The 50 State Quarters project was the most popular commemorative coin program in US history. I remember people purchasing boards with a picture of the United State and coin slots for every coin that would come out.
It took nearly 5 years as the Treasure Department released one coin every 10 weeks. The coins were released in the order that stats entered the union or ratified the Constitution (putting Delaware first). Here are all 50 coins and what design each has.
Caesar Rodney is depicted on the Delaware State Quarter which was released on January 4, 1999. Rodney was one of the founding fathers and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
He was also Delaware’s president during the American Revolution.
The Pennsylvania Quarter was released on March 8, 1999.
The Commonwealth Statue, also known as Letitia is a symbol of the commonwealth, holding the staff of justice in its left hand.
The New Jersey Quarter was release on May 17, 1999.
Washington Crossing the Deleware is a scene that most Americans will recognize as critical to establishing the United States.
The George Quarter was released on July 19, 1999.
The Georgia Peach is surrounded by a live oak which is the State Tree of Georgia. On the banner hung from the tree is the text “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation;” the state motto.
The Connecticut Quarter was released on October 12, 1999.
The Charter Oak is a symbol of American Independence in Connecticut because it is said that the state’s Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden in the tree to evade confiscation by the British.
The Massachusetts Quarter was released on January 3, 2000.
The quarter depicts ‘The Minute Man’ which is a highlight of the Historical Park in Massachusetts. It represents all the farmers who stepped away from their work to join in the Battle of Concord. The nickname comes from the tradition that these men would join the fight with a minute’s notice.
The Maryland State Quarter was released on March 13, 2000.
Maryland’s Quarter shows its State House which is the old state capital in the United States. George Washington is credited in giving Maryland its nickname of “The Old Line State,” paying homage to the troops (or line) that stood in many battles of the Revolutionary War.
South Carolina is the second Southern state to ratify the Consitution. Its quarter was released on May 22, 2000.
This quarter highlights the state’s symbols in the Carolina Wren (state bird), the yellow jessamine (state flower), and the cabbage palmetto (state tree).
New Hampshire’s State quarter was released on August 7, 2000.
This quarter shows an iconic place in the White Mountains where a series of cliffs look like the face of a man dubbed the “Old Man of the Mountain.” Unfortunately, 3 years after its release the cliff collapsed.
The Virginia State quarter was released on October 12, 2000.
The three ships from the England Virginia Company that founded James town adorn Virginia’s quarter. It celebrates 400 years of its colonization, even though the quarter was released just a few years before the quadricentennial.
The New York State quarter was released on January 2, 2001.
If I gave you three guesses what would be on the New York quarter, I’d be surprised if you needed two of them. The Statue of Liberty is iconic not just to New York but to the idea of America itself. The quarter is also surrounded by 11 stars representing New York as the 11th state of the union.
North Carolina’s State quarter was released on March 12, 2001 and the first quarter in the George W. Bush presidency.
North Carolina is proud of its claim as having “the first flight” by the Wright brothers in its state.
The Rhode Island State quarter was released on May 21, 2001.
The yacht on the quarter represents America’s oldest sporting event, America’s Cup. It is a match between two yachts competing for the cup each year and perfectly effectuates the state’s nickname as “The Ocean State.”
The Vermont State quarter was released on August 6, 2001.
Since Vermont is the top producer of maple syrup in the United States by over double, it not surprising to see maple trees and sap buckets on the back of this quarter.
Kentucky’s State quarter was released on October 15, 2001.
This coin features a thoroughbred racehorse in front, not surprisingly due to the almost synonymous meaning with Kentucky and the Kentucky Derby. Bardstown Mansion is in the background as an iconic historical site.
The Tennessee State quarter was released on January 2, 2002.
Being known for its music, Tennessee’s quarter aptly displays a fiddle, trumpet, and guitar with the banner saying “Musical Heritage.”
The Ohio State quarter was released on March 11, 2002.
I’ll be honest, this one was a little confusing to me. Planes and astronauts don’t generally go together and don’t immediately remind me of Ohio. However, learning more about the coin, Ohio is paying tribute to the pioneers of aviation that came from their state including the Wright brothers (Dayton) and Neil Armstrong (Wapakoneta).
The Louisiana State quarter was released on May 20, 2002.
Louisiana was originally a territory purchased from the French in 1803 and went on to become a state in 1812. Their quarter features the outline of the “Louisiana Purchase” as well as a brown pelican (state bird) and a trumpet.
The Indiana State quarter was released on August 2, 2002.
Like Kentucky, Indiana’s name immediately brings to mind a famous sport. In this case, Indiana’s quarter features and IndyCar, the premier-level of open-wheel racing.
Mississippi’s State quarter was released on October 15, 2002.
I would have thought this quarter would feature the river which bears its name as being the longest river in the US. However, Mississippi’s quarter is adorned with two magnolia flowers, its state flower.
The Illinois State quarter was released on January 2, 2003.
Illinois’ State coin features a young Abraham Lincoln with a banner exclaiming it is the “Land of Lincoln.”
The Alabama State quarter was released on March 17, 2003.
Alabama also highlighted a famous person from their state, Helen Keller. What I find fascinating about this coin is that the name Helen Keller is in standard print as well as braille.
Maine’s State quarter was released on June 2, 2003.
If I had to imagine a quintessential lighthouse, it would probably be the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse featured on Maine’s state quarter. It was chosen by a vote of Maine residents to be featured in this quarter.
The Missouri State quarter was released on August 4, 2003.
