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The South Dakota Quarter

South Dakota

The fifth and final commemorative quarter-dollar coin released in 2006 honors South Dakota, the "Mount Rushmore State," and is the 40th coin in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. Admitted into the Union on November 2, 1889, South Dakota became the Nation's 40th state. The release of this quarter signals the end of the eighth year of the 50 State Quarters Program.

The South Dakota quarter features an image of the State bird, a Chinese ring-necked pheasant, in flight above a depiction of the Mount Rushmore National Monument, featuring the faces of four American Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The design is bordered by heads of wheat. The coin's design also bears the inscriptions "South Dakota" and "1889."

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum began drilling into Mount Rushmore, the 5,725-foot peak rising above Harney National Forest, in 1927. Creation of the "Shrine of Democracy" took 14 years and cost approximately $1 million, though it is now deemed priceless.

The South Dakota Quarter Advisory Committee began accepting ideas from the citizens of South Dakota via telephone, letters and e-mail. A group of five possible narratives was agreed upon and forwarded to the United States Mint for consideration. The final artistic renderings, developed by the sculptor-engravers of the United States Mint and artists in the United States Mint's Artistic Infusion Program, were returned to South Dakota, and a statewide vote was conducted. On April 27, 2005, South Dakota Governor M. Michael Rounds announced his recommendation of the "Mount Rushmore and Pheasant" design, echoing the choice of those who participated in the statewide vote.

The Department of the Treasury approved the design on May 28, 2005. The other design concepts considered during the final selection process were "Mount Rushmore National Monument," featuring a three-quarter view of the famous mountain carving; "American Bison," depicting the classic animal symbol of the west; "Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant," featuring an image of the state bird in flight; and "Mount Rushmore and Bison," which placed an American bison in the foreground and Mount Rushmore in the background.


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