Coining it in

In 1999 the United States Mint issued the first of its 50 State Quarters. Over the next 10 years, each state in the Union would be showcased on its own shiny quarter dollar coin. The law passsed on 1 December 1997 as United States Commemorative Coin Program Act was controversial, with some officials claiming it marked the ‘Disneyfication’ of US currency.

From Delaware to Hawaii, the 50 State Quarters programme would see almost 35 billion coins minted with the states featured in the order that they ratified the U.S. Constitution. An additional 636,200,000 quarters were minted as part of the follow on programme for the District of Colombia and US Territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands).

The number of coins minted for each state varied widely, with more than 1.5 billion coins depicting Virginia but only 453 million Wisconsin quarters leaving the US Mint – less than a third of Virginia’s total. The coins all featured a portrait of George Washington on the obverse, with the different state designs on the front. High resolution pictures of these designs are available in the thorough Wikipedia article on the programme.

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