Few programs from the US Mint have driven the interests of numismatics that the 50 State Quarters program. Reports from the Mint and industry resources have shown that the interest in new issues is more popular than ever. With the end nearing, will the interest continue after Hawaii’s quarter is issued? One solution is to extend the program one more year to honor the District of Columbia and the territories: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
H.R.3885, District of Columbia and United States Territories Circulating Quarter Dollar Program Act, was introduced on September 9, 2005 proposes to extend the program one year to issue six quarters for DC and the territories. The bill was introduced by DC Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton and co-sponsored by Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo (Guam), Rep. Donna M. Christensen (Virgin Islands), Rep. Eni F. H. Faleomavaega (American Samoa), and Rep. Luis G. Fortuno (Puerto Rico). None of these representatives are allowed to cast a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives—but they do have voting privledges in committees.
As a resident of the metropolitan District of Columbia area, I know there are many who feel that DC’s status as a non-state but the home of the federal government hurts the District in many ways. Pro-statehood groups readily show how badly the District is treated by the carpet baggers called Congress, who oversees its affairs. DC even provides three electors to the Electoral College. So why not have a quarter honoring the home of the federal government and the 450,000 residents who are taxed without real representation in congress?
But why stop with DC? Each of the territories are very distinct in their culture and background that could lead to some very interesting designs for the quarters. Since the residents of these territories are Americans (the carry US passports) and each add their own part to the American culture, they should have a quarter to commemorate for when they became a territory. It could make the 2009 set one of the most beautiful one-year series of the entire program!
If H.R.3885 was to pass, 2009 will be a fantastic year for numismatics. Aside from the DC and territory quarters, the Presidential $1 Coin Act that commemorates the presidents begins along with the new Lincoln Head Anniversary Cents issues. The thought makes the collector in me excited. I think I will write to my representative and ask him to support of H.R.3885 and make 2009 an exciting numismatic year.