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Six New Designs for 2009 Quarters
01/07/08

Finally!

That might be the emotion collectors expressed upon learning they can look forward to six new reverse designs on Washington quarter dollars issued in 2009.

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 Islands.

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.



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