The 50 State Quarters series was authorized by Public Law 105-124, the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act. This was signed into law on December 1, 1997. The Act authorized the design and issuance of a circulating commemorative quarter dollar coin for each of the 50 States.
For the new series, the obverse of the quarter was redesigned by William Cousins, but still based on the original Washington Quarter reverse by John Flanagan. The reverse designs were created in consultation with each State. The designs often featured symbols associated with the state, famous individuals from the state, some National Parks or landscapes, and some important architecture.
The program began in 1999 and concluded in 2008. Five states were released each year, in the order they ratified the Constitution or joined the Union. The first five coins released in 1999 featured the states Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut. The final five coins released in 2008 featured the states Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii. Find more information on 2008 State Quarters.
The 50 State Quarters series is often credited with bringing renewed interest to the hobby of coin collecting. The redesign brought attention back to pocket change. An impressive collection of 50 different designs could be collected right from circulation. It has been estimated that as many as 147 million Americans collected the 50 States Quarters series.
Dates: 1999 – 2008
Mint: Philadelphia and Denver (circulating coins), San Francisco (proof and silver proof coins)
Weight: 5.67 g
Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33 nickel (clad coins), 90% silver, 10% copper (silver proof coins)
Diameter: 24.26 mm
Thickness: 1.75 mm