We bet you thought that quarters were for purchasing products or testing your luck out at the vending machines. But, state quarters had another idea in mind when the State Quarters Program was enacted in 1997. While the focus of the mint is on producing coinage, they also try to keep the popularity of coin collecting growing and the newest revitalization of the hobby, state quarters, was designed to bring in the new generation of coin collectors. And boy did it work! Nearly half of the U.S. population collects the coins for fun or a serious collection, which has created an additional $3-billion for the U.S. government by collectors taking the coins out of circulation.
Each state quarter is unique to the others. While some focus on heroes in the state's history, others display landmarks, animals, and plants that bring the history and culture of the state to life. Other coins feature characteristics never before found on U.S. coinage such as Alabama's quarter which is the first U.S. coin to feature Braille writing and the Charter Oak on the Connecticut coin that fell in an 1856 storm, yet can also be found on the 1936 half-dollar.
State quarters are some of the most interesting coins a numismatist can collect, both new and experienced. Let's see how well you know your state quarters by identifying them from an image!
Texas became a state on December 29, 1845. Its coin is framed by a lariat to commemorate Texas' cattle and cowboy history and its frontier spirit.
Vermont became a state on March 4, 1791. Its coin shows Camel's Hump Mountain behind a person collecting sap buckets from maple trees.
Louisiana became a state on April 30, 1812. Its coin commemorates the Louisiana Purchase by showing an outline of the Purchase territory along with a trumpet, musical notes, and the state bird, the pelican.
Kentucky became a state on June 1, 1792. Its coin shows Federal Hill and a thoroughbred racehorse.
New York became a state on July 26, 1788. Its coin features the Statue of Liberty and eleven stars, because it was the eleventh state in the Union.
Florida became a state on March 3, 1845. Its coin, dubbed "Gateway to Discovery," features a 16th-century Spanish galleon, a space shuttle, and a strip of land with Sabal palm trees.
Tennessee became a state on June 1, 1796. Its coin commemorates the state's connection to music with an image of a fiddle, a trumpet, and a guitar.
Indiana became a state on December 11, 1816. Its coin commemorates the Indianapolis 500 with a racecar and its admittance into the union with nineteen stars.
South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. Its coin features a Chinese ring-necked pheasant (the state bird) flying over Mount Rushmore.
Colorado's state flower is the Rocky Mountain columbine. It's nickname is the "Centennial State."
New Hampshire became a state on June 21, 1788. Its coin commemorates the rock formation, The Old Man of the Mountain.
Minnesota became a state on May 11, 1858. Its coin commemorates its nickname, "Land of 1,000 Lakes," with a picture of two people fishing in a tree-lined lake, while a loon watches them from the water.
North Carolina became a state on November 21, 1789. Its coin commemorates the first flight that took place in Kill Devil Hills.
South Carolina became a state on May 23, 1788. Its coin features three state symbols: the Palmetto tree, the Carolina Wren, and the Yellow Jessamine.
Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837. Its coin commemorates its status as the Great Lakes state; its border touches four of the five Great Lakes.
Nebraska became a state on March 1, 1867. Its coin features pioneers in an ox-drawn covered wagon with Chimney Rock in the background.
Arkansas became a state on June 15, 1836. It has seventy-five counties and one national park.
Nevada became a state on October 31, 1864. Its coin shows three wild stallions, snow-capped mountains, and the sun.
Montana became a state in 1889. Its coin is dubbed "Big Sky Country" and features a bison skull above the state's landscape.
Connecticut became a state on January 8, 1788. Its coin commemorates The Charter Oak tree, where the state's original Constitution was hidden.
New Jersey became a state on December 18, 1787. Its coin commemorates General George Washington crossing the Delaware.
Utah became a state on January 4, 1896. Its coin commemorates the joining of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads with the Golden Spike.
Virginia became a state on June 25, 1788. Its coin commemorates the three ships that carried the first English settlers to Jamestown: the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery.
West Virginia became a state on June 20, 1863. Its coin features the New River and the New River Gorge Bridge.
Maine became a state on March 15, 1820. Its coin commemorates the Permaquid Point Light.
Delaware became a state on December 7, 1787. Its coin commemorates Caesar Rodney's horseback ride of 1776.
Oklahoma became a state in 1907. Its coin shows the state bird, the Scissortail Flycatcher, flying over the state's wildflower, the Indian Blanket.
Maryland became a state on April 28, 1788. Its coin features the Maryland Statehouse and is framed with White Oak leaf clusters.
Alabama became a state on December 14, 1819. It has 67 counties, but no national parks.
Mississippi became a state on December 10, 1817. Its coin commemorates its state flower by combining the blossoms and leaves of two magnolias.
Missouri became a state on August 10, 1821. Its coin commemorates Lewis and Clark's return to St. Louis down the Mississippi River and features the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Gateway Arch in the background.
California became a state on September 9, 1850. It has fifty-eight counties and eight national parks.
Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803. It was the seventeenth state in the Union.
Wyoming became a state on July 10, 1890. Its coin, dubbed "The Equality State," features a bucking horse and rider.
Arizona's first governor was George Wylie Hunt. He was re-reelected six times.
Oregon became a state on February 14, 1859. Its coin commemorates Crater Lake with a view from the south-southwest rim, including Wizard Island and Watchman and Hillman Peaks.
Iowa became a state on December 28 1846. Its coin features a teacher and students planting a tree outside a one-room schoolhouse.
Alaska's name is derived from the Aleut word for "great land." It's nickname is "The Last Frontier."
Washington became a state on November 11, 1889. Its coin features a salmon breaching the water in front of Mount Rainier.
Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818. Its coin commemorates its place as the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln and its admittance into the Union as the twenty-first state.
Kansas became a state on January 29, 1861. Its coin showcases a buffalo and sunflowers.
North Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. Its coin commemorates the state's Badlands region with a pair of American bison grazing in the foreground of an image of rugged buttes and canyons (the Badlands) at sunset.
Georgia became a state on January 2, 1788. Its coin consists of a peach, live oak sprigs, an outline of the state, and the state motto.
Pennsylvania became a state on December 12, 1787. Its coin commemorates the statue, Commonwealth.
Massachusetts became a state on February 6, 1788. Its coin commemorates the Minuteman of the American Revolution.
Wisconsin became a state on May 29, 1848. Its coin commemorates the states role in agriculture with the head of a cow, a round of cheese and an ear of corn.
New Mexico became a state in 1912. Its coin features a Zia sun symbol over a topographical outline of the state.
Rhode Island became a state on May 29, 1790. Its coin features a vintage sailboat in Narragansett Bay with the Pell Bridge behind it.
Idaho became a state on July 3rd 1890. Its coin features the Peregrine Falcon over a small image of the state.
Hawaii became a state in 1959. Its coin shows King Kamehameha I stretching his hand toward the eight major Hawaiian Islands.