The United States Mint announced the official designs for the first five coins for the American Women’s Quarters Program, which highlights the accomplishments of trailblazing women in history.
The program, which begins in 2022 and continues through 2025, will issue five quarters in each of these years. The 2022 coins recognize the achievements of Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.
According to the U.S. Mint, an 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.
“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.”
Authorized by Public Law 116-330, this four-year program features coins with reverse (tails) designs symbolizing the accomplishments and contributions of these women.
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. The Secretary of the Treasury selected the final designs. All reverse designs were created by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designers and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Artists
The celebrated writer, performer, and social activist is well known for the publication of her autobiography" I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings", and has authored over 30 best-selling published works.
Angelou was the first Black woman to write a screenplay for a major release film, Georgia, Georgia, a Swedish-American drama that would later be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She also made history as the first female inaugural poet in U.S presidential history when she recited "On the Pulse of Morning," for President Bill Clinton.
The coin depicts Angelou with her arms lifted and with a bird and a rising sun behind her, inspired by her poetry.
Dr. Sally Ride
On June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman and the youngest American in space. Ride was a physicist, astronaut, educator who received many honors in her life, including the induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, National Women’s Hall of Fame, and Aviation Hall of Fame.
The coin features her in uniform next to a window on the space shuttle, along with the inscription “E PLURIBUS UNUM” over the Earth, next to America, crediting her as the first American woman in space.
The third coin features the first woman elected principal chief of the Cherokee Nation and an activist for Native American and women’s rights.
Mankiller was elected chief in 1987, bringing improvements in employment, housing, health and education. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 and she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
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.
Otero-Warren was a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools. During her advocacy, she emphasized the importance of using the Spanish language to reach Hispanic women and lead the ratification of the 19th Amendment in New Mexico.
The design features an image of Nina Otero-Warren on the left, flanked by three individual Yucca flowers.
Anna May Wong
Anna May Wong was the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood, who left a legacy for women in the film industry.
She made appearances in 60 movies throughout her career.
The coin 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.
A schedule of on-sale dates containing the 2022 American Women Quarters Program will be published on the Mint’s Product Schedule here. When available, the Mint will accept orders at catalog.usmint.gov/.