The Pennsylvania Quarter
The Pennsylvania quarter, the second coin in the 50 State Quarters® Program, depicts the statue Commonwealth, an outline of the state, the state motto, and a keystone. This design was chosen to further help educate people about the origins of our second state, founded on December 12, 1787.
The Keystone State
The statue Commonwealth, designed by New York sculptor Roland Hinton Perry, is a bronze-gilded 14' 6" high female form that has topped Pennsylvania's state capitol dome in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, since May 25, 1905. Her right arm extends in kindness and her left arm grasps a ribbon mace to symbolize justice. The image of the keystone honors the states nickname, "The Keystone State." At a Jefferson Republican victory rally in October 1802, Pennsylvania was toasted as "the keystone in the federal union." The modern persistence of this designation is justified in view of the key position of Pennsylvania in the economic, social, and political development of the United States.
Choosing The Design
Selections for the Pennsylvania circulating quarter began on January 30, 1998. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge issued a proclamation establishing a Commemorative Quarter Committee to review possible designs. The 14-member committee included representatives from major cultural, conservation, travel, and tourism organizations; a teacher; a high school student; the president of the state Numismatic Society; and the state treasurer. The governor invited all Pennsylvanians to submit design concepts to the committee and received more than 5,300 ideas. The committee reached consensus on their recommendations, and the governor forwarded five preferred concepts to the United States Mint.
Four of the designs were recommended by the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee and the Fine Arts Commission and approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. From these final four candidates, the governor chose the current design to represent Pennsylvania in the 50 State Quarters® Program.
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:||March 8, 1999|
|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.|