By CoinWeek ….
On October 23, the Philadelphia and Denver facilities of the United States Mint will begin distributing the fifth 2023 coin in the American Women Quarters Program commemorating Maria Tallchief. Born in 1925, she was one of if not the first major prima ballerina from the United States.
“The fifth coin of the 2023 American Women Quarters Program honors the life and legacy of Maria Tallchief,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “She broke barriers as a Native American ballet dancer, exhibiting strength and resilience both on and off the stage.”
Ben Sowards, a participating artist in the United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program, designed the artwork on the reverse. It features Tallchief spotlit in a balletic pose, along with her Osage name, which translates to “Two Standards”, written in Osage script. Additional inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “QUARTER DOLLAR,” and “MARIA TALLCHIEF.” United States Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna sculpted it.
“Although her artistry, precision, and technical skill made her one of the most renowned ballerinas of her time, it is Maria Tallchief’s courage, perseverance, and strength of character that I hope are evident in the design,” said Sowards. “Her legacy continues to inspire us to pursue our dreams.”
On the obverse is the Laura Gardin Fraser portrait of George Washington originally created for Washington’s 200th birthday in 1932. Inscriptions are “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “2023.” The Gardin Fraser Washington effigy is common to all entries in the American Women Quarters series.
The people who wil be honored on 2025 American Women Quarters will be revealed later this month. Quarters honoring Maria Tallchief should be available at your local bank in the latter part of November or early December.
The American Women Quarters Program , authorized by Public Law 116-330 (PDF link), features coins with designs on the reverse that are emblematic of the contributions and accomplishments of American women. Running from 2022 through 2025, the U.S. Mint issues five circulating commemorative quarters as part fo the program each year. The ethnically and racially diverse selection of women from all over the country that is honored by this program demonstrates a wide range of achievements in various fields, including civil rights, suffrage, abolition, governance, science and the humanities, and outer space.
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