South Dakota Quarter will tell a story … which one shall it be?

Governor Mike Rounds recently unveiled five designs for the South Dakota Quarter, which will be released in 2006 by the United States Mint.

"The State Quarter is a wonderful opportunity to market South Dakota's unique features and attractions to the world", Rounds said. "By holding a statewide vote, all of our citizens have a voice in selecting their favorite image to represent our state."

The state quarter will be chosen from five designs illustrated by U.S. Mint Artists. Of the five quarter designs, the first three quarter designs that South Dakotans have to choose from feature Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the American Bison, and the Chinese ring-necked pheasant. The remaining two quarters combine elements of the first three. One shows an American Bison in the foreground and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the background. The other features a Chinese ring-necked pheasant in the foreground and Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the background. All designs are framed by two stalks of wheat.

Voting for the quarter begins January 12, and may be done at local state banks, credit unions, or through the Internet at www. sdquarter.com. You can also vote at First National Bank in Philip during regular business hours. All votes will be tallied, with the favorite choice announced to the mint by April 20th, 2005.

In addition to the promotional opportunity for our state, this is an educational opportunity for our children. Teachers and school children are encouraged to participate in the process by voting on the Internet, or by taking a field trip to their local financial institution. Another feature of the state website provides a link to the U.S. Mint website, which has developed lesson plans for educators based on the state quarter initiative.

"Clubs and service organizations can also get involved by picking up ballots at local banks and delivering them to nursing homes, hospitals, and elderly restricted to their homes," the governor added. "No matter which design is chosen, I believe that the South Dakota quarter will be one of the more unique and desirable quarters for coin collectors.