This coin, although it features several elements, is all focused on one idea, The Corps of Discovery. The Corps of Discovery was an established unit of the US Army led by Lewis and Clark (featured on the coin) to explore the newly purchased land, Louisiana Purchase. The Gateway Arch marks the starting point on the Missouri River where this expedition began.
The Arkansas State quarter was released on October 20, 2003.
Arkansas boasts the only diamond mine in the US. What’s more, is that it is the only place in the world where the public can search for real diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
The Michigan State quarter was released on January 26, 2004.
Michigan’s quarter not only shows the outline of the state but also of the Great Lakes system; which takes up a majority of the coin.
The Florida State quarter was released on March 29, 2004.
Like Ohio, Florida’s quarter has two items that are vastly different but remain on the theme that is the tagline of the quarter: Gateway to Discovery. The quarter depicts both a Spanish galleon discovering Florida and the Space Shuttle.
The Texas State quarter was released on June 1, 2004.
What makes Texas, Texas is how proud its residents are of Texas. So naturally, the coin shows the biggest outline of the state possible with the Lone Star on it.
Iowa’s State quarter was released on August 30, 2004.
Grant Wood’s painting Arbor Day is the basis of Iowa’s quarter. Wood was a famous painter who was born and died in Iowa. The caption says “Foundation in Education.”
The Wisconsin State quarter was released on October 25, 2004.
Wisconsin is a great farmland state and its quarter shows a cow and cheese as well as its state grain, corn. In 1851 Wisconsin adopted the state motto “Forward” because they wanted to be a leader among the states.
The California State quarter was released on January 31, 2005.
The first Western state to join the union depicts Yosemite Valley’s Half Dome cliff as well as the conversationalist John Muir. The California Condor, which went extinct in the wild in 1987 is also shown.
The Minnesota State quarter was released on April 4, 2005.
The land of 10,000 lakes naturally shows fishing on one of its many lakes on its quarter. The state bird, the common loon, is seen floating on the lake.
Oregon’s State quarter was released on June 6, 2005.
Oregon’s only National Park, Crater Lake National Park, is shown on the back of its quarter.
The Kansas State quarter was released on August 29, 2005.
Like so many other states, Kansas depicts two of its state symbols in the American bison (state mammal) and sunflowers (state flower).
West Virginia’s State quarter was released on October 14, 2005.
West Virginia became a state after ceding from Virginia at the start of the Civil War. The New River Gorge Bridge, shown on the back, was the longest single-span arch bridge up until 2 years before the release of this quarter.
The Nevada State quarter was released on January 31, 2006.
Nevada’s quarter shows Mustangs with the rising sun in the background. The state flower sagebrush is on the sides and its banner says “The Silver State.”
The Nebraska State quarter was released on April 3, 2006.
Nebraska’s quarter show pioneers in a Conestoga wagon, the typical wagon of settlers in the 19th century. Chimney Rock, one of the most iconic historic sites is shown in the background.
Colorado’s State quarter was released on June 14, 2006.
Colorado claims the Rocky Mountains for their state and their state quarter shows one of the highest mountain peaks in the mountain range, Longs Peak. Its quarter has a banner with the text “Colorful Colorado.”
The North Dakota State quarter was released on August 28, 2006.
Badlands is a strange and fascinating dry terrain. Badlands formations are actually all over the US and Canada. Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota is an area of three different badlands in the Western part of the state.
The South Dakota State quarter was released on November 6, 2006.
South Dakota entered the union on the exact same day as its Northern counterpart. Its quarter depicts one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Mount Rushmore, which took 14 years to make.
Montana’s State quarter was released on January 29, 2007.
The Missouri River actually begins in Montana and is shown in the background of its quarter. The American Bison skull is the centerpiece with the text “Big Sky Country.”
The Washington State quarter was released on April 2, 2007.
Washington was the fourth state in quick succession (all in November 1889) to join the union. Its quarter shows a salmon leaping in front of Mount Rainer, a large active stratovolcano. The caption says “The Evergreen State.”
The Idaho State quarter was released on June 4, 2007.
Idaho’s quarter depicts a peregrine falcon which has a large population in the state. The outline of Idaho marks Boise, its capital, with a star. And the state motto “Esto Perpetua,” Latin for “let it be perpetual” or “it is forever,” is the caption.
The Wyoming State quarter was released on September 4, 2007.
Wyoming is known for its cowboys and displays a bucking horse and rider on its coin with the caption, “The Equality State.”
Utah’s State quarter was released on November 5, 2007.
The transcontinental railroad was in Utah with the famous “Golden Spike” and was the first time passengers and cargo could be transported by train across the United States. Its quarter is captioned with “Crossroads of the West.”
The Oklahoma State quarter was released on January 28, 2008.
Oklahoma was the first state admitted to the union in the 20th century, over 10 years after the previous state. Its quarter shows its state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher; and its state wildflower, Indian blankets.
The New Mexico State quarter was released on April 7, 2008.
New Mexico’s quarter depicts its state outline with the Zia sun symbol which is also on its flag. Zia are a Native American tribe who live in the Zia Pueblo reservation in the state.
Arizona’s State quarter was released on June 2, 2008.
The Grand Canyon is an obvious choice for Arizona’s quarter, being one of the world’s premier attractions with over five million visitors each year.
Alaska’s State quarter was released on August 25, 2008.
The first of the non-continental states, Alaska’s quarter captions with “The Great Land” and a grizzly bear with a salmon in its mouth.
The Hawaii State quarter was released on November 3, 2008.
In the final quarter in the 50 State Quarters project, Hawaii depicts the Statue of Kamehameha, the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii, on its quarter. The caption says “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono,” translated as “The life and land is perpetuated in righteousness.