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|The House of Representatives on Sept. 22 passed legislation authorizing
massive changes to circulating coinage to be implemented from 2022 to
2030, as well as authorizing new medals programs.
The bill, H.R. 1923, would authorize:
➤ Circulating quarter dollars honoring women to be issue from 2022
➤ Circulating coins in multiple denominations in 2026 celebrating the
➤ Circulating quarter dollars from 2027 through 2030 celebrating youth
➤ Redesigned half dollars from 2027 through 2030 with reverses
celebrating sports performed by individuals with disabilities.
➤ Medals with the same designs as the coins celebrating youth sports and
sports for the disabled.
➤ Award medals for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
➤ Silver bullion coins with the same designs as all of the quarter
dollars and half dollars authorized from 2022 through 2030, in the now
standard 5-ounce size and in “fractional sizes.”
If passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president, the
legislation represents the most sweeping changes to U.S. coinage in years.
The measure incorporates portions of other legislation also before
Congress and programs proposed by U.S. Mint officials.
Separate legislation before Congress calls for a circulating quarter
dollar program starting in 2021 with designs honoring the accomplishment
of women, with designs selected to represent each state, territory and
the District of Columbia. H.R. 1923 seeks up to five quarter dollars a
year from 2022 through 2025, each honoring a prominent American woman,
without the need to represent each state, territory and the District of
Columbia. After 2025, the Mint could “continue to issue coins minted
during the program but not yet issued,” according to the legislation.
The programs honoring youth sports, sports for the disabled and the
semiquincentennial would accomplish the main goals revealed by Mint
Director David Ryder in an exclusive interview with Coin World in August
2019, along with some additional elements.
The semiquincentennial provisions seek issuance of multiple
denominations of coins celebrating the 250th anniversary of the
Declaration of Independence: up to five quarter dollars, including a
provision that one “of the quarter dollar designs must be emblematic of
a woman’s or women’s contribution to the birth of the Nation or the
Declaration of Independence or any other monumental moments in American
History”; dollar coins with semiquincentennial designs; and possibly
other denominations. This program would be similar to the Mint’s
Bicentennial coin program celebrating the 200th anniversary in 1976.
Beginning in 2027, designs for all denominations except for the quarter
dollar and half dollar would have to revert to their previous designs.
In 2027, additional changes would be made to the 25- and 50-cent
denominations. For the quarter dollar, the Mint could issue up to five
coins each year through 2030 with designs emblematic of sports played by
youth, as proposed by Ryder in 2019. For the half dollar, one coin could
be issued each year “emblematic of a sport tailored to athletes with a
range of disabilities.”
For the 2022 to 2025 and 2027 to 2030 coins, obverse designs would
continue to depict the individuals currently found on the coins, though
possibly in new renditions.
Mint officials would be given authority to reposition statutory
inscriptions, as they have with the quarter dollar programs issued since
The measure that just passed the House would also authorize sport medals
that would be related to the sports coins, to be sold with a surcharge
that would then support the provision to “design and manufacture medals
for award at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.”
Also authorized would be silver bullion coins for all of the quarter
dollars and half dollars issued from 2022 to 2030, including 5-ounce
.999 fine silver versions and “fractional” versions “in sizes, weights,
fineness, and denominations” determined to be appropriate.
The U.S. Mint already makes silver versions of the dime, quarter dollar,
and half dollar for inclusion in the annual Silver Proof sets, so the
“fractional” bullion coin versions of the quarter dollar and half dollar
would presumably differ, possibly by weight, since the diameters of the
current silver quarter dollars and half dollar are identical to the
copper-nickel clad versions issued for circulation and numismatic sales.
Distribution of coinage
The legislation would require the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and
the Treasury Department to ensure that the various coins would be issued
in quantities for commerce and collectors.
Also authorized would be “a unifying inscription, privy mark, or other
symbol for that particular coin program.” That provision would codify
already existing Mint practice, as it has issued circulating 2020-W
quarter dollars with a privy mark celebrating the 75th anniversary of
the end of World War II, as well as several numismatic coins with
various privy marks.
Coin World will continue to explore the provisions of the legislation in
future weeks as additional information becomes available.
The House vote was without objection, so no individual votes were taken.
The legislation will be sent to the Senate for its consideration.
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