The New Hampshire quarter's reverse showcases the rock formation, "The Old Man of the Mountain."
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The New Hampshire quarter, the ninth coin released under the 50 State Quarters™ Program, honors one of the state's most unique natural attractions, "The Old Man of the Mountain." The state motto, "Live free or die," and nine stars, signifying the fact that New Hampshire was the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, complete the design.
"The Old Man of the Mountain" is a rock formation that can be found on Mt. Cannon in the Franconia Notch gateway to Northern New Hampshire. From the right view, this unique rock formation, comprised of five layers of Conway red granite, depicts the distinct profile of an elderly man gazing eastward. Geographers believe that the layers of granite were formed by the melting and slipping away action of an ice sheet that covered the Franconia Mountains at the end of the glacial period - some 2,000 to 10,000 years ago. Today, the formation, measuring over 40 feet high with a lateral distance of 25 feet, is held in place by cables and turnbuckles to prevent further slipping and possible destruction.
The "formation" of the New Hampshire quarter design began when New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen established a Commemorative Quarter Committee with representatives from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Arts Educators, Numismatics, Historical Societies, the Senate and House and New Hampshire citizens. The Committee held a competition to all New Hampshire residents to submit design concepts for the New Hampshire quarter. They even created a website to broadcast the selection process and other information about the program.
The final design concept selection honoring "The Old Man of the Mountain" was then forwarded to the Secretary of the Treasury who gave final approval.
Provided by the U.S. Mint
Press Release: August 7, 2000
NEW HAMPSHIRE IS HONORED AS THE NEWEST QUARTER DESIGN IN THE U.S. MINT’S 50 STATE QUARTERS™ PROGRAM
Release of New Hampshire Quarters Signals the End of Production for South Carolina Quarters
CONCORD, NH -- U.S. Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow today joined New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen and officials from the U.S. Mint at the New Hampshire State House to celebrate the launch of the newest coin in the 50 State Quarters™ Program honoring New Hampshire. The U.S. Mint began shipping the new New Hampshire quarters to Federal Reserve Banks today. U.S. citizens can expect to find the new quarters at commercial banks, financial institutions and in general circulation soon.
“With the release of a new quarter approximately every ten weeks, Americans of all ages have the opportunity to learn about the geography, history and culture of the United States,” said Mary Ellen Withrow, Treasurer of the United States. The New Hampshire quarter depicts one of New Hampshire’s greatest natural attractions–“The Old Man of the Mountain”- a rock formation found on Mt. Cannon in Franconia Notch. The new quarter features nine stars, signifying New Hampshire’s status as the ninth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. The state motto, “Live Free or Die,” written by New Hampshire Revolutionary War hero, John Stark, also appears on the quarter. The design was based on suggestions given to the New Hampshire Commemorative Quarter Committee, established by Governor Shaheen to moderate a statewide design contest.
“The New Hampshire quarter is a fitting tribute to our state’s beauty and history. The Old Man of the Mountain is one of New Hampshire’s most recognized and beloved images. Our state motto, ‘Live Free or Die’ epitomizes our state’s proud tradition of freedom and independence,” Governor Shaheen said. “The New Hampshire quarter will give the rest of the nation a sense of New Hampshire’s natural beauty, its rich history and the character of our people.”
Legislation signed by President Clinton in 1997 authorized the Mint to honor the states in the order they entered the Union or ratified the Constitution by producing five quarters each year from 1999 through 2008 with reverse designs celebrating the heritage of each state. The design process for each quarter is determined within each state by the Governor before design concepts are sent to the Mint, and then returned to the states for final selection. Approval of the final design rests with the Treasury Secretary. The well-known “Eagle” reverse quarter is scheduled to resume production in 2008.
Contact: Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222 Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)