The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 41, October 10, 2021, Article 22


This week the U.S. Mint announced design choices for the 2022 American Women quarters. Here's the press release. -Editor

The United States Mint (Mint) is pleased to announce the official designs for the first five coins in the American Women Quarters Program. Authorized by Public Law 116-330, this four-year program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing American women. Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. The 2022 coins recognize the achievements of Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.

These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture, said United States Mint Acting Director Alison L. Doone. Generations to come will look at coins bearing these designs and be reminded of what can be accomplished with vision, determination and a desire to improve opportunities for all.

2022 Reverse Designs
The Secretary of the Treasury selected the final designs in accordance with the design selection process, which is available here. All reverse designs were created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designers and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artists.

2022-american-women-quarters-coin-maya-angelou-line-art-reverse Maya Angelou—celebrated writer, performer, social activist
Designer: Emily Damstra, AIP Designer
Sculptor: Craig A. Campbell, Medallic Artist

The design depicts Maya Angelou with her arms uplifted. Behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, MAYA ANGELOU, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and QUARTER DOLLAR.

2022-american-women-quarters-coin-sally-ride-line-art-reverse Dr. Sally Ride—physicist, astronaut, educator, and first American woman to soar into space
Designer: Elana Hagler, AIP Designer
Sculptor: Phebe Hemphill, Medallic Artist

This design depicts Dr. Ride next to a window on the space shuttle, inspired by her quote, But when I wasn't working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth. The inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM is intentionally positioned over the Earth next to America, indicating that out of all women in the United States, Dr. Ride was the first into space. The additional inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, QUARTER DOLLAR, and DR. SALLY RIDE.

2022-american-women-quarters-coin-wilma-mankiller-line-art-reverse Wilma Mankiller—first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women's rights
Designer: Ben Sowards, AIP Designer
Sculptor: Phebe Hemphill, Medallic Artist

This design depicts Wilma Mankiller with a resolute gaze to the future. The wind is at her back, and she is wrapped in a traditional shawl. To her left is the seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, QUARTER DOLLAR, WILMA MANKILLER, PRINCIPAL CHIEF, and CHEROKEE NATION, which is written in the Cherokee syllabary.

2022-american-women-quarters-coin-nina-otero-warren-line-art-reverse Nina Otero-Warren—a leader in New Mexico's suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools
Designer: Chris Costello, AIP Designer
Sculptor: Craig A. Campbell, Medallic Artist

The design features an image of Nina Otero-Warren on the left, flanked by three individual Yucca flowers—New Mexico's state flower. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, QUARTER DOLLAR, E PLUIBUS UNUM, NINA OTERO-WARREN, and VOTO PARA LA MUJER, the Spanish counterpart for the suffragist slogan Votes for Women.

2022-american-women-quarters-coin-anna-may-wong-line-art-reverse Anna May Wong—first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, who left a legacy for women in the film industry
Designer: Emily Damstra, AIP Designer
Sculptor: John P. McGraw, Medallic Artist

This design features a close-up image of Anna May Wong with her head resting on her hand, surrounded by the bright lights of a marquee sign. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, QUARTER DOLLAR, and ANNA MAY WONG.

Common Obverse (Heads) Design
The obverse design of all coins in the American Women Quarters Program is by Laura Gardin Fraser, one of the most prolific female sculptors of the early 20th century, whose works span the art and numismatic worlds. Fraser's design depicts a portrait of George Washington, which was originally composed and sculpted as a candidate to mark George Washington's 200th birthday. Though recommended for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flannigan design. Inscriptions are LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, and 2022.

To read the complete press release, see:
United States Mint Announces Designs for 2022 American Women Quarters™ Program Coins (

I particularly like the Maya Angelou and Anna May Wong designs, both of which are by Emily Damstra. Less is more.

Wayne Pearson shared this letter he wrote endorsing the use of the Laura Gardin Fraser eagle design. -Editor

Dear Representative Barbara Lee,

I am writing to you about H. R. 1923 Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020/ Public Law 116-330.

Laura Gardin Fraser eagle design I am requesting, that during this 2022-2025 quarter series, in addition to using 5 women per year, that we also use the Laura Gardin Fraser eagle that was originally paired with the Washington design in 1932.

In 2009 we had six territorial quarters.

I think we can have five quarters honoring women and a sixth with Laura's eagle each year for these three years.

After all, the coin collectors are the ones expected to buy all of these quarters and we've been waiting for this complete Laura Gardin Fraser design since 1932 on a circulating quarter.

Would you please consider an amendment to the bill, adding the Laura Gardin Fraser eagle reverse to the five women quarters designs?

It would go a long way in the coin collecting community.

Thank you

It would be nice to see that design produced. I'm always of two minds on new coinage. While I appreciate and like to see classic coin designs (whether previously produced or just proposals), I also enjoy seeing what today's artists come up with - these can be just as high quality as work from the past. But with the large number of issues being produced, it would be nice to see some earlier unused designs finally have their day in the sun. It would be quite appropriate to pair Laura Gardin Fraser's designs. -Editor

Wayne adds:

"I think a lot of the designs from the past were overlooked for a variety of reasons. I had come up with six reasons but anymore I can only recall three.

"First, using the seated Liberty design as an example, it was on the half dime, dime, twenty cent piece, quarter, half dollar and dollar. If each coin had its own design many designs could have been used. And Barber didn't help us in 1892 when he decided to use his work and the same design on three coins. And if our coin designs changed every 25 years instead of allowing them to go on and on more designs could be used. The seated Liberty design started in the late 1830's and wasn't finished until 1891 on the final three coins.

"Second, if you became the chief engraver, no matter how many great patterns/ideas existed, you wouldn't want to use them and give credit to someone else, you would want to use your own work. And it would be the same for the next chief engraver.

"Lastly, when a designer is tasked to come up with something they generally make multiple different designs. In Morgan's case, his Shield Earring and School Girl designs were great, but there was only one coin opening. That is why there are so many still unused pieces of work from the past. And we can't forget the politics of things when we're talking about Laura Gardin Fraser's quarter design."

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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