The Maine Quarter
The Maine quarter is the third quarter of 2003 and the 23rd in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Maine became the 23rd state to be admitted into the Union, as part of the Missouri Compromise on March 15, 1820. The Maine quarter design incorporates a rendition of the Pemaquid Point Light atop a granite coast and a schooner at sea.
Pemaquid Point Light
Pemaquid Point Light is located in New Harbor, and marks the entrance to Muscongus Bay and Johns Bay. Since the beginning of ship activity in the area, a shoal created hazardous navigation conditions, causing many shipwrecks. As maritime trade increased in the area, so did the need for a lighthouse. In 1826, Congress appropriated funds to build a lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. Although the original building was replaced in 1835, and the original 10 lamps in 1856, the light is still a beacon for ships and remains one of Maine's most popular tourist attractions. The schooner resembles Victory Chimes, the last three-masted schooner of the Windjammer Fleet. Victory Chimes has become synonymous with Maine windjamming.
Choosing the Design
In March 2001, Governor Angus King established the Commission on the Maine State Quarter Design. The commission reviewed many concepts before choosing three to forward to the governor for recommendation. Governor King added a fourth concept to the three concepts the commission recommended and forwarded them to the United States Mint. The United States Mint then returned four candidate designs based on the concepts. They included "Nation's First Light," "Where America's Day Begins," Mt. Katahdin, and the lighthouse at Pemaquid Point. The Pemaquid Point Light design was chosen by popular vote, with over 100,000 Maine residents participating.
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:||June 2, 2003|
|Design:||Pemaquid Point Light|
Schooner at sea
|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.|