The Florida Quarter
The Florida quarter is the second of 2004, and the 27th in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters® Program. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state to be admitted into the Union.
The design incorporates a 16th-century Spanish galleon, a space shuttle and the inscription "Gateway to Discovery." A strip of land with Sabal palm trees is also depicted.
Gateway to DiscoveryOn Easter in 1513, while searching for the legendary Fountain of Youth, Ponce de Leon named the region "Pascua Florida," meaning "Flowery Easter." In 1539, Hernando de Soto and other explorers continued the exploration of the New World through the region.
Florida, home to the Kennedy Space Center, has been the starting point for most of the modern era’s most significant scientific space expeditions—including man’s first moon landing to the Voyagerprobe currently exploring deep space outside our solar system. From 16th-century Spanish galleons to 21st-century space exploration, Florida has played a continuing role in humanity’s quest for knowledge and discovery. With the highest average temperature of any state, and the second longest shoreline, Florida is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.
Choosing the Design
On April 9, 2002, Governor Jeb Bush appointed a nine-person Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee. In May 2002, the committee reviewed over 1,500 design concepts and narrowed the candidates to 25. The committee met again in June 2002 and selected 10 candidate design concepts to forward to Governor Bush, who selected five concepts: "The Everglades," "Gateway to Discovery," "Fishing Capital of the World," "St. Augustine," and "America’s Spaceport." In a three-week public vote, Floridians chose "Gateway to Discovery" as the winning design.
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 29, 2004|
|Captions:||"Gateway to Discovery"|
|Engraver:||T. James Ferrell|
|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.|