A new series of quarters will feature trailblazing American women. From 2022 to 2025, five new designs will be released each year with faces of historically legendary women appearing on them. Maya Angelou, a poet, author, and civil rights activist; astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; and Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief will be featured in the initial batch (next year’s coins).
The United States Mint has released photos of a set of quarters that will be released beginning next year and will showcase groundbreaking American women on the reverse side. “These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture,” said Alison L. Doone, acting director of the U.S. Mint.
In a statement, the governmental agency shared:
“This four-year program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing American women. Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. The 2022 coins recognize the achievements of Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.”
The designs, which were designed and sculpted as part of a US Mint program, will be on the reverse of the coins; George Washington will remain on the front, albeit his likeness will differ from that of other quarters. Laura Gardin Fraser, an early twentieth-century sculptor whose depiction of Washington was selected for a 1932 coin commemorating his 200th birthday, designed his side of the 2022 quarters.
Inspired by Sally Ride’s famous quote: “When you’re getting ready to launch into space, you’re sitting on a big explosion waiting to happen […] But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth,” her coin depicts her next to a window on the space shuttle.
Mankiller is pictured wrapped in a traditional shawl with the Cherokee Nation’s seven-pointed star, as an activist for native women’s rights. Cherokee syllabary is used to write “Cherokee Nation.” This is especially legendary as Cherokee syllabary has never been used before in official documents.
This is the first year Congress has approved the American Women Quarters Program, which honors the accomplishments of important, deceased women in the United States.
Photo via US Mint