The Guam Quarter
The Guam quarter is the third in the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program. Initial Western contact with Guam occurred when explorer Ferdinand Magellan reached the southernmost Mariana Islands in 1521. From 1668 to 1815, it served as a way station for Spanish Acapulco-to-Manilla ships. Spanish rule of Guam came to an end when American forces secured the island during the Spanish-American War. During World War II, the Japanese seized Guam and occupied it for more than two years, with American forces recapturing it in 1944. Under the Organic Act of 1950, the people of Guam became American citizens and established a local government.
Land of the Chamorro
The Guam quarter reverse design depicts the outline of the island, a flying proa (a seagoing craft built by the Chamorro people), a latte stone (an architectural element used as the base of homes) and the inscriptions, GUAM and Guahan I Tanó ManChamorro, which means "Guam, Land of the Chamorro." The proa represents the endurance, fortitude and discovery of the Chamorro people. The vessel, made by expert carvers and sailed by master navigators, is admired as a technical marvel. The latte speaks to a historic icon that hails from the Micronesian area. Chamorro is one of the official languages of Guam, and its usage is enjoying a renaissance there and on the Mariana Islands.
Choosing the Design
Guam Governor Felix P. Camacho solicited and reviewed reverse design narratives from the public, narrowing hundreds of submissions down to two—the outline of the Island of Guam with a flying proa and latte stone and a flying proa at sail with a coconut tree bending toward the water and Two Lovers Point in the background. These narratives were forwarded to the United States Mint for the production of artistic renderings, which were then proposed to the territory. Through a public vote, the island, flying proa and latte stone design was recommended for the Guam quarter, and the Secretary of the Treasury approved it on July 31, 2008.
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:||May 26, 2009|
Flying proa vessel
Latte (stone pillar)
"Guahan I Tanó
|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.|