The US Mint began taking orders today for the final coin to be released as part of the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program.
The Northern Mariana Islands Quarter went on sale at Noon (Eastern) today, November 30, 2009. The coins are available in circulation quality two-roll sets and bags.
This particular program was a continuation of the successful State Quarter series that ran from 1999 to 2008 and featured 50 quarters, each with a different reverse showcasing a state.
The D.C. and U.S. Territories program extended the run by also including a design for the District of Columbia and the five United States Territories; the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing with the Northern Mariana Islands. (See map of Northern Mariana Islands.)
Aside from being occupied by the native Chamorros for centuries, the islands were claimed for Spain in 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan. They remained a Spanish possession until they were sold to Germany in 1899.
In 1914, Japan seized control only to have it taken away by the United States during World War II. It remained in the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until residents approved the establishment of a commonwealth with the United States in 1975, officially becoming the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
CNMI Quarter Design
On the reverse of the Northern Mariana Islands Quarter we see a design highlighting the islands wealth of air, land and sea resources. A large limestone latte (an ancient indigenous Chamorro structure) is seen near the shore where a canoe is spotted.
Flying overhead are two white fairy tern birds while a Carolinian mwar (head lei), which signifies honor and respect, is seen at the bottom. It was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. (See the line art for the original design candidates.)
George Washington is featured on the obverse, as he has been throughout both programs, and before.
US Mint Northern Mariana Islands Quarter Bags and Rolls
Two-roll sets featuring a roll of 40 Northern Mariana Islands quarters struck at the Denver Mint and 40 quarters struck a the Philadelphia Mint are available for $32.95.
Also available are bags consisting of 100 or 1000 quarters from either mint (buyer’s choice), which can be purchased for $32.95 and $309.95, respectively.
To place an order, go to the Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov. All coin products that include the quarter may be found on the:
Orders may also be placed by calling the Mint’s toll-free number at 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).
2010 will introduced the new commemorative quarter-dollar series, which the US Mint has named the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The program features coins honoring American national parks and national sites. The first scheduled for release in January is the Hot Springs National Park Quarter.