2009 DC & US Territories Quarters

Following on the heels of the long-running and highly popular 50 State Quarters® series that began in 1999, the United States Mint in 2009 kicked off the DC & US Territories Quarters Program.

2009 DC and US Territories Quarters (Proof Versions) - Click to Enlarge

2009 DC and US Territories Quarters (Proof Versions) - Click to Enlarge

The 2009 quarters honor and feature reverse (tails side) designs emblematic of Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Like the 50 State Quarters® Program before it, these new quarters will encourage Americans to appreciate the unique history of the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States," United States Mint Director Ed Moy said in describing the coins and series. "While we focus on each one's individuality, we also recognize the common thread that unites us all."

The six coins bear George Washington's portrait on their obverse (heads side), just like the 50 State Quarters. This obverse was designed and sculpted by William Cousins, and was based on John Flanagan's original work for the first Washington quarters that were launched in 1932 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Shown below are the six 2009 DC and US Territories Quarters, history and quarter theme descriptions:

District of Columbia Quarter

District of Columbia Quarter - Sculpted by Don Everhart, the DC Quarter shows native son Duke Ellington, seated at a grand piano. Duke was a well-known musician and composer. Below Ellington are the words JUSTICE FOR ALL, which is DC's official motto.

"Like many great Americans who succeed in what they love doing, Duke Ellington was equal parts talent, hard work, passion and perseverance," said US Mint Director Moy at an event celebrating the coin launch. "When Americans look at this coin, they will remember the man and his art, as well as the place where both were born and nurtured - the District of Columbia."

The District of Columbia was founded on July 16th, 1790. Article One of the Constitution of the United States called for a federal district, not under the control of any single state, and D.C. was to serve in this capacity.

Puerto Rico Quarter

Puerto Rico Quarter - The islands known as Puerto Rico are located in the northeastern Caribbean and became a commonwealth in 1952. A vital military area for many years, several nations had control of the islands at one time or another.

Owing to this military history, the reverse of the Puerto Rico quarter depicts a sentry box in Old San Juan overlooking the sea with a hibiscus. Isla del Encanto (Island of Enchantment) is also inscribed on the reverse.

The Puerto Rico quarter reverse was designed and sculpted by Joseph Menna.

Guam Quarter

Guam Quarter - Located in the western Pacific Ocean, Guam came under the control of the United States in 1898. For at least 4,000 years before that, the indigenous people of Guam were known for their sea-faring abilities.

The reverse showcases an outline of the island,a latte stone that was once used as building support in ancient Chamorro society, and a flying proa (a native boat). Guahan I Tanó ManChamorro (Guam, Land of the Chamorro) is also inscribed.

The quarter was designed by David Westwood and sculpted by Jim Licaretz.

American Samoa Quarter

American Samoa Quarter - Samoa is in the south Pacific Ocean and was divided between Germany and the United States in 1899. The US took control of the eastern part and established a military presence shortly thereafter.

The quarter foreground features an image of an ava bowl, whisk and staff (used in special Samoan ceremonies). A coconut tree is on the shore in the background

It was designed by Stephen Clark and sculpted by Charles Vickers.

US Virgin Islands Quarter

US Virgin Islands Quarter - The US Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean and contain the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas. The area was purchased from Denmark during World War I for $25 million to prevent Germany from seizing control.

An image of the Virgin Islands official bird, the banana quit, along with the yellow cedar or yellow elder, the official flower; and a Tyre Palm Tree are featured on the reverse.

It was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.

Northern Mariana Islands Quarter

Northern Mariana Islands Quarter - The Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is made up of 15 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Formerly under the control of Japan, the islands were invaded by the United States during World War II, and has retained possession since. The islands officially became a commonwealth in 1975.

The reverse of the Mariana Islands coin was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. It features an image of the shore, a limestone latte, a canoe and two white fairy tern birds which are native to the island.

Mintage levels for the circulation coins are based on demand. January through August production figures follow for the available quarters:

2009 Quarter Mintages Figures
(January 2009 - August 2009)

Denver Philadelphia 2009 Total
DC Quarter 88,800,000 83,600,000 172,400,000
Puerto Rico Quarter 86,000,000 53,200,000 139,200,000
Guam Quarter 42,600,000 45,000,000 87,600,000
American Samoa Quarter 39,600,000 42,600,000 82,200,000


The following table has the 2009 quarter release dates:

2009 Quarter Release Dates

Release Date
DC Quarter January 26, 2009
Puerto Rico Quarter March 30, 2009
Guam Quarter May 26, 2009
American Samoa Quarter July 27, 2009
US Virgin Islands Quarter September 28, 2009
Northern Mariana Islands Quarter November 30, 2009


D.C. & U.S. Territories Quarters Specifications

Mintmark: D, P (S for Proof Coins only)
Finish/Condition: Circulated, Proof
Composition: 8.33% Nickel, 91.67% copper
Weight: 5.670 gms
Diameter: 24.26 mm
Edge: reeded
Date of Issue: 2009
Obverse Designer/Sculptor: William Cousins, based on John Flanagan's original work
Reverse Designer/Sculptor: See Above

2009 Quarters Resources