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50 State Quarters
State Quarters

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Arkansas 50 State Quarter

50 State Quarter of Arkansas

Arkansas State Quarter

Designed by John Mercanti

Released October 20, 2003.

Arkansas is a southeastern US state bordering the Mississippi River. It's known for its abundant parkland and recreational areas, with terrain encompassing mountains, caves, rivers and hot springs. Despite opposition in Congress to a new slave state, Arkansas became a state on June 15, 1836. Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector seized Fort Smith and Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861 re-entering the Union at War's end. The territory was larger than the state. After statehood the leftover area to the west had post offices that continued for some years to use an Arkansas abbreviation in the postmarks, although they were really in the "Indian Country."

Mintage: 457,800,000

The Arkansas quarter is the fifth and final quarter of 2003, and the 25th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. It was released on October 20, 2003 and feature the image of rice stalks, a diamond and a mallard flying above a lake celebrating Arkansas' nickname as the "Natural State." Arkansas has more than 600,000 acres of natural lakes. The state boasts the oldest diamond mine in North America. Crater of Diamonds State Park is the only diamond-producing site in the world open to the public and visitors get to keep what they find.

Arkansas 50 State Quarter

The Arkansas quarter is the fifth and final quarter of 2003, and the 25th in the 50 State Quarters® Program. Arkansas was admitted into the Union on June 15, 1836. Arkansas was acquired through the Louisiana Purchase and later became the Arkansas Territory before gaining statehood. The Arkansas quarter design bears the image of rice stalks, a diamond and a mallard gracefully flying above a lake.

It is fitting that the "Natural State," Arkansas's official nickname, chose images of natural resources