I was emptying out my coin purse and happened on a quarter dollar and became curious about all the different backs we have on them. I already know that the reason they are there is that they make people want to collect them. It is a big business for the Treasury. How many different coin backs, actually called the “reverses” are there? When did this start? Are there more coming out in the future?
As far as how many different reverse pressings are there of the United States quarter-dollar, until 1999 there was only one. Then they started the State Quarter Program. This program released 50 new reverses for our quarter and the last release was Hawaii in 2008. In terms of collectors, Slate reported back in 1999 that there were 150 million collectors and the program should yield about 6 billion in profit.
In 2010 the US Mint began the America the Beautiful program. This program honors our national monuments and parks. It is releasing 56 new reverses and will end in 2021.
US Mint not sure what to do about the back of quarter-dollar after 2021. The last scheduled new back is The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in 2021. With the final release, there will be 56 reverses from that series, another 50 for each state, and the original of the eagle brings the total to 107 types of different quarters. Unless, of course, they do something different with it after the Tuskeegee coin.
However, we will likely have a grand total of 108 by 2021 or 2022. They have yet to decide what they are going to do for a reverse after the America the Beautiful program ends. Coin Week reports that it will be George Washington crossing the Delaware, very similar to the reverse of Delaware which was the first in the State Quarter Program. Exactly what it will be is still being worked out. That said, it would be 108.
Hold your horse though, it is unlikely that it will remain that way for long. In 2026, the USA turn 250. remember those 1976 bicentennial coins? Expect semiquincentennial coins. (I want to see them fit that on a dime.)
I am going to be posting pics of reverses here in the future. I think it would be fun to empty my coin purse once in a while and learn a bit about each one. If you wish to follow, check the category “quarter-dollar”
Also of note, be on the lookout for a “W” on your coinage. To further encourage collecting they are running limited pressing from a West Point mint. Fewer made usually means higher collectible value.