The United States Mint has announced the next five women to appear on the back of coins under the Congressional-authorized American Women Quarters program.
The final pieces, which will be available in 2023, will feature aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman; journalist and suffragist Jovita Idar; composer, singer, dancer and artist Edith Kanaka’ole; first lady, author, reformer and leader Eleanor Roosevelt; and America’s prima ballerina Maria Tallchief.
The program is designed to highlight the accomplishments of pioneering women from different eras of American history whose contributions come from a wide range of fields and diverse backgrounds. The law now allows any living person to appear on the drawings of the coins.
This is the second iteration of a series the Mint will issue with different reverse designs each year for a four-year period, from 2022 to 2025.
“The range of accomplishments and experiences of these extraordinary women speaks to the contributions that women have always made to the history of our country,” Mint Deputy Director Ventris Gibson said in a statement. “I am proud that the Mint continues to connect America through coins by honoring these pioneering women and their groundbreaking contributions to our society.”
The first batch of coins recognized the achievements of poet Maya Angelou; astronaut Sally Ride; actress Anna May Wong; suffragist and politician Nina Otero-Warren; and Wilma Mankiller, the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.
The front of the new coins will feature a portrait of George Washington, originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser in honor of his 200th birthday. Although his work was originally recommended for the 1932 term, it was eventually passed over.
The pieces will be available for sale online from next year.