North Dakota Quarter
It was this day, April 14, 2004, that Governor John Hoeven launched the selection process for the design of the North Dakota state quarter. According to Governor Hoeven the state quarter represented a unique opportunity to “share North Dakota’s many cultural, commercial and recreational wonders with the rest of the nation and the world.”
The 50 State Quarter Program Act, passed by Congress in 1997, authorized the redesign of the reverse side of the U.S. quarter dollar. Each new design would bear images emblematic of each state’s heritage, customs and history. Five quarters were to be released each year in the order that the state was admitted to the Union.
When it came time for the design of North Dakota’s quarter in April of 2004, a selection commission was organized under the leadership of Lt. Governor Jack Dalrymple. The commission asked all North Dakotans to participate in the design process by writing a narrative discussing how North Dakota should be seen on a national level. By July, Lt. Governor Dalrymple had received nearly 400 narratives, which the selection commission divided into five groups: agriculture, landscape, International Peace Gardens, Badlands and Native American culture.
Based upon these narratives, the selection commission recommended three concepts to the U.S. Mint. From these recommendations, artists from the Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program created three concept coins. The concept coins were then sent back to the ND Commission, who then narrowed the choice to two. The final selection of the quarter design was put to a public vote. In May of 2005 thousands of North Dakotans participated in the quarter’s selection, and voted for a design emblematic to the states ‘roughrider’ heritage; two buffalo grazing peacefully under the setting sun in the rugged North Dakotan Badlands. Brought back from the brink of extinction, buffalo now flourish in their native Badlands, a sight bringing to mind settlers’ recollections of the large herds that once flourished in the plains.
More than two years after the selection process had begun, the North Dakota State quarter was officially launched on August 30, 2006 by John Hoeven in the Bismarck Civic Center. The design, bringing to mind scenes from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, home to hundreds of wild buffalo, was heralded by Hoeven “as a great symbol to showcase our state for generations to come.”
Written by Lane Sunwall
The United States Mint
Website of the Governor of North Dakota