Uncovering America's Heritage... Coin by Coin
2008 Oklahoma Quarter
Nero here, kicking off the 2008 Coins of the Month with the quarter that kicks off the final year of the 50 State Quarters® Program: the Oklahoma quarter! The wildlife shown here represents Oklahoma well, because this dapper design was picked by those who live in the state.
The designing began in February 2006 when residents suggested more than 1,000 ideas for the quarter’s image. They later voted ten written ideas down to five. United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers and artists in the Artistic Infusion Program turned the five ideas into pictures, which they sent back to Oklahoma’s Governor.
Governor Brad Henry had the final say, but he let the Oklahomans make the choice, as 2007 was the 100th anniversary of Oklahoma becoming a state. In April 2007, Governor Henry announced the winner, with the most votes by far: the design that features the Indian blanket and scissortail flycatcher, the state wildflower and bird. The Department of the Treasury then approved the design.
The four other finalist designs contained various combinations of the statue of a pioneer woman and child found in Oklahoma, a windmill, waving wheat, an oil derrick, the state outline, and a calumet (peace pipe).
Governor Henry noted that it was hard to “distill everything that is Oklahoma down to a single design.” But tens of thousands of Oklahomans took part in the selection, and the resulting image reminds everyone of the state's natural beauty.