The New Jersey Quarter
The New Jersey quarter, the third coin in the 50 State Quarters® Program, depicts General George Washington and members of the Colonial Army crossing the Delaware River en route to very important victories during the Revolutionary War. The design is based on the 1851 painting by Emmanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, which currently hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Washington Crosses the Delaware
It was a cold Christmas night in 1776 and the Delaware River was frozen in many places. General George Washington calculated the enemy would not be expecting an assault in this kind of weather. He and his soldiers courageously crossed the Delaware River into Trenton, NJ. Using surprise as their greatest weapon, Washington's army captured over 900 prisoners and secured the town. Later that night, his army continued towards Princeton, NJ, again taking the enemy by surprise. These two victories proved very important to his army as they gave the soldiers courage, hope, and newfound confidence. The ammunition, food, and other supplies confiscated from their captives also helped them survive the brutal winter of 1777.
Choosing the Design
The selection process for the New Jersey quarter began November 17, 1997, when Assembly Joint Resolution Number 68 was passed to establish the New Jersey Commemorative Coin Design Commission. The 15 members of the commission were selected for their backgrounds in history, art, and numismatics. The commission chose five design concepts for execution into drawings by the United States Mint's engravers. After consultation with the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee, the Fine Arts Commission, and approval by the Secretary of the Treasury, three of these designs were returned to New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman for the final design selection. With her approval, the commission chose the "Washington Crossing the Delaware" design, creating the first circulating coin to feature George Washington on both the obverse and reverse sides.
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:||May 17, 1999|
|Design:||Washington and troops|
crossing the Delaware River
|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.|