In 1999, the United States Mint began the 50 State Quarters Program. The program was designed to run for 10 years in which it would honor each of the United States in the order that they ratified the constitution, or were introduced into the Union of States.
Individual designs for each separate state are presented on the reverse side of each quarter, while the obverse side displays the bust of George Washington; the first president of the United States of America. Also included on the obverse side of the quarter includes the words, "In God We Trust","Liberty","Quarter Dollar", and "United States of America". This was done to allow each state design its own place on the "tails" side of the quarter.
In 2008, all 50 of the state quarters had been released. In 2009, the U.S. Mint began issuing quarters to honor the United States Territories and District of Columbia. Under the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Program, quarters were designated to be released for the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and northern Mariana islands. This separate program was not part of the original 50 State Quarters Program.
One of the main reasons for initiating the 50 State Quarters Program was to spark a new interest in coin collecting. According to figures, the plan worked. The United States government has made over $4,000,000,000 due to collectors taking the state quarters out of circulation. It's estimated that over 150 million people have collected these coins.