That’s right Duke Ellington is is on the back of the District of Columbia Quarter. Read the CNN article announcing the release of the coin in 2009.
When I first glanced at the title of the article I disagreed! I said, “That is not true, Duke Ellington was not the first African American to appear alone on a circulating US coin. What about Booker T. Washington?” But the key word is circulating coin.
What is the Difference Between a Circulating Coin and Commemorative coin?
Circulating coins differ commemorative coins. You will get circulating coins in your change. They are made for every day use . Whereas,commemorative coins are coins that were issued to commemorate some particular event or issue.
So, Booker T. Washington is a commemorative coin and Duke Ellington is on a circulating coin.
How Many District of Columbia Coins Were Made?
There were 83,600,000 coins minted in Philadelphia and 88,800,000 coins minted in Denver. You will know when you see a small ‘P’ or ‘D’ on your coin. under the words “In God We Trust.”
Please note that when you compare the amount of coins minted for this coin vs those for other Territories and States this coin is low. Not a lot of them were made. That means many may collect this one not only because Duke Ellington is on the back but not many of them are circulating.
So, if you see one in good condition pull it aside and talk about it with your family and friends.