The Missouri Quarter
The Missouri quarter is the fourth quarter of 2003 and the 24th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Missouri became the 24th state on August 10, 1821, as a part of the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri quarter depicts Lewis and Clark’s historic return to St. Louis down the Missouri River, with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (Gateway Arch) in the background. The quarter is inscribed "Corps of Discovery 1804-2004."
Lewis and Clark
While much of the state’s history is tied to the mighty rivers that flow through it, the "Show Me State" got its nickname because of the devotion of its people to simple common sense. In 1899, Rep. Willard D. Vandiver said, "Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri. You've got to show me." It is easy to imagine President Thomas Jefferson saying "show me" as he sent Lewis and Clark forth on their trek into the uncharted Louisiana Purchase territory. Their 8,000-mile journey westward and back, which some claim was the greatest U.S. military expedition ever, began in St. Charles, Missouri—just 20 miles west of St. Louis—in 1804 and ended when they returned to St. Louis in 1806.
Choosing the Design
In February 2001, Governor Bob Holden announced the selection of the Missouri Commemorative Quarter Design Committee and requested statewide design submissions. During the month of March, the state received more than 3,000 concept submissions. The Missouri Commemorative Design Committee, composed of a team of experts, selected twelve finalists. The twelve finalists were presented to the public, who chose five concepts to forward to the United States Mint. The concepts included representations of the Pony Express, the nation’s westward expansion, Lewis and Clark, and a riverboat. From the candidate designs that the United States Mint returned to Governor Holden, "Corps of Discovery 1804-2004" was chosen by an online vote.
The 50 State Quarter ProgramSigned into law in 1997, the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act has become the most successful numismatic program in American history, with roughly half of the U.S. population collecting the coins, either in a casual manner or as a serious pursuit. The program produces five different reverse designs each year for ten years—each representing a different state—the order of which is determined by the order states were admitted to the Union. Design concepts are submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury by state governors for final approval. The obverse of each quarter is a slight redesign of the quarter's previous design. The cost to manufacture a quarter is about 5 cents, providing a profit of approximately 20 cents per coin. So far, the federal government has made a profit of $4.6 billion from collectors taking the coins out of circulation. In 2009, the U.S. Mint launched a separate program issuing quarters commemorating the District of Columbia and various U.S. territories.
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|Release Date:||August 4, 2003|
Lewis and Clark
|Captions:||"Corps of Discovery|
|Composition:||Copper Nickel alloy|
|Weight:||2.000 oz (5.670 g)|
|Diameter:||0.955 in (24.26 mm)|
|Thickness:||0.07 in (1.75 mm)|
|No. of Reeds:||119|
|Data Source: The U.S. Mint.|