Space News
space history and artifacts articles

space history discussion forums

worldwide astronaut appearances

selected space history documents

Full Coverage: Florida state space quarters

Article index:

U.S. Mint launches Florida quarter

April 7, 2004 — It was a launch of a different sort for the NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center, as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Bodman and United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore joined Governor Jeb Bush, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and citizens of the Sunshine State in celebrating the new Florida commemorative quarter-dollar coin.

The Florida quarter design features a space shuttle, a 16th century Spanish galleon and the inscription "Gateway to Discovery." A strip of land with sabal palm trees is also depicted.

"On behalf of President Bush and Secretary Snow, I am very pleased to participate in this event with Governor Bush, Administrator O'Keefe and Director Fore," said Deputy Secretary Bodman.

"Today we celebrate not only the important role that coins play in our Nation's economy, but also the many contributions of the great State of Florida to American innovation and to our national spirit of exploration and discovery," said Bodman.

"Your Florida quarter carries the spirit of exploration in the air, on land, and at sea," said Director Fore. "It is the spirit of America."

Children attending the festivities each received a shiny new Florida quarter. Adults were able to exchange their dollars and coins for rolls of Florida quarters furnished by credit union representatives.

"Florida truly is the 'Gateway to Discovery'," said Governor Bush. "Our residents should be proud to know that citizens nationwide will now be carrying a symbol of our State's history - its past and its future."

The Florida quarter is the second to be issued in 2004, and the 27th quarter in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state to be admitted into the Union. The dates 1845 and 2004 are both on the reverse of the Florida quarter.

Launched in 1999, the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program is a 10-year initiative that honors the states in the order they were admitted into the Union or ratified the Constitution. Each quarter is produced for about 10 weeks and will never be produced again. Surveys show that more than 130 million Americans collect the quarters.

Public invited to Florida quarter unveiling

March 30, 2004 — Florida Governor Jeb Bush has invited the public to join in the unveiling of the state's quarter on April 7. Ceremonies at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine are open to the public with tickets to the Kennedy Space Center event available free of charge now.

Bush will be joined by United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore and NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe at the 9:30am unveiling at Kennedy Space Center. Lt. Governor Jennings will join St. Augustine City officials, students and local residents at the Castillo de San Marcos.

Tickets for the Space Center event are available at the following locations:

Governor's Office-Tallahassee
The Capitol, PL 05
  Governor's Office-Orlando
UCF Downtown Center
36 W. Pine St, Suite 107
Governor's Office-Tampa
HCC Administration Building
39 Columbia Dr, Suite 429th
  Governor's Office-Miami
F.I.U. University Park Campus
11200 Southwest 8th St
Building GL, Room 154

Other ticket distribution centers include Chambers of Commerce, Credit Unions and Banks. The public can call the KSC Visitor Complex for participating locations.

Children 18 years of age and under attending the events will receive a free new Florida quarter. There will also be a quarter exchange by the roll.

Mint offers Florida quarters for sale

March 25, 2004 — The United States Mint announced today that quarter-dollar coins honoring Florida, the second coin in the 50 State Quarters® Program to be released in 2004, will go on sale beginning March 29, at noon (Eastern Time), and will be available for purchase during the 10-week release period. The Florida quarters are available in two-roll sets (40 coins per roll), including one Philadelphia and one Denver mint mark coin roll each, and in bags of 100 and 1,000 coins. The Florida quarters are also available as part of the United States Mint's Subscription Program.

Each coin roll in the two-roll set is wrapped in a specially designed United States Mint paper coin wrap that prominently displays the 50 State Quarters Program logo, a "P" or "D" representing the roll's mint of origin, "FL" designating the State of Florida, and "$10" representing its dollar value. Two-roll sets will sell for $32.00, bags of 100 coins for $35.50, and bags of 1,000 coins for $300.

Each bag is marked with the mint of origin and the dollar value of its contents ($25 or $250).

These two-roll sets and bags feature quarters used in regular transactions and are struck on the main production floors at the United States Mint at Philadelphia and Denver. There is no order limit on these products.

Customers can purchase the Florida quarter-dollars by using the United States Mint's website,, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT.

Florida quarter pays tribute to shuttle

March 6, 2003 — "Gateway to Discovery", featuring a Spanish Galleon and a Space Shuttle landing, will grace the reverse of Florida's quarter when the U.S. Mint releases the state's design in 2004.

