The United States Mint announced the official designs for the first five coins in the American Women Quarters Program. Authorized by Public Law 116-330, 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.
“These inspiring coin designs tell the stories of five extraordinary women whose contributions are indelibly etched in American culture,” said United States Mint Acting Director Alison L. Doone. “Generations to come will look at coins bearing these designs and be reminded of what can be accomplished with vision, determination and a desire to improve opportunities for all.”
The Final Designs
The Secretary of the Treasury selected the final designs in accordance with the design selection process, which is available here. All reverse designs were created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designers and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artists.
- Maya Angelou – celebrated writer, performer, social activist. Designer: Emily Damstra, AIP Designer. Sculptor: Craig A. Campbell, Medallic Artist. The design depicts Maya Angelou with her arms uplifted. Behind her are a bird in flight and a rising sun, images inspired by her poetry and symbolic of the way she lived. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “MAYA ANGELOU,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “QUARTER DOLLAR.”
- Sally Ride – physicist, astronaut, educator, and first American woman to soar into space. Designer: Elana Hagler, AIP Designer. Sculptor: Phebe Hemphill, Medallic Artist. This design depicts Dr. Ride next to a window on the space shuttle, inspired by her quote, “But when I wasn’t working, I was usually at a window looking down at Earth.” The inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is intentionally positioned over the Earth next to America, indicating that out of all women in the United States, Dr. Ride was the first into space. The additional inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” and “DR. SALLY RIDE.”
- Wilma Mankiller – first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights. Designer: Ben Sowards, AIP Designer. Sculptor: Phebe Hemphill, Medallic Artist. This design depicts Wilma Mankiller with a resolute gaze to the future. The wind is at her back, and she is wrapped in a traditional shawl. To her left is the seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” “WILMA MANKILLER,” “PRINCIPAL CHIEF,” and “CHEROKEE NATION,” which is written in the Cherokee syllabary.
- Nina Otero-Warren – a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools. Designer: Chris Costello, AIP Designer. Sculptor: Craig A. Campbell, Medallic Artist. The design features an image of Nina Otero-Warren on the left, flanked by three individual Yucca flowers – New Mexico’s state flower. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” “E PLUIBUS UNUM,” “NINA OTERO-WARREN,” and “VOTO PARA LA MUJER,” the Spanish counterpart for the suffragist slogan “Votes for Women.”
- Anna May Wong – first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, who left a legacy for women in the film industry. Designer: Emily Damstra, AIP Designer. Sculptor: John P. McGraw, Medallic Artist. This design features a close-up image of Anna May Wong with her head resting on her hand, surrounded by the bright lights of a marquee sign. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” and “ANNA MAY WONG.”
The Common Obverse Design
The obverse design of all coins in the American Women Quarters Program is by Laura Gardin Fraser, one of the most prolific female sculptors of the early 20th century, whose works span the art and numismatic worlds. Fraser’s design depicts a portrait of George Washington, which was originally composed and sculpted as a candidate to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday. Though recommended for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flannigan design. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2022.”
To learn more about the American Women Quarters Program, visit the website of the United States Mint.
Here you can find out more about the United States Mint.
All US coins since 1970 are listed in the Cosmos of Collectibles database.
And if you don’t want to miss any more new issues, subscribe to the bi-weekly newsletter of Cosmos of Collectibles.