The West Virginia Quarter
The fifth and final quarter to be released in 2005 commemorates the State of West Virginia. On June 20, 1863, the "Mountain State" became the 35th state to be admitted into the Union, making this the 35th coin to be issued in the United States Mint’s popular 50 State Quarters® Program. This coin captures the scenic beauty of the state with its depiction of the New River and the New River Gorge Bridge. The coin bears the inscription "New River Gorge."
New River GorgeThe design chosen to represent West Virginia is one that combines the natural physical beauty of the state and the triumph of the human intellect exemplified by the engineering wonder that is the New River Gorge Bridge. At 3,030 feet long and 69 feet wide, the bridge is the world’s largest steel span and the second highest bridge in the United States, rising 876 feet above the New River Gorge in southern West Virginia. In 1978, 53 miles of the New River was added to the National Park System as the New River Gorge National River.
For years, crossing the New River Gorge meant long detours along narrow, winding mountain roads. The completion of the bridge in 1977 reduced this dangerous 40-minute trip to a smooth and scenic one-minute drive.
Choosing the Design
On March 31, 2004, West Virginia Governor Bob Wise announced his selection of the New River Gorge as the design he would submit to Treasury for final approval. The Department of Treasury approved the design on May 4, 2004. More than 1,800 design concepts were submitted from around the state, and students from the Governor’s School for the Arts narrowed the field to five finalists. Other designs considered included "Appalachian Warmth," "Bridge Day / New River Gorge," "River Rafters," and "Mother’s Day / Anna Jarvis."
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:||October 14, 2005|
|Design:||New River Gorge Bridge|
|Captions:||"New River Gorge"|
|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.|