The United States Mint has released its first high resolution images of coinage that we can expect in 2022. As it should be, the new 2022 American Women Quarter series Obverse and Reverses are the first such images to be released. Honoring Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong, the Quarters for 2022 will have a Reverse design honoring each of these influential women in American History as well as have the Laura Gardin Fraser design featuring a right facing George Washington.
First, let’s discuss the Obverse. In 1931, Congress held a competition to design a coin to honor the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. The original competition called for the obverse of the coin to feature a portrait of George Washington, based on the famed life-mask bust by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon. The reverse was to feature a design that was to be “national” in nature.
Laura Gardin Fraser submitted a design that features a right-facing portrait of George Washington on the obverse, while the reverse shows an eagle with wings spread wide. In a 1932 letter to recommend Fraser’s design, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) wrote to (then) Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon. While her design was popular, it was not chosen. Instead, Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the left-facing John Flannigan design.
Fraser’s design, however, was not forgotten. The Mint revived it 68 years later for the 1999 George Washington Commemorative Gold $5 Coin. Starting next year, it will be a part of our circulating coins.
Here then are the high resolution images of the Reverse designs for the 2022 American Women Quarter releases:
The series, honoring American women and their impact on the country, is a new program that is aimed to run from 2022 to 2025. Each year, five women will be honored in the Reverse designs of the Washington Quarter.