Washington — The United States Mint (Mint) has begun shipping the fourth coin in the 2023 American Women Quarters (AWQ) Program on August 14th. The Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver manufacture these circulating quarters honoring Jovita Idar.
Jovita Idar was a Mexican-American journalist, activist, teacher, and suffragist. She made it her mission to pursue civil rights for Mexican Americans and believed education was the foundation for a better future. Idar wrote many news articles in various publications, speaking out about racism and supporting the revolution in Mexico. Throughout her life, Idar remained on the front lines of change and advocated fiercely for the rights of women and Mexican Americans.
“The fourth coin of the 2023 American Women Quarters Program honors the life and legacy of Jovita Idar,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “She devoted her life to fighting against separatist ideologies and sought to create a better future for Mexican Americans. Her legacy continues to encourage and empower future generations.”
United States Mint medallic artist John P. McGraw designed and sculpted the Jovita Idar quarter reverse design.
“It was a great honor designing and sculpting the Jovita Idar quarter,” said McGraw. “After talking with her family members, I was immediately inspired by her life. Curiosity and education were the driving force in my design, much like Jovita Idar’s life work. I imagine the text, which makes up her body in the design, will inspire curiosity and teach the viewer how amazing Jovita Idar was.”
The reverse (tails) depicts Jovita Idar with her hands clasped. Within her body are inscriptions representing some of her greatest accomplishments and the newspapers for which she wrote.
The inscriptions are “MEXICAN AMERICAN RIGHTS,” “TEACHER,” “JOVITA IDAR,” “NURSE,” “EVOLUCIÓN,” “ASTREA,” “EL HERALDO CRISTIANO,” “LA CRUZ BLANCA,” “JOURNALIST,” “LA CRÓNICA,” “EL PROGRESO,” “LA LIGA FEMENIL MEXICANISTA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
The obverse (heads) depicts a portrait of George Washington originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday. Though her work was a recommended design for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flanagan design. Of Fraser, Director Gibson said, “I am proud that the new obverse design of George Washington is by one of the most prolific women sculptors of the early 20th century. Laura Gardin Fraser’s work is lauded in both numismatic and artistic circles. Ninety years after she intended for it to do so, her obverse design has fittingly taken its place on the quarter.”
Obverse inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2023.” The design is common to all quarters issued in the series.
Each 2023 AWQ honoree is a powerful, inspiring example of the breadth, depth, and range of accomplishments, and the experiences demonstrated by these extraordinary women speak to the contributions women have always made in the history of our country. Coins featuring additional honorees will continue to ship in 2023 through 2025.
View images of the Jovita Idar quarter here.
In addition to Jovita Idar, the AWQ honorees for 2023 are:
- Bessie Coleman — pilot, advocate, and pioneer who flew to great heights as the first African American and first Native American woman licensed pilot, as well as the first African American to earn an international pilot’s license.
- Edith Kanaka’ole — Edith Kekuhikuhipuʻuone o nā aliʻi o Kohala Kanakaʻole was an indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, kumu hula, and a venerated cultural icon. Her efforts and work preserved the history, cultural heritage, and way of life of an entire people.
- Eleanor Roosevelt — Leader, reformer, first lady, and author. As chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, where she oversaw the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as the first chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, she advocated diligently for the civil liberties and needs of the poor, minorities, and the disadvantaged.
- Maria Tallchief — America’s first prima ballerina, who broke barriers as a Native American ballet dancer, exhibiting strength and resilience both on and off the stage.
Authorized by Public Law 116-330, the American Women Quarters Program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of American women. Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint is issuing five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts.
Please consult with your local banks regarding the availability of AWQ Program quarters honoring Jovita Idar in the latter part of August or early September.
This groundbreaking coin program is an excellent way to remind future generations what can be accomplished with vision, determination, and a desire to improve opportunities for all. Subscribe to the program today to ensure fulfillment of your favorite product through 2025.
About the United States Mint
Congress created the United States Mint in 1792, and the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873. As the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage, the Mint is responsible for producing circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint also produces numismatic products, including Proof, Uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; silver and bronze medals; and silver and gold bullion coins. Its numismatic programs are self-sustaining and operate at no cost to taxpayers.
Press release courtesy of the United States Mint