The Virginia Quarter
The Virginia quarter, the tenth coin released under the 50 State Quarters® Program, honors Jamestown, Virginia, our nation's first permanent English settlement (Jamestown turned 400 years old in 2007). The selected design features the three ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, that brought the first English settlers to Jamestown.
The New World
On April 10, 1606, King James I of England chartered the Virginia Company to encourage colonization in the New World. The first expedition, consisting of the three ships depicted on the quarter, embarked from London on December 20, 1606. On May 12, 1607, they landed on a small island along the James River nearly 60 miles from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. It was here the original settlers (104 men and boys) established the first permanent English settlement called Jamestown, in honor of King James I.
Choosing the DesignThe selection of the design for Virginia's new quarter began when Governor James Gilmore III selected State Treasurer Susan F. Dewey to serve as liaison to the United States Mint for the 50 State Quarters® Program. Ideas were solicited from colleges, universities, museums, and state agencies. Public comment was overwhelming, with thousands of responses received.
Representatives from the Library of Virginia, the Department of Historic Resources, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Department of General Services assisted the state treasurer in selecting design concepts for the Virginia quarter. The citizens of Virginia were encouraged to provide their comments. Governor Gilmore then forwarded his final design concept recommendation, the Jamestown Quadricentennial, to the Secretary of the Treasury, who gave final approval.
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.
Download a Hi-Res Image:
|Release Date:||October 16, 2000|
|Designer:||Edgar M Stevens IV|
|Engraver:||Edgar Z. Steever|
|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.|