After three weeks of public voting, "Gateway" received 123,515 ballots, nearly 20,000 more than its nearest competitor, "St. Augustine: Oldest United States City". Approximately 425,000 votes were received in total, from both Floridians and out of state visitors.

"Gateway to Discovery" was designed by Ralph Butler of Bayonet Point, Florida.

Floridians to vote for quarter design

February 14, 2003 — After a three month delay waiting for the US Mint to respond, Florida Governor Jeb Bush has kicked off a three week Internet voting period for the design that will grace the reverse of the state's quarter.

"The final five designs have captured the true images of our diverse state, from its past and future to its natural and historical treasures," said Governor Bush.

Originally scheduled to begin in November 2002, the voting was delayed when a winter storm prevented the US Mint from meeting to approve the designs submitted by Florida in June 2002.

Instead, the voting period began February 12, and will end on March 5, at 9:30am ET. The public can cast their votes by visiting the state's website at:

Florida residents who do not have access to computers can still cast their votes by mailing:
Governor's Office of Citizen Services
The Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
The design with the most votes will be submitted to the United States Mint for circulation in 2004.

The five final designs being considered are as follows:

"The Everglades" showcasing a great white heron standing surrounded by sawgrass.

"Gateway to Discovery" with a Spanish Galleon and a rendering of a space shuttle.

"Fishing Capital of the World" depicting a sailfish found in Florida's waters.

"St. Augustine: Oldest United States City" featuring the Castillo De San Marcos National Monument.

"America's Spaceport" a space shuttle superimposed over an outline of the state.

The winning design will be announced in March.

Bush selects five finalists for quarter

June 12, 2002 — Florida Governor Jeb Bush revealed Monday his five choices for the state's entry into the U.S Mint's 50 State Quarters Program.

Two of the designs, including one previously selected by the Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee as their favorite, feature the Space Shuttle.

The U.S. Mint will now review all five designs, and approve those which can be mass produced. Florida residents will then be given a chance to vote for their favorite beginning in November.

Reproduced below are the 5 finalists selected by Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Click on each to enlarge.

Commission recommends 10 designs

June 9, 2002 — The Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee met June 7, to make its final recommedations for the U.S Mint's 50 State Quarters Program.

After reviewing actual-size renderings of the 26 designs selected May 22, the committee chose ten finalists to be submitted to Governor Jeb Bush on Monday, June 10.

Space remained a popular theme, with five of the designs honoring Florida's role in the nation's space program. The committee's favorite featured the Space Shuttle launching, along with the motto "America's Spaceport".

Governor Bush will send his top five choices to the U.S. Mint on or before June 24.

Reproduced below are the 10 finalists selected by the Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee, presented in ranked order. Click on each to enlarge.

Florida quarter designs focus on space

June 1, 2002 — The Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee met for the first time May 22, to narrow the choices for the state's entry in the U.S Mint's 50 State Quarters Program.

After reviewing nearly 1500 submissions, the committee decided on 26 artists' renditions for further consideration. Among the designs selected were depictions of local wildlife (alligators, manatees, flamingos), plant life (palm trees, oranges), and the region's history (city of St. Augustine, conquistadors).

Florida's contribution to the U.S. space program was far from overlooked, appearing on a majority of the selected designs. Sixteen of the artists suggested the use of the Space Shuttle as either the central focus or an element of the state's quarter, while others included images of an astronaut.

In addition, the inscriptions "America's Spaceport," "Gateway to Space Exploration," and "America's Spacecenter" were also integrated into several of the concepts, in place of the more commonly associated motto, "The Sunshine State."

All 26 designs are now being reproduced at the size of an actual quarter dollar for further review by the committee. On June 7, the selection will be further narrowed to ten designs, which will then be presented to Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

Bush will then submit his choices to the U.S. Mint, on or before June 24. Approved designs will be returned by November, and Floridians will be given a chance to vote for their favorite.

Florida's design will be the second state quarter to be released in 2004, as part of the Mint's 10-year initiative commemorating each of the 50 States in the order in which they ratified the Constitution or joined the Union. Under the program, the Mint releases a new quarter approximately every 10 weeks.

Reproduced below are the 17 space-related designs selected for consideration by the Florida Commemorative Quarter Committee. Click on each to enlarge.

back to News

back to collectSPACE

© 2023 All rights reserved.
Questions? E-mail