The Northern Mariana Islands Quarter was released on November 30, 2009. This represented the sixth and final release of the 2009 DC & US Territories Quarter Program. This program was created as a follow up to the popular 50 State Quarters Program to honor the non-state jurisdictions of the United States.
The reverse design for the Northern Mariana Islands Quarter features symbols representative of the islands. This includes a two piece stone pillar known as a Latte, which appears amongst coconut trees, wild plants, native birds, and a sailing vessel. A Teibwo (pacific basil) frames the design. The inscriptions include “Northern Mariana Islands,” “E Pluribus Unum,” and the date. The reverse was designed by Richard Masters and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.
An official launch ceremony for the coin was held in Garapan, Saipan within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The ceremony was hosted by United States Mint Deputy Director Andrew Brunhart and Governor Benigno R. Fitial. Cultural performances from local groups took place and attendees had the opportunity to exchange currency for rolls of the new quarters.
The mintage for the Northern Mariana Islands Quarters marked the low for the six coin series. There were 37,600,000 coins produced at the Denver Mint and 35,200,000 coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint. The San Francisco Mint produced a limited number of coins in proof format for inclusion in annual collector sets.
Northern Mariana Islands Quarter Mintages
- 2009-P Northern Mariana Islands Quarter: 35,200,000
- 2009-D Northern Mariana Islands Quarter: 37,600,000
- 2009-S Proof Northern Mariana Islands Quarter: 2,113,390
- 2009-S Silver Proof Northern Mariana Islands Quarter: 993,589
Northern Mariana Islands Quarter Specifications
- Designers: William Cousins after John Flanagan (obverse), Richard Masters (reverse)
- Composition: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel (clad), 90% silver, 10% copper (silver proof)
- Diameter: 24.26 mm
- Weight: 5.67 grams
- Thickness: 1.75 mm
- Edge: Reeded