In 1999 the 50 State Quarters Program replaced the traditional reverse on the Washington Quarter with a ten-year series of designs, one for each of the 50 states. The 50 State Quarter program was designed as a way
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for the Mint to create a circulating commemorative coin. Each state was allowed to create the design of the reverse for their own Statehood Quarter. The Mint worked closely with each state to finalize the design prior to submitting it to the Secretary of the Treasury for final approval. A new obverse was designed by Mint Sculptor-engraver William Cousins featuring the words "United States of America", "Quarter Dollar", "Liberty", and "In God We Trust" as well as a sharpened image of George Washington.
Five different designs have been issued each year. The order of release is determined by the year of the state's entrance to the statehood. In 2008 the Consolidated Appropriations Act calls on the Mint to produce 6 new quarters commemorating the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands in the order listed. These quarters will have the same obverse as the Statehood Quarters and the reverse will be selected by each district, commonwealth, or territory with final approval by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Statehood Quarters are issued by the Philadelphia and Denver Mints with proofs issued by the San Francisco Mint.