New U.S. Quarter Series Legislation Calls for Designs Honoring Women

by Mike Unser on March 23, 2018 · 12 comments

Coin-Legislation-Capital-Building.jpgNew legislation in the U.S. House proposes a multi-year program of quarters with designs commemorating the 19th Amendment, which granted American women the right to vote.

The bill, numbered H.R. 5308 and titled "Women’s History and Nineteenth Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar Coin Program Act," was introduced March 15, 2018 by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Bruce Poliquin (R-ME).

"Since our nation’s founding, women have played an instrumental role in shaping this country — even though their sacrifices and accomplishments have often gone unrecognized by history," Congresswoman Lee said. "This important bill, introduced during Women’s History Month, is designed to correct this historic wrong."

H.R. 5308 calls for reverse quarter designs that are emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a prominent woman who was a resident of a State, the District of Columbia, or five U.S. Territories. They would appear at a rate of 5 per year, similar to the past U.S. Mint’s 50 state series and the current America the Beautiful series, and would launch in alphabetical order of the area represented, starting with Alabama.

"By using a credible, legitimate and thoughtful process of educational and community stakeholder outreach similar to the currency redesign process in 2015, this program could provide the first-ever opportunity to institutionalize historical American women into classrooms across the country since curriculum standards are primarily determined at the state level," said former Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios.

The Treasury Secretary would select every quarter design after consulting with the governor or chief executive of each state or territory and other area stakeholders, including women’s groups and organizations. As traditional, the designs would also be reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC).

Selected designs, however, could not bear:

  • a head and shoulders portrait or bust of any person, living or dead;
  • a portrait of a living person; or
  • a depiction of an individual in a size such that the coin could be considered to be a ‘2-headed’ coin.

The last quarter in the America the Beautiful series is scheduled for 2021 but the Treasury Secretary has the option until the end of this year to extend it with another round of 56 quarters. H.R. 5308 would change that, calling for the final park quarter to launch no earlier than Jan. 1, 2021 and not later than March 31, 2021. The new series would then start on April 1, 2021.

When it ended, the quarter’s reverse design would change to show General Washington crossing the Delaware River prior to the Battle of Trenton.

For H.R. 5308 to become law, it must pass in the House and Senate and get signed by the President. If enacted, the quarter series would coincide with the centennial of the Aug. 18, 1920 ratification of the 19th Amendment. H.R. 5308 has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.

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Old Collector
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Old Collector

A inspired, brilliant idea whose time has not just come but which is also without question one that is already exceptionally long overdue.

Old Collector

Old+Collector
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Old+Collector

I liked it much better when participants in these discussions were at least afforded the encouragement, even if only out of necessity, if they wanted to be heard, to explain themselves as to their viewpoint and/or motivation rather than just anonymously “liking” or “disliking” a comment. After all, an anonymous call such as that adds nothing credible of substance or interest whatsoever to the content of the thread.

Old Collector

JAN M FOX
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JAN M FOX

Here we go again..I probably won’t live until the end of another quarter series..!

Seth Riesling
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Seth Riesling

A proposed piece of legislation with 11 words in the official title can’t fail to pass both chambers of Congress can it!? lol

-NumisdudeTX

Old+Collector
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Old+Collector

Seth Riesling – Since those folks on Capitol Hill are far too busy working on getting re-elected to be able to read anything regarding the pending legislation they are ultimately responsible for, I would have to say you are right on target.

Old Collector

Tom
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Tom

I called and suggested to my state Senator to prose this idea on the half, instead of the quarter, seeing as they possibly want to extend the America the Beautiful Quarter Dollar Program, and doing a half dollar program would not only leave room for a lot more art detail, but it might also breathe some life back into the half. And most if not all newer self checkout machines in stores have the ability to accept and dispense halves. My local Walmart and Kroger stores accept halves, and although my local Meijer stores have the same machines as my local Walmart, for some reason, the Meijer stores have the same NCR self checkouts as the Walmarts, so I believe it may be as simple as a flip of a switch, or a small software upgrade. Then if all three store chains would just get the machines set up to… Read more »

older collector
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older collector

When “special” becomes the norm, then “special” means nothing any longer. Switching the design every time the mint director sneezes has killed the excitement there used to be with a new coin design. The Bicentennials were a big hit b/c they were so different than the norm. Enough already!

Old+Collector
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Old+Collector

You’re right. In my opinion, the Bicentennials were the most attractive coins issued since the release of the Walking Liberty half dollar.

cml
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cml

Why just women? Why not let the State select either a man or woman that was significant in their history? cml

Old+Collector
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Old+Collector

cml – The way I see it, we just had a full run of Presidential coins from the Mint, every one of which just so happened to bear the likeness of a man, and whatever requirement there might exist for them being given their opportunity to shine has clearly already been met. Therefore, it certainly appears that now more than ever would be a perfectly fitting time to do justice to the other half of the nation’s population in the next series of coins by representing and thereby honoring the truly memorable women of our great, inclusive country and to celebrate their countless major achievements in a similar and like manner.

Old Collector

Old+Collector
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Old+Collector

cml,

I’ve thought about this quite a bit more since I made my initial comment, and I have now somewhat belatedly come to the unmistakable conclusion that you were right about the projected new quarter subjects/topics after all.
First, while those Presidential dollars were being released over the years there were indeed already concurrent, corresponding issues of (made of a much more valuable/precious metal, i.e., gold) ) Presidential Wives coins.
Secondly, the denomination we are referring to here in the context of the prospect of launching a new long term series is in fact the quarter and not the dollar, so equating them was like trying to compare apples and oranges.

Old Collector

PA+in+Oregon
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PA+in+Oregon

I don’t think this is a good idea, for the following reasons (reason #1 being the foremost): 1) Trying to choose just 1 woman (among many) for each state will be problematic. It will be difficult and contentious to choose just 1 over others who may also equally deserve the honor. How do we fairly make this decision for each state, without offending supporters who have had their choice snubbed? It may be possible to honor more than 1 woman on a coin, but that would likely result in a cluttered, unartistic design. 2) For the same reasons that I don’t think presidents or any other person should be on our coinage. In my opinion, all coins should be “works of art” which honor the founding principles of our country such as liberty and freedom, etc., rather than honoring a specific person or persons. Commemorative coins for collectors could be… Read more »