And here's a very impressive piece of real news from the U.S. Mint.
Republished with permission from the Mint News Blog. Thanks.
On January 13, 2021, President Donald Trump signed into law a bill known as the “Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020.” The bill was first introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-CA, on March 27, 2020, and is quite comprehensive, affecting every circulating coinage denomination from the cent to the dollar over the next nine years, plus significant new medals and silver bullion coins.
Here is a summary of some of the changes the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 brings in the near future:
Coins involved: Quarter dollars, 2022–2025.
Directing the Treasury Department, through the U.S. Mint, “to mint and issue quarter-dollar coins in commemoration of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote. The design on the reverse of each coin shall be emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of a prominent woman who was a resident of a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory.” Effective January 1, 2022, through the end of 2025, the Secretary of the Treasury “shall issue quarter dollars that have designs on the reverse selected in accordance with this subsection which are emblematic of the accomplishment of a prominent American woman.”
The act provides for up to five coins per year. Coins will feature one prominent woman on the reverse while maintaining George Washington’s likeness on the obverse and flexibility in the placement of inscriptions. Women depicted may be selected from fields and accomplishments such as “suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and arts.”
Dennis Tucker, publisher of Whitman Publishing (maker of the Guide Book of United States Coins, known as the “Red Book”) and numismatic specialist on the Treasury Department’s Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, said:
"This new coin program is unique and exciting. It marks the first time Congress will use a series of circulating coins to honor prominent Americans. We’ve had popular quarters that celebrate the states and territories. We’ve had the National Park quarters. This program is different, and equally historic. It will honor not only people, but specifically American women, and the law mentions ethnic, racial, and geographical diversity. The opportunities are immense."
250 YEARS OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
Coins involved: Cent, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar, 2026.
The issuance of redesigned circulating coins emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial (the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence). Commencing on January 1, 2026, for a one-year period, the Treasury Secretary “may issue quarter dollars in 2026 with up to five different designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.” One of the quarter dollar designs will be emblematic of “a woman’s or women’s contribution to the birth of the Nation or the Declaration of Independence or any other monumental moments in American History.” Also provided for are one-dollar coins emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.
This section of the legislation also allows the Treasury to redesign, for the year 2026, every other circulating U.S. coin—the Lincoln cent, the Jefferson five-cent nickel, the Roosevelt dime, and the Kennedy half dollar.
“The importance of this coin redesign can’t be overstated,” said Tucker. “The 1776–1976 Bicentennial coinage opened the eyes of generations of Americans to the coins in their pocket change. The Bicentennial quarter in particular embodied the idea of ‘circulating commemoratives’ in a way that no other coins had to that point. People still save them when they get them in change today, more than forty years later! Coming in 2026, the complete floor-to-ceiling redesign of America’s coins has the potential to get millions of people looking at their small change again.”
NEW PORTRAITS IN 2027
Coins involved: Quarter dollar and half dollar, 2027 and beyond.
Significantly, the Semiquincentennial section states that in 2027 the quarter and half dollar will bear likenesses of George Washington and John F. Kennedy, respectively—but not necessarily the original 1932 and 1964 likenesses by John Flanagan and Gilroy Roberts.
“This opens up the possibility of new portraits on two American coins, including the workhorse of U.S. circulating coins, the quarter dollar,” said Tucker. “Collectors are used to seeing new reverse designs come out in recent years. But new obverse portraits? That’s a game changer.”
Coins involved: Quarter dollar and half dollar, 2027–2030.
The issuance of redesigned quarter dollars and half dollars emblematic of sports played by American youth. Effective January 1, 2027, through the end of 2030, quarter dollars will feature a single sport on each coin, with up to five coins per year.
At the same time, half dollars will follow similar design specifications, with their sports themes focused specifically on Paralympic sports (those tailored to athletes with a range of disabilities, including physical impairment, vision impairment, and intellectual impairment). These will be issued one per year.
“If you have kids or grandkids, you know how big this coin program will be,” said Tucker. “Millions of American children are involved in organized sports. With 20 coins in the quarter dollar series, the hunt will be on. I can imagine kids searching their piggy banks and trading with their friends for the coins they need. This will be another coin program that excites collectors for generations to come. The half dollar program is a nice touch, as well—a way to include young athletes of all abilities. Kudos to Congress for taking this direction.”
Coins involved: None directly, but potentially attached to every quarter and half dollar, 2027–2030.
For every design issued for the Youth Sports quarters and half dollars, the Mint can design and issue a medal (or multiple medals) for the sport involved. Sales of these medals can be used to fund the designing and manufacturing of Olympic medals (see below).
“Medals give the Mint’s artists even more creative leeway than coins do,” said Tucker. “As a medal collector myself, I look forward to seeing the great artwork that comes out of this program. A couple aspects to watch for: Congress in this legislation anticipates that the medals will be struck in high relief, and, if it’s affordable, with surface treatments such as frosting and colorization.”
Coins involved: None (medals).
The legislation authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to design and manufacture medals for award at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.
“This is another historic part of the Coin Redesign Act,” said Tucker. “Other nations in recent years have struck the medals awarded at the Olympic Games. This would be a first for the United States Mint. We can expect to see outstanding artistry if this comes about.”
FIVE-OUNCE AND FRACTIONAL SILVER BULLION COINS
Coins involved: Quarter dollar and half dollar.
Some coins involved in the Redesign Act can be struck in three-inch diameter with a weight of five ounces of .999 fine silver. The quarter dollars and half dollars can also be issued in “fractional” sizes of silver bullion coins with the same designs.
“With this law, Congress gives the Secretary of the Treasury authority to make these bullion coins,” Tucker said. “We’ll have to wait and see what decisions the Secretary makes, but it seems likely we’ll have a new suite of silver bullion coins in the near future. Collectors have bought tens of thousands of the five-ounce America the Beautiful silver coins every year, and these programs should be as popular, if not more so. Not to be overlooked: smaller silver coins would be another fresh innovation in American bullion.”
MARKETING AND OTHER ASPECTS
The legislation encourages the Treasury to develop and include unifying inscriptions, privy marks, or other symbols in the coin programs involved. It also specifically mentions efforts to advance the collecting of the coins and medals, and to promote numismatics. To those ends, “the Secretary may develop and execute a marketing, advertising, promotional, and educational program” and “seek out appropriate cooperative marketing opportunities.” The law authorizes the Secretary to “develop ancillary derivative products beyond traditional numismatic products such as sports, women, and youth-oriented products.”
“This authorization of a marketing and educational campaign shows that Congress is serious about using coins to educate people about American history and culture,” Tucker said. “It also gives teeth to the Mint’s work in promoting coin collecting. The numismatic community will be very happy with this, and it will likely bring many new collectors into the hobby.”
“The effects of this Coin Redesign Act will be broad and far-reaching,” Tucker said. “It creates bold new coin series that should be very popular. It opens the doors to innovative new medals from the United States Mint. It also has some interesting side effects—for example, it will effectively turn the ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ quarter into a single-year type, of 2021. Overall, this is one of the most important and promising pieces of coinage legislation passed in modern memory.”
That's an amazing amount of new circulating coins. The bicentennial coins were popular, and I'll look forward to seeing the semiquincentennial ones, even though I doubt we'll be reading that mouthful of a word often. Wikipedia offers synonyms "Sestercentennial", "Bicenquinquagenary" and "Quarter-millennial". I suspect people will call it the "250-year anniversary" and the media will go with "quarter-millennial".
For more information on anniversary names, see:
To read the complete article, see:
The Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020: What it means for the hobby
Wayne Homren, Editor
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