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Maya Angelou Quarters

Commemorative First from the US Mint

The Maya Angelou Quarter is a commemorative coin issued by the United States Mint in honor of the esteemed American author, poet, and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014). This coin was produced as part of the American Women Quarters Program, a series introduced in 2022 that celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of American women from various fields, including suffrage, civil rights, government, science, and the arts.

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Biographical Information on Maya Angelou

Born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Maya Angelou was an influential African American writer and activist. Angelou's life was marked by numerous accomplishments, including her best-known work, the autobiography "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," which was published in 1969. The book, which chronicled her early life, was a groundbreaking work that shed light on the experiences of black women in America. Throughout her life, Angelou wrote several other autobiographies, essays, and collections of poetry, and she also worked as an actress, playwright, and director. In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration, further solidifying her place in American cultural history. Maya Angelou passed away on May 28, 2014.

Types and Finishes for the Maya Angelou American Women Quarters Coin:

  1. Uncirculated Mint State - These coins were produced using the standard composition of 8.33% nickel and 91.67% copper and have never been put into circulation.
  2. Clad Proof - These coins were struck multiple times to create a sharp, mirrored finish.
  3. Silver Proof - These coins were struck multiple times to create a sharp, mirrored finish and were made from 90% silver and 10% copper.

Details of the Maya Angelou Coin's Design

The obverse side of the Maya Angelou Quarter features a new portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States, designed by John Flanagan. The inscription "Liberty" and "In God We Trust" can be found on this side, along with the mint mark and the year of issue.

The reverse side of the coin showcases a captivating portrait of Maya Angelou with her arms outstretched, symbolizing her impact on American literature and her embrace of the world. Behind her, a caged bird with its wings spread is depicted, a direct reference to her iconic autobiography, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." The words "Maya Angelou" and "E Pluribus Unum" are inscribed on the reverse, along with "USA" and the coin's denomination as "Quarter Dollar."

Popularity Among Collectors

The Maya Angelou Quarter has gained significant popularity among coin collectors, enthusiasts, and even those with a general interest in American history and culture. Several factors contribute to its popularity:

Historical significance: As a part of the American Women Quarters Program, the coin serves as a tribute to the extraordinary achievements of American women, and specifically, the remarkable life and work of Maya Angelou. As the first coin in the series, it is sure to be cherished by collectors for years to come.

Unique design: The coin's striking design, which incorporates elements from Angelou's life and writing, has drawn attention and admiration from collectors.

Varied finishes and compositions: With multiple finishes and compositions available, the coin appeals to a wide range of collectors, from casual hobbyists to serious numismatists.

Educational value: The Maya Angelou Quarter presents an opportunity for parents and educators to teach children about the importance of American women's contributions to society, as well as the life and works of Maya Angelou.

Limited availability: The American Women Quarters Program is a limited series, with each design being minted for a specific time period before being replaced by the next design in the series. This limited availability can make the coins more desirable to collectors, as they become harder to find in the future.

Final thoughts on the Maya Angelou Quarter

The Maya Angelou Quarter is a significant and popular coin that honors the life and legacy of an extraordinary American woman. Its unique design, historical significance, and the variety of finishes and compositions make it an attractive addition to any coin collection or a meaningful gift for those interested in American history and culture.