The second coin released in the 50 State Quarters Program was the Pennsylvania State quarter. Release date for this quarter was on March 8, 1999, and the date Pennsylvania became a state of the Union was December 12, 1787.
The statue “Commonwealth” is centered on the reverse side of the coin. The statute is an image of the sculpture that sits atop the dome of the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Surrounding the statue is an image of the state of Pennsylvania and a keystone in the upper left corner of the state, which honors the state’s nickname, the “Keystone State”.
The state name and date of statehood is at the top of the image, while the release date and the inscription “E Pluribus Unum” is located at the bottom. To the right of the statue are the words of the state motto, “Virtue, Liberty, Independence”. Engraved by John Mercanti, the Pennsylvania State quarter was designed by William Cousins.
Governor Tom Ridge chose the final design from over 5300 ideas submitted by the people of Pennsylvania.
Coin Specifications of the Pennsylvania State quarter:
- Mintage: 349,000,000 Philadelphia, 358,332,000 Denver, 3,713,359 (San Francisco Clad Proof), 804,565 (San Francisco Silver Proof)
- Coin Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel (clad), 90% silver, 10% copper (silver proof)
- Diameter: 24.26 mm
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Thickness: 1.75 mm
- Edge: Reeded