Some updates were made on 1/5/2021 and 10/20/2021.
In September of 2019, the United States Mint announced the selection of final designs for several upcoming coin programs. In addition, it also provided information about some possible circulating and commemorative coin programs for the years 2021-2030 for which the Mint was pursuing authorizing legislation in 2019.
2019 American Innovation Dollar Coin Designs
At the end of 2018, an introductory coin to the United States Mint’s American Innovation series was issued in a Proof finish and a Reverse Proof version was recently launched. The reverse design of this coin features an image of the signature of President George Washington from the first patent below the inscription, “AMERICAN INNOVATORS,” with the seal of the U.S. Patent Office above the inscription, “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” across the middle and a design with gears on the top portion.
The obverse of every coin in the series depicts a side view of the upper portion of the Statue of Liberty against a plain background that only includes the denomination on the right and the inscription “IN GOD WE TRUST” on the left, while the date and mintmark are on the edge.
During the August American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money held in Rosemont, Illinois, the Mint unveiled the designs of the four 2019 coins in this program. The Delaware coin features a reverse that depicts astronomer Annie Jump Cannon, who created a system for classifying stars still used today. The Pennsylvania coin honors the creation in 1953 of a vaccine to prevent Polio. The New Jersey coin pays homage to the Edison filament light bulb, and the Georgia coin depicts the first experimental agricultural garden in the 1730s, known as the Trustee’s Garden.
Each of these coins will be issued in Reverse Proof and sold separately as well as in bags and rolls of uncirculated coins. The Delaware uncirculated coin goes on sale on September 19, while the release dates of the other coins have not been announced. You can sign up to find out when the next additions to the American Innovation series are available to purchase on our Coming Soon Page.
In 2020, the United States Mint continued the American Innovation series. 2020 issues honored Connecticut and the invention of the Gerber Variable Scale, Massachusetts and the invention of the telephone, as well as the state of Maryland and the invention of the Hubble Space Telescope.
In 2021, the American Innovation series continued with four new coin designs commemorating different innovations chosen by the states being honored on that particular issue. The first two releases of 2021 are the New Hampshire coin which features Ralph Baer, who created the first video game consul, and the Virginia coin, which features the modern marvel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The other two releases pay homage to New York and the Erie Canal and North Carolina and the very first public institution of higher learning in the United States, respectively. The series will continue in 2022.
2020 United States Mint Naismith Hall of Fame Basketball Commemorative Coins
On September 6, 2019, the final design selections of the 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame Basketball Commemorative Coins were revealed on NBA TV. These designs will appear on clad half dollars, silver dollars, and $5 gold coins next year, and each will be struck in a domed shape with a concave obverse and convex reverse, and some may feature color in the design. This is the first time a commemorative coin design has been unveiled on television. The Hall of Fame will be promoting the sale of the coins next year by connecting them to the forthcoming basketball season.
The 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame Basketball Commemorative coins were issued by the United States on June 4th, 2020. For more information and to browse our remaining inventory, click here!
2020-21 America the Beautiful Quarter Coin Designs
The final six coins in the America the Beautiful quarter dollar series were also revealed during the 2019 ANA summer show. These include:
• the 2020 American Samoa coin, which features a reverse design of a Samoan Fruit Bat mother hanging in a tree with her pup designed by Richard Masters and engraved by Phoebe Hemphill.
• the 2020 Weir Farm National Historic Site coin that shows an artist painting outside the Weir Farm that was designed by Justin Kunz and engraved by Phoebe Hemphill.
• the 2020 Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve coin depicts a red mangrove tree as it evolves from a small plant to an adult tree and was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Chief Engraver Joseph Menna.
• the 2020 Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park shows a young girl planting a seedling for a Norway Spruce and was designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Michael Gaudioso.
• the 2020 Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve coin shows a Regal Fritillary butterfly against a background of grass and was designed by Emily Damstra and sculpted by Renata Gordon.
• the 2021 Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site coin features one of the airmen getting ready to join the fight in World War II as two P-51 Mustang planes fly overhead and was designed by Chris Costello and engraved by Phoebe Hemphill.
Five America the Beautiful coins were released in 2020 concluding with the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Coin, which was the penultimate and 55th release of the series. Just one final America the Beautiful coin remains to be released in 2021, which will honor the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Park in Alabama. Sign-up on our Coming Soon Page to be notified when the final 5 oz. Silver America the Beautiful Coin becomes available to purchase from ModernCoinMart.com!
