The District may not be a state, and it may not have voting rights, but today it will finally have its very own quarter.
The U.S. Mint will add the Washington, D.C., quarter into general circulation Monday, not as part of the "50 State Quarters Program," but as part of the lesser-known "DC and U.S. Territories Program."
At least that's one step up from the "U.S. Creeks and Streams Program" scheduled for 2010.
Aw, we kid because we care...
The design on the D.C. quarter features an image of celebrated musician Duke Ellington seated at a piano. Ellington, who was born in D.C. in 1899, beat out Benjamin Banneker, who assisted with the original D.C. boundary survey, and Frederick Douglass, the renowned abolitionist and statesman, for the right to be honored on the District's quarter.
The design of the 2009 coin includes the inscriptions "Duke Ellington" and the District of Columbia's official motto, "Justice For All."
It doesn't feature the inscription "Taxation Without Representation," which was nixed when the quarter was being designed.
The D.C. quarter is the first of six to be put into circulation in 2009.
Who did the District beat out? The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Take that, Guam!
Collectors can pick up a two-roll set of the quarters or a bag of 100, either for $32.95 or a bag of 1,000 for $309.95 at banks.
The coins may be purchased through the U.S. Mint's Web site or by calling 800-USA-MINT (872-6468) or 888-321-MINT (6468). Domestic orders include a $4.95 fee per order for shipping and handling. Quarter bags of 1,000 coins will have an additional charge of $7.95 per bag because of their weight and size.