Crossing the Delaware Quarter: Design, History, and Value

In 2021, the U.S. Mint introduced a unique and historic coin known as the George Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter. This coin represented a significant transition in the world of U.S. coinage, serving as a bridge between the conclusion of the America the Beautiful Quarter series and the commencement of the American Women's Quarter series. This distinctive position in the coinage timeline has elevated the Crossing the Delaware Quarter to the status of a potential rarity for years to come. 


Obverse Design 

The obverse side of the Crossing the Delaware Quarter retains the timeless profile of President George Washington. This design, originally crafted by the acclaimed designer Laura Gardin Fraser, reinstates the classic appearance of the Washington Quarter that adorned the coin before the 50 State Quarters Program. The obverse also features the customary inscriptions "LIBERTY" and "IN GOD WE TRUST," alongside the year of minting. 

Reverse Design 

What distinguishes the Crossing the Delaware Quarter is its reverse design, which captures a pivotal moment in American history. On this side, you'll find a vivid portrayal of General George Washington and his troops navigating the frigid waters of the Delaware River. The moonlight casts an eerie glow on the icy river. The inscription "CROSSING THE DELAWARE" is boldly displayed, alongside "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "QUARTER DOLLAR." 

The artist behind this compelling design is Benjamin Sowards, as sculpted by Michael Gaudioso. Their rendition of Washington crossing the Delaware River on the night of December 25, 1776, pays tribute to this significant event in American history and showcases their skill in capturing the drama and determination of the moment. 


The Birth of the Washington Quarter 

Before we delve into the history of the Crossing the Delaware Quarter, it's vital to understand the origins of the Washington Quarter. In 1932, the United States Mint celebrated the bicentennial of George Washington's birth by replacing the Standing Liberty Quarter with a design featuring the first President of the United States. This decision garnered widespread approval, as Washington held an esteemed place in American history. 

The original Washington Quarter, known as the "Washington Head" design, featured a bust of Washington on the obverse side and an eagle on the reverse. Over the years, the design underwent several modifications, including changes to the size and placement of the inscriptions. In 1999, the United States Mint introduced the Statehood Quarter program, which led to the creation of unique reverse designs for each state. This program breathed new life into the quarter, making it a canvas for showcasing the history and culture of the United States. 

The Crossing the Delaware Quarter: A Transition Coin 

The Crossing the Delaware Quarter holds a distinct place in U.S. coinage history. It emerged in 2021, serving as a transition coin between two prominent quarter series. It was minted and circulated after the conclusion of the America the Beautiful Quarter series but before the commencement of the American Women's Quarter series. This unique position in the coinage timeline is a first for the U.S. Mint. 

The America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which celebrated national parks and historic sites, came to an end, making way for a new series honoring American women. The Crossing the Delaware Quarter, with its remarkable design and pivotal place in coinage history, is likely to become a collectible rarity in the years to come. 


Numismatic Value 

For collectors and enthusiasts, the Crossing the Delaware Quarter holds substantial numismatic value. Its striking reverse design, combined with its historical significance and status as a transition coin, makes it a sought-after and potentially rare coin. Collectors often seek out these quarters in mint condition, with sharp details and minimal wear. 

The value of a Crossing the Delaware Quarter can fluctuate depending on factors such as its condition, rarity, and potential minting errors. Coins that remain uncirculated and still in their original packaging tend to command higher prices. Additionally, quarters with unique characteristics, such as errors or die breaks, can be especially valuable to collectors. 

Face Value 

In everyday use, the Crossing the Delaware Quarter has a face value of 25 cents, like any other U.S. quarter. However, its historical significance, unique design, and transitional role make it more than just pocket change. Many individuals choose to hold onto these quarters as mementos, recognizing their place in the evolving tapestry of American coinage history. 


Beyond its monetary worth, the Crossing the Delaware Quarter holds cultural and historical value. It serves as a tangible reminder of the sacrifices made by American patriots during the Revolutionary War and highlights a crucial moment in U.S. history. Its unique position as a transition coin adds a layer of historical intrigue and collectible appeal.