The final America the Beautiful Quarter honoring the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Park was released in March of 2021 as gorgeous Brilliant Uncirculated and Specimen versions. This poignant coin concluded the over decade-long series that honored America’s 50 states and territories, resulting in 56 stunning and quintessentially American designs. 2021 was the first year since 2010 when the series began that only a single ATB quarter was released.
2022-2031 New Quarter Program from the United States Mint
The Secretary of the Treasury had until December 2018 to decide whether to continue the America the Beautiful quarter dollar program, which is also issued as a 5 oz. silver version, with a second, 56-coin series on national parks and historic sites. He opted not to do that, so after the final ATB coin is issued in early 2021 and for the rest of that year, the obverse design will continue to feature the same bust of President Washington that it does now, while the reverse will feature a design of Washington and his troops crossing the Delaware before the Battle of Trenton. That could mean reusing the design of the 1999 New Jersey quarter, or it may mean creating a new design on that theme.
During the ANA show in August of 2019, the U.S. Mint Director said that he has the support of Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin for a new, ten-year coin program that would run from 2022 until 2031 with new reverse designs each year divided into three unrelated themes, or subsets. The first four coins issued from 2022 to 2025 would feature designs of animals; the 2026 coin would celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. and would be part of a one-year-only redesign of each denomination of circulating coins for that event (similar to what was done in 1976 for the quarter, half dollar and dollar coins); and from 2027 to 2030, coins would be issued featuring designs related to youth sports. The final coin for 2031 could be on either animals or youth sports. For this program to move forward, it must become the topic of congressional legislation, be passed by Congress, and enacted into law – none of which has happened so far.
Initial collector reaction has been very positive regarding the idea of the 2026 Sestercentennial proposal even without seeing any designs, while the animal and youth sports ideas have been met with more mixed reactions based on recent comments from collectors in online forums. However, Mint officials insist that collectors and non-collectors strongly favored animal and sports themes in focus groups that were conducted. They also indicated that the current proposal is also based on the understanding that collectors prefer shorter series over longer ones and that it is intended to appeal to a broad range of Americans, including children, according to Thomas V. Johnson, the Mint’s Chief of Corporate Communications (in an interview with CoinWeek).
This possible new quarter program is in competition with another one that is already making its way through the Congress that if enacted would result in the release of 56 quarters starting in 2021 to honor the accomplishments of one woman from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia (the Women’s History and 19th Amendment Centennial Quarter Dollar program).
The United States Mint announced in December 2021 that following the end of the America the Beautiful series in 2021, a new reverse design bearing an image of George Washington crossing the Delaware would start appearing on circulating quarters in April 2021. The new design was created by a member of the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Benjamin Sowards.
The United States Mint announced that in January of 2022, a new Quarter program will honor a diverse group of American women. Authorized under Public Law 116-330, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act, five new quarters will be issued per year over four years totaling twenty new quarter designs. The first issues in 2022 will honor Astronaut Sally Ride, poet Maya Angelou, women’s rights activist Wilma Mankiller, Hispanic culture activist Adelina Otero-Warren, and the Chinese American movie star May Wong. For more information about this exciting series, read this Info-Vault article here.
Proposed 2028 U.S. Olympic Commemorative Coins
Another U.S. Mint initiative announced during the summer ANA show by U.S. Mint Director is a possible 2028 commemorative coin program for that year’s Summer Olympics to be held in Los Angeles that will also recognize the Paralympics athletes.
U.S. Mint Director Ryder said legislation is being pursued on this, and that the Mint is also working with U.S. Olympics Committee to draft the necessary bills. The plan is for a program with “a reasonable number of coin designs with suitable mintages without becoming a repeat of the 1995-96 Atlanta Centennial Olympics” according to a September 2019 report in Coin World.
That program was later scaled down from an initial maximum authorized mintage for all product options of 18 million coins. The program, which was the most extensive commemorative program in U.S. Mint history, included 16 different designs on various sports each issued in proof and uncirculated finishes. With so many options, collectors felt overwhelmed, and sales of some products suffered. As a result, today some of those silver dollars, such as the uncirculated Paralympics coin, are among the lowest-mintage modern commemorative issues.
Paul Gilkes, “Mint to propose Olympic Coins,” Coin World, September 9, 2019
Paul Gilkes, “U.S. Mint seeks circulating commemorative coins for nation’s 250th anniversary,” Coin World, September 2019
Louis Golino, “Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame plans year-long promotion of 2020 basketball commemorative coins,” www.coinupdate.com, August 20, 2019
Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, “What Happens to the Washington Quarter After 2021? The Mint Weighs Its Options,” www.coinweek.com, September 2