North Carolina State Quarters were released on March 12, 2001 as the twelfth coin in the State Quarter series. North Carolina’s original Statehood date was November 21, 1789.
The reverse design features the first successful airplane flight. The inscriptions include the State name, Statehood date, mintage date, “E Pluribus Unum,” and “First Flight.” The coin’s reverse was designed and engraved by John Mercanti.
The historical “First Flight” took place at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. The Wright Brothers successfully flew their plane called the Flyer for a distance of 120 feet.
The final design for the North Carolina Quarter was selected by the governor and the North Carolina Commemorative Coin Committee. The design was sent to the Secretary of the Treasury for final approval. Some of the design concepts suggested but not used were the Hatteras Lighthouse and the Flyer superimposed on an outline of the state.
Notably, the First Flight was also later featured on a series of commemorative coins issued in 2003 for the occasion’s 100th anniversary.
The Philadelphia mint produced 627,600,000 coins. The Denver mint produced 427,876,000 coins. The San Francisco Mint produced clad proof and 90% silver proof coins for inclusion in government issued proof sets.
North Carolina Quarter Mintages
- 2001-P North Carolina Quarter: 627,600,000
- 2001-D North Carolina Quarter: 427,876,000
- 2001-S Proof North Carolina Quarter: 3,094,140
- 2001-S Silver Proof North Carolina Quarter: 889,697
North Carolina Quarter Specifications
- Designers: William Cousins after John Flanagan (obverse), John Mercanti (reverse)
- Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel (clad), 90% silver, 10% copper (silver proof)
- Diameter: 24.26 mm
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Thickness: 1.75 mm
- Edge: Reeded