WASHINGTON – The U.S. Mint began circulating a quarter honoring Texas Mexican-American journalist Jovita Idár, on Aug. 14. It is the fourth coin in the 2023 American Women Quarters Program on August 14th.
Jovita Idár, was a Mexican-American journalist, activist, teacher, and suffragist. She made it her mission to pursue civil rights for Mexican Americans and believed education was the foundation for a better future. Idár wrote many news articles in various publications, speaking out about racism and supporting the revolution in Mexico. Throughout her life, Idár remained on the front lines of change and advocated fiercely for the rights of women and Mexican Americans.
“The fourth coin of the 2023 American Women Quarters™ Program honors the life and legacy of Jovita Idár,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “She devoted her life to fighting against separatist ideologies and sought to create a better future for Mexican Americans. Her legacy continues to encourage and empower future generations.”
United States Mint Medallic Artist John P. McGraw designed and sculpted the Jovita Idár quarter reverse design.
“It was a great honor designing and sculpting the Jovita Idár quarter,” said McGraw. “After talking with her family members, I was immediately inspired by her life. Curiosity and education were the driving force in my design, much like Jovita Idár’s life work. I imagine the text, which makes up her body in the design, will inspire curiosity and teach the viewer how amazing Jovita Idár was.”
The reverse (tails) depicts Jovita Idár with her hands clasped. Within her body are inscriptions representing some of her greatest accomplishments and the newspapers for which she wrote.
The inscriptions are “MEXICAN AMERICAN RIGHTS,” “TEACHER,” “JOVITA IDAR,” “NURSE,” “EVOLUCIÓN,” “ASTREA,” “EL HERALDO CRISTIANO,” “LA CRUZ BLANCA,” “JOURNALIST,” “LA CRÓNICA,” “EL PROGRESO,” “LA LIGA FEMENIL MEXICANISTA,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.”
The obverse (heads) depicts a portrait of George Washington originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday. Though her work was a recommended design for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flanagan design. Of Fraser, Director Gibson said, “I am proud that the new obverse design of George Washington is by one of the most prolific women sculptors of the early 20th century. Laura Gardin Fraser’s work is lauded in both numismatic and artistic circles. Ninety years after she intended for it to do so, her obverse design has fittingly taken its place on the quarter.”
Obverse inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2023.” The design is common to all quarters issued in the series.
View more images of the Jovita Idár quarter here.
Coins featuring additional honorees will continue to ship in 2023 through 2025. In addition to Jovita Idár, the AWQ honorees for 2023 are:
- Bessie Coleman – pilot, advocate, and pioneer who flew to great heights as the first African American and first Native American woman licensed pilot, as well as the first African American to earn an international pilot’s license.
- Edith Kanaka’ole – Edith Kekuhikuhipuʻuone o nā aliʻi o Kohala Kanakaʻole was an indigenous Hawaiian composer, chanter, kumu hula, and a venerated cultural icon. Her efforts and work preserved the history, culture heritage, and way of life of an entire people.
- Eleanor Roosevelt – Leader, reformer, first lady, and author. As chairperson of the Human Rights Commission where she oversaw the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as the first chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, she advocated diligently for the civil liberties and needs of the poor, minorities, and the disadvantaged.
- Maria Tallchief – America’s first prima ballerina, who broke barriers as a Native American ballet dancer, exhibiting strength and resilience both on and off the stage.