,” Fields said.

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