DENVER (Stacker) — From 1999 through 2008, five new quarters were released each year celebrating the heritage of each state in the order that they ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union.

More than 34 billion quarters were minted during this 10-year period, which 147 million Americans collected. The program earned about $3 billion from increased quarter demand. It was the most successful coin initiative in U.S. history. Each quarter was minted for up to 10 weeks, and was never produced again. Beyond the distinctive symbols for each state, the back of the quarter also showed the year the state became part of the union, the year the quarter was created, and “E Pluribus Unum.” The front of the quarter continued to show the same image of George Washington.

The program represented the first change to the quarter since production of the Bicentennial Quarter in 1975 and 1976. Kermit the Frog even served as the official “spokesfrog” for the 10-year program.

But how were the quarters designed? To find out, Stacker consulted news articles, press releases, and the website for the United States Mint to compile a list of how each was developed, and why those images were used. From the Statue of Liberty to a humble guitar, read on to find out what each state chose as its distinguishing symbols.


Release date: June 14, 2006

Engraver: Norman E. Nemeth

Mintage: 569,000,000

The image highlights the Rocky Mountains, evergreen trees, and a banner with the inscription “Colorful Colorado.”

More than 1,500 designs were submitted to a commission, which were then narrowed to five options. After the United States Mint sent back images, Bill Owens, the governor of Colorado at the time, made the final decision. “In the end, I made my selection based on what most people think of when they think of Colorado: our majestic Rocky Mountains,” Owens said at the design unveiling.

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