Q & A

How can I use money to teach geography?

You can do so by using printed currency and minted coin. With currency, you can point out the name, number and corresponding alphabet letter of the individual Reserve Bank that is printed on the front of $1, $5, $10 and $20 notes. For example, a bill issued through the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis will have the letter H and the number 8 on it since that's how our District was designated when the Federal Reserve System was created in 1913 (see table above right for all 12 designations). Although the newly designed $50 and $100 notes bear a universal seal that represents the entire Federal Reserve System, a letter and number identifying the issuing Reserve Bank appear beneath the left serial number. Starting next year, you will be able to teach your students geography with coins, too. Beginning in 1999, each of the U.S. states will be honored with its own uniquely designed quarter. Five coins, each bearing the standard George Washington portrait on the front and a state-specific design on the reverse, will be issued each year for the next 10 years. The states will be commemorated in coin according to the order in which they ratified the U.S. Constitution, or were admitted to the Union.

  • Boston 1 A
  • New York 2 B
  • Philadelphia 3 C
  • Cleveland 4 D
  • Richmond 5 E
  • Atlanta 6 F
  • Chicago 7 G
  • St. Louis 8 H
  • Minneapolis 9 I
  • Kansas City 10 J
  • Dallas 11 K
  • San Francisco 12 L

Will a new dollar coin be minted?

The 1997 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act calls for the creation of a new dollar coin—the first since the Susan B. Anthony, which was introduced in 1979. The new coin would likely have the same dimensions as the Susan B. Anthony, but would be gold in color and have a distinctive rim to keep it from being easily confused with the quarter. The new dollar coin would take an estimated 30 months to produce.

Are any other coins scheduled to be minted?

The Commemorative Coin Program Act also calls for the minting of a series of coins to honor Orville and Wilbur Wright's flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C., which took place on Dec. 17, 1903. To honor the Wright Brothers' historic flight, $10 gold coins, $1 silver coins and half-dollar coins will be issued from Aug. 1, 2003, to July 31, 2004.


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