50 States to Debut in 1999
ew scenes, unique designs and some different faces will greet users of U.S. 25-cent coins beginning in 1999. The familiar eagle on the back of the quarter is stepping aside, making way for a unique design for each of the 50 states. The face of the quarter, featuring George Washington, will not change.
The new designs are part of the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act, which will honor the states in the order that each ratified the Constitution or joined the union. Beginning with Delaware in 1999, each state will be featured on the back of the quarter, with five states being commemorated each year through 2008. Approximately 10 weeks will separate the release of the commemorative quarters, which will be produced by the U.S. Mint and put into circulation by Federal Reserve Banks.
Getting a New Look
Each of the 50 states is developing a design for its commemorative quarter. Coin designs for the first five states to be featured in 1999 — Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut — have been determined but are awaiting final approval from the U.S. Treasury Secretary. The Treasury has asked governors of the remaining 45 states to submit design concepts or themes that represent their states.
As the fourth state to ratify the Constitution, Georgia will be the first Sixth Federal Reserve District state to be honored with its own quarter (see the proposed design at right). Quarters honoring Georgia are scheduled to be minted and circulated in the late summer or early fall of 1999.
Quarters commemorating other district states will debut in their turn: Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi in 2002, Alabama in 2003 and Florida in 2004.
New $20 Bills Released
ld Hickory just got a new look. Andrew Jackson has been spruced up — his portrait on the front of the $20 bill, that is — along with the design of the entire bill. The new bill entered circulation on Sept. 24.
The redesigned $20 bills will circulate along with the old series $20s until the older bills wear out and are pulled from circulation. Both the old and new bills are legal tender.
The new $20 bills feature
- a larger, slightly off-center portrait of Jackson;
- a watermark of Jackson to the right of the portrait is visible when the note is held up to light;
- fine-line printing in the backgrounds of the portrait and picture;
- color-shifting ink in the numeral in the lower right-hand corner of the front of the bill;
- microprinting in the numeral on the lower left-hand corner of the bill and the border of the portrait;
- a security thread that glows green in ultraviolet light to the left of the portrait;
- serial numbers that differ from the serial numbers of the old series; and
- a front view of the White House instead of the back view used on the older notes.
A redesigned $100 bill entered circulation in 1996 and a redesigned $50 bill in 1997. The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve expect to release similar redesigns of the $10 and $5 bills simultaneously. The $1 bill will undergo a more modest redesign.