Illinois State Quarter
The Illinois quarter is the first quarter of 2003, and the 21st in the 50 State Quarters® Program. The Illinois quarter design depicts a young Abraham Lincoln within the outline of the state. A farm scene and the Chicago skyline appear on the left and to the right of the state's outline. Twenty-one stars border the coin, signifying Illinois as the 21st state to be admitted into the Union on December 3, 1818.
"The Prairie State," also commonly known as the "Land of Lincoln," pays tribute to our nation's 16th president. The young Lincoln lived and practiced law in Springfield before becoming one of our nation's greatest leaders. President Lincoln's historic home, burial site and new presidential library are all located in the Springfield area.
In January 2001, Governor George Ryan announced the Governor's Classroom Contest to solicit ideas from school children and begin an open period for public input on the state's quarter design. The state received more than 6,000 submissions, approximately 5,700 of which were from school children. Governor Ryan named a 14-member committee to review the submissions and to suggest three to five concepts to be forwarded to the United States Mint. The state chose three concepts: Illinois history, agriculture and industry, and state symbols. The United States Mint returned five designs based on the concepts for final selection by the Governor. The final design, "Land of Lincoln-21st State/Century," represents the history and future of Illinois.
Provided by the U.S. Mint