Closing out a twelve-year series, the United States Mint released today 2021 Tuskegee Airmen quarters for Alabama. The newest and last coin from the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters® Program is available in single 40-coin rolls, two-roll sets, three-roll sets, and 100-coin bags.
Found on the reverse (tails side) of each new quarter is a design emblematic of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. The coins in the rolls and bags were produced at the U.S. Mint facilities in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco. Each is circulation quality, but has never been issued into circulation.
That national site was established on November 6, 1998 in Tuskegee, Alabama to commemorate the contributions of African-American airmen in World War II. Moton Field at the site was built between 1940 and 1942 and used as the primary flight facility for African-American pilot candidates in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Despite segregation and racial discrimination, the Airmen would rise to distinction leading the way to racial desegregation in the military. The national site not only commemorates the airmen (pilots, navigators and bombardiers), but also the maintenance and support staff as well as the instructors.
Tuskegee Airmen Quarter Designs
Quarter reverses depict a Tuskegee Airman suiting up to join the fight during World War II with the Moton Field control tower in the background.
The pilot is shown with an eye to the sky meant to reflect pride and confidence as two P-51 Mustangs pass overhead. Inscriptions around the design include "THEY FOUGHT TWO WARS" (referencing fascism abroad and racial discrimination at home) along with "TUSKEGEE AIRMEN," "ALABAMA," "2021," and "E PLURIBUS UNUM."
U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program Artist Chris Costello created the design with Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill sculpting it.
All coins of the series bear the same obverse (heads side) likeness of George Washington. The image of Washington was designed by John Flanagan and has been featured, with a few changes, on quarter dollars since 1932.
Inscriptions on the obverse read: "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA," "LIBERTY," "IN GOD WE TRUST," and "QUARTER DOLLAR."
Quarter Roll and Bag Products
Product options and pricing for the new quarters include:
|Product||US Mint Production Facility||Price|
|40-coin rolls||San Francisco||$19.75|
|Two-roll sets||40 Philadelphia & 40 Denver coins||$34.50|
|Three-roll sets||40 San Francisco, 40 Philadelphia, & 40 Denver||$49.25|
|100-coin bags||San Francisco||$36.75|
Circulating coins for the U.S. are produced at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints. Accordingly, Tuskegee Airmen quarters from these two facilities will eventually appear in circulation. The San Francisco Mint only produces quarters for numismatic purposes, such as for these roll and bag products.
Tuskegee Airmen quarters may be ordered directly from the U.S. Mint’s online store for America the Beautiful products.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins
In addition to the quarter dollars, the U.S. Mint also produces large five-ounce, three-inch coins with the same designs. America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins are issued in both bullion and uncirculated finishes.
Bullion coins are sold through the Mint’s network of authorized purchasers for a premium above the melt value of the five ounces of silver that each contains. As for the Tuskegee Airmen Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin, it will be sold directly to the public by the U.S. Mint. Currently, the Mint shows it will become available this spring.
America the Beautiful Quarter Program History
The Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters series debuted in 2010 and was authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. As part of the act, one site was selected from each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. Territories. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner (at the time) selected the list of sites to be honored after consulting with the governor or other chief executive of each host jurisdiction and former Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar. Chosen locations were honored in the order in which the site came under the direct control of the U.S. Government.
For reference, the complete line-up of sites honored by program coins follows:
2010: Hot Spring National Park of Arkansas; Yellowstone National Park of Wyoming; Yosemite National Park of California; Grand Canyon National Park of Arizona; and Mt. Hood National Forest of Oregon
2011: Gettysburg National Military Park of Pennsylvania; Glacier National Park of Montana; Olympic National Park of Washington; Vicksburg National Military Park of Mississippi; and Chickasaw National Recreation Area of Oklahoma
2012: El Yunque national Forest of Puerto Rico; Chaco Culture National Historical Park of New Mexico; Acadia National Park of Maine; Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park of Hawaii; and Denali National Park and Preserve of Alaska
2013: White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire; Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial of Ohio; Great Basin National Park of Nevada; Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine of Maryland; and Mount Rushmore National Memorial of South Dakota
2014: Great Smoky Mountains National Park of Tennessee; Shenandoah National Park of Virginia; Arches National Park of Utah; Great Sand Dunes National Park of Colorado; and Everglades National Park of Florida
2015: Homestead National Monument of America of Nebraska; Kisatchie National Forest of Louisiana; Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina; Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge of Delaware; and Saratoga National Historical Park of New York
2016: Shawnee National Forest of Illinois; Cumberland Gap National Historical Park of Kentucky; Harpers Ferry National Historical Park of West Virginia; Theodore Roosevelt National Park of North Dakota; and Fort Moultrie (Fort Sumter National Monument) of South Carolina
2017: Effigy Mounds National Monument of Iowa; Frederick Douglass National Historic Site of the District of Columbia; Ozark National Scenic Riverways of Missouri; Ellis Island of New Jersey; and George Rogers Clark National Historical Park of Indiana
2018: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore of Michigan; Apostle Islands National Lakeshore of Wisconsin; Voyageurs National Park of Minnesota; Cumberland Island National Seashore of Georgia; and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge of Rhode Island
2019: Lowell National Historical Park of Massachusetts; American Memorial Park of the Northern Mariana Islands; War in the Pacific National Historical Park of Guam; San Antonio National Historical Park of Texas; and Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness of Idaho
2020: National Park of American Samoa; Weir Farm National Historic Site of Connecticut; Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve of the U.S. Virgin Islands; Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park of Vermont; and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve of Kansas
2021: Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Park of Alabama
Next 2021 Quarter
With the completion of the America the Beautiful series, a new quarter dollar is scheduled for release into circulation on April 5. Its reverse design depicts General Washington commanding his troops through the overnight crossing of the ice-choked Delaware River prior to the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War. (See images of the 2021 George Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter.)