The Iowa Quarter
The Iowa quarter is the fourth of 2004 and the 29th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. On December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted into the Union. The Iowa quarter design features a one-room schoolhouse with a teacher and students planting a tree, and the inscriptions "Foundation in Education" and "Grant Wood." The design is based on "Arbor Day," a painting by Grant Wood, who was born near Anamosa, Iowa. He spent his career as a proponent of small-town values, which he celebrated in the iconic images of small-town plain folk and verdant Midwestern vistas for which he is world-renowned.
Foundation in Education
Iowans have had a commitment to education since the state's earliest days. When Iowa became a state in 1846, it already had a number of rural country schools in each of its counties. Iowa established its first high school in the 1850s, although high schools generally did not become widespread in the United States until after 1900. Private and public colleges also quickly took root in the new state.
Although Iowa has long been a leader in agriculture, the state is unique in that it is the only one whose east and west borders are completely formed by rivers, specifically the Mississippi and Missouri.
Choosing the Design
In May 2002, Governor Thomas J. Vilsack established the 16-member Iowa Quarter Commission, which worked with libraries, banks, and credit unions to solicit ideas and concepts for the state quarter design. The commission received nearly 2,000 submissions, which were narrowed to five candidate themes, including "American Gothic," "Foundation in Education," "Feeding the World," "Sullivan Brothers," and "Beautiful Land."
In July 2003, the United States Mint forwarded five approved candidate designs to Governor Vilsack for final recommendation. Three designs were emblematic of the "Feeding the World" theme, and the other two represented the "Young Corn" and "Foundation in Education" concepts. Governor Vilsack chose the "Foundation in Education" design, which was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury on August 26, 2003.
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:||August 30, 2004|
Teacher and students
planting a tree
|Captions:||"Foundation in Education"|
(based on work
by Grant Wood)
|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.|