Maria Tallchief Quarter

2023 American Women Quarters Coin Maria Tallchief Line Art Reverse
American Women Quarters

Background

The Maria Tallchief Quarter is the 10th coin in the American Women Quarters™ Program. Maria Tallchief was the first American prima ballerina. She broke barriers as a Native American ballerina exhibiting strength and resilience both on and off the stage.

Tallchief was born on January 24, 1925 in Fairfax, Oklahoma on the Osage reservation. She began dance lessons as a young girl and excelled at dance and playing piano.

At the age of 17, she moved to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a dancer. She was selected as an apprentice in the Ballet Russe, the premier Russian ballet company in the United States.

In 1942, when one of the lead ballerinas could not perform, Tallchief was called to stand in. Her reviews from top critics enabled her career to take off. She later became the first American to dance with the Paris Opera Ballet.

Maria Tallchief died on April 11, 2013. She and her husband George Balanchine transformed American classical ballet.

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Characteristics

The obverse (heads) depicts a portrait of George Washington, originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark George Washington’s 200th birthday. A recommended design for the 1932 quarter, then-Treasury Secretary Mellon ultimately selected the familiar John Flanagan design.

The reverse (tails) depicts Maria Tallchief spotlit in balletic pose. Her Osage name, which translates to “Two Standards,” is written in Osage orthography.

Obverse Inscriptions

  • LIBERTY
  • IN GOD WE TRUST
  • 2023

Reverse Inscriptions

  • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
  • E PLURIBUS UNUM
  • QUARTER DOLLAR
  • MARIA TALLCHIEF
  • Her name written in Osage orthography

 

Mint and Mint Mark

Specifications

Composition Weight Diameter Thickness Edge No. of Reeds
Cupro-Nickel
8.33% Nickel
Balance Copper
5.670 g
0.955 in.
24.26 mm
1.75 mm Reeded 119

Artist Information

Obverse
  • Laura Gardin Fraser (1889-1966)
Reverse Content last reviewed August 29, 2022

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