Editorial | The Five Best State Neighborhoods

As children, some of us rejoiced in filling the slots of the USA district map. Collecting a quarter of each state was interesting, purely because of the individualized tail image imprinted on each.

Since the 2000s, the United States Mint has printed some of its finest coins to date, depicting national treasures from across the country and our territories. Here are the five best quarters.

No. 5: 2006 Nevada

Claire Sheedy | Visual Editor Assistant, Images via Wikimedia Commons

As the 36th coin issued for the 50 State Quarters Program, the Nevada neighborhood depicts a very American scene – wild stallions, snow-capped mountains and the sun rising above the earth. A quarterback that will go down as a classic earns its place as our #5 for its simple beauty and ode to the American West.

No. 4: 2000 New Hampshire

Claire Sheedy | Visual Editor Assistant, Images via Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire was the ninth state to have its play released for the 50 State Quarters program. The coin represents the The Old Man of the Mountain, also known as the Great Stone Face. This beloved natural wonder was made up of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain in Franconia, New Hampshire, which appeared to resemble a misshapen human face when viewed from the north. For his weird features and convincing makeup, he earns the No. 4 spot.

N°3 : 2020 American Samoa National Park

Claire Sheedy | Visual Editor Assistant, Images via Wikimedia Commons

American Samoa is a territory located 2,200 miles from Hawaii that consists of six islands. the America the Beautiful Quarters Program help raise awareness of national parks and other national sites in several states, American Samoa and the US Virgin Islands. The main visual detail of the neighborhood is the Samoan fruit bat mother paired with her pup. This was intentionally chosen because fruit bats are foster parents. Although not usually seen by visitors to the territory, their unusualness was one of the factors that earned them a spot on the coin – but it was their friendliness that earned them third place on this listing.

#2: Tallgrass Prairie District

Claire Sheedy | Visual Editor Assistant, Images via Wikimedia Commons

North American tallgrass prairie are iconic scenes associated with the plains of the American Midwest. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, located in Kansas, has nearly 11,000 acres grasslands and east located in the largest expanse of tallgrass prairie remaining in North America – a good reason why this diverse ecosystem is featured on the quarter and deserves second place. That, and the beauty Fritillary Regal Butterfly embellish the visual.

#1: 2022 American Women’s Quarters Program

Claire Sheedy | Visual Editor Assistant, Images via Wikimedia Commons

Our No. 1 quarter is not a single piece, but a collection of a new ongoing series – the American Women’s Neighborhoods Program.

This year marks the first of four years to 2025 where iconic women who have defined American history in one way or another are celebrated for their accomplishments. This year includes Maya Angeloulegendary author and poet; Sally’s Towerthe first American woman in space; Wilma Mankillerthe first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation; Nina Otero-Warren, first Hispanic woman to run for Congress and leader of the woman suffrage movement in New Mexico; and Anna May Wongborn as Wong Liu Tsong and the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood.

Women honored in the 2023 edition from the series include Bessie Coleman, Edith Kanaka’ole, Eleanor Roosevelt, Jovita Idar and Maria Tallchief.

The American Quarter is not only a financially necessary base for our economy, but it is also a representation of the best of America, whether it is people, places or other national icons.

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