Six New Designs
for 2009 Quarters
That might be the emotion collectors expressed
upon learning they can look forward to six new
reverse designs on Washington quarter dollars issued
Authorization for six circulating commemorative
quarter dollars to honor the District of Columbia
and five U.S. territories was included in the
massive 2008 appropriations bill approved by
Congress on Dec. 19 and signed into law by President
George W. Bush Dec. 26.
The fifth time was the charm, so to speak, as
legislation authorizing such a program has been
introduced as many times over the past few years.
The House of Representatives had approved each
attempt but eventually the bills died for lack of
action by the Senate.
The authorizing provision in the law mandates
that the designs be "emblematic" of the District of
Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam,
American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands,
and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Residents of these places use U.S. currency in
their daily commerce.
The legislation mandates that designs will be
selected by the Treasury secretary after
consultation with the Commission of Fine Arts and
the chief executive of the District of Columbia or
the territory being honored or "such other officials
or group" as those entities designate. The law also
stipulates the designs would be reviewed by the
Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Those submitting designs may include D.C. and
territorial officials as well as artists from those
areas, U.S. Mint engravers and the general public,
at the discretion of the Treasury secretary.
Essentially the same prohibitions exist for these
coins as the State quarter dollars program – designs
must not be "frivolous or inappropriate" nor would
they show "head and shoulders portraits or bust of
any person, living or dead, and no portrait of a
living person." Should one of those entities be
admitted to the Union as a state or cease to be a
territory or possession of the United States, no
coins will be issued.
The coins would be issued in "equal sequential
intervals" during 2009, which figures out to about
one design every 8.5 weeks. The coins will be issued
in the following order – the District of Columbia,
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American
Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.