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The Florida state quarter was the 27th coin released in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. It was made available to the general public on 29 March 2004. During an approximately 10-week period, the Denver and Philadelphia Mints produced 241,600,000 and 240,200,000 of the quarters, respectively. The coin's order of appearance in the series was derived from the fact that Florida was the 27th state to be admitted to the Union.
This date of the release of the Florida state quarter was in keeping with the intent and goals of the program's overall objectives. The 50 State Quarters® Program was a result of a federal law — The 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act — passed by the U.S. Congress in 1997. The program was launched in 1999 and authorized the design and manufacture of coins intended to honor each state. Five different state quarters were produced annually over a span of 10 years. Production dates were established that allowed each quarter to be released in the respective order of official statehood or ratification of the state's constitution.
The obverse, or front, of this quarter — as is true of all the coins in the program — features an engraving of George Washington. The words on that side of the coin are "In God We Trust," "United States of America," "Liberty," and "Quarter Dollar." The reverse of the coin holds the specific design that commemorates Florida. These engravings consist of a Spanish galleon, sabal palm trees and the Space Shuttle. Slogans found on the quarter's reverse are "E Pluribus Unum" and "Gateway to Discovery."
The depictions on the reverse of the Florida state quarter represent historical milestones. The galleon is meant to acknowledge Spanish explorers Ponce de León and Hernando DeSoto. Both men explored the state in the 1500s, with the former giving it the name Pascua Florida, which means "flowery Easter." The image of the space shuttle pays homage to Cape Kennedy, the launching point of not only all shuttle flights but also the manned capsules used in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. The sabal palm was designated the state tree of Florida in 1953.
The person who submitted the winning design for the Florida state quarter was Ralph Butler; the engraver was T. James Farrell. The Florida state quarter weighs 0.2 ounces (about 5.7 g) and has a diameter of about 1 inch (about 24.3 mm). The coin's thickness is 0.07 inches (about 1.8 mm). The quarter's composition is 91.67 percent copper and 8.33 percent nickel.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was the Florida State Quarter released, and what does it commemorate?
The Florida State Quarter was released on March 29, 2004, as part of the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program. It commemorates Florida's rich history and its status as the 27th state to join the Union. The quarter features a Spanish galleon, a strip of land with a Sabal palmetto palm tree, and the Space Shuttle, symbolizing Florida's exploration history, its natural environment, and its role in space exploration, respectively.
What are the unique design elements found on the Florida State Quarter?
The Florida State Quarter's design uniquely captures the state's essence through three main elements. Firstly, the Spanish galleon represents Juan Ponce de Le√≥n's discovery of Florida in 1513 and the state's early exploration history. Secondly, the Sabal palmetto palm tree is Florida's state tree and signifies its tropical climate and natural beauty. Lastly, the Space Shuttle illustrates Florida's pivotal role in the nation's space program, with the Kennedy Space Center located on Merritt Island.
Who designed the Florida State Quarter, and how was the design chosen?
The Florida State Quarter was designed by artist T. James Ferrell and was selected through a collaborative process. The final design was chosen by the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, after considering input from the state's citizens and the Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee. The design reflects Florida's pride in its history, natural beauty, and contributions to space exploration.
How many Florida State Quarters were minted, and are they still available for collection?
According to the United States Mint, a total of 481,800,000 Florida State Quarters were minted across both the Philadelphia and Denver mints. While they are not produced anymore, collectors can still find these quarters through coin dealers, online auctions, and sometimes in circulation. Their availability in uncirculated or proof condition may vary, and prices can differ based on condition and rarity.
What is the significance of the date "1845" on the Florida State Quarter?
The date "1845" inscribed on the Florida State Quarter signifies the year Florida was admitted to the Union as the 27th state. This date is an important part of the state's history, marking its transition from a territory to full statehood. The inclusion of this date on the quarter serves as a tribute to Florida's statehood and its historical journey within the United States.