Maya Angelou, Sally Ride Among Women To Be Featured on US Coins

A new series of coins will depict female trailblazers from various eras of American history.

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Quarter coins will have a new look starting in 2022, thanks to the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program.

The coins will feature female trailblazers from a range of eras of American history, including poet and writer Maya Angelou, actress Anna May Wong, politician Nina Otero-Warren, astronaut and physicist Sally Ride, and the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller. 

U.S. Mint announced the designs on Oct. 6, 2021. 

The American Women Quarters Program is a four-year program, and until 2025, the program will introduce women on the tails of each coin. The initiative was authorized by Congress earlier this year. 

Each coin will have a unique design. Angelou’s quarter depicts her with her arms uplifted against the wings of a bird in flight and rays of light. The description, according to U.S Mint, states, “The reverse (tails) 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.”

All the coin designs and descriptions can be seen here, and below:

None of the women chosen to be featured on the coins are still alive, because, according to the U.S. Mint: “The Public Law requires that no living person be featured in the coin designs.”

Sources: 
 
American Women Quarters Program | U.S. Mint. https://www.usmint.gov/learn/coin-and-medal-programs/american-women-quarters. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.
 
Maya Angelou Quarter | American Women Quarters | U.S. Mint. https://www.usmint.gov/coins/coin-medal-programs/american-women-quarters/maya-angelou. Accessed 12 Oct. 2021.
 
Treisman, Rachel. “Maya Angelou, Sally Ride and Other Trailblazing Women Will Be Featured on U.S. Coins.” NPR, 7 Oct. 2021. NPR, https://www.npr.org/2021/10/07/1044023494/maya-angelou-sally-ride-anna-may-wong-historical-women-quarters-us-mint.