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New coin designs feature five extraordinary women

Quarter design featuring Maya Angelou
(Image credit: US Mint)

It's taken a while. But better representation is finally starting to come to American coins. The US mint has revealed new designs for quarters to be released from next year featuring trailblazing women on the reverse side.

The women celebrated on the 2022 quarters will be:

Maya Angelou, a celebrated writer, performer, and social activist. She rose to international prominence after the publication of her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She has published more than 30 bestselling works of verse, non-fiction, and fiction.

Quarter design featuring Maya Angelou

(Image credit: US Mint)

Dr. Sally Ride, a physicist, astronaut, educator, and first American woman in space. To narrow the gender gap in science and engineering careers, she co-founded an education company to inspire young people, especially girls, in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Quarter design featuring Sally Ride

(Image credit: US Mint)

Wilma Mankiller, the first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. Under her leadership, infant mortality declined and educational levels rose, and her leadership on social and financial issues made her tribe a national role model. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Quarter design featuring Wilma Mankiller

(Image credit: US Mint)

Nina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools. She emphasized the necessity of using the Spanish language in the suffrage fight in order to reach Hispanic women, as well as spearheading the lobbying effort to ratify the 19th Amendment in New Mexico.

Quarter design featuring Nina Ottero Warren

(Image credit: US Mint)

Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American film star in Hollywood. She appeared in more than 60 movies throughout her career, as well as her roles in silent films, television, and stage. She achieved international success despite racism and discrimination.

Quarter design featuring Anna May Wong

(Image credit: US Mint)

On the new coins, George Washington will remain on the flipside, but with a new design by sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser, which was originally intended (but not used) for the president’s 200th birthday memorial coin in 1932.

In 2023, 2024 and 2025, the US Mint will issue further new quarters (five per year) honouring individuals with accomplishments in suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space and the arts. 

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design, photography and tech. He is author of Great TED Talks: Creativity, published by Pavilion Books. He has previously been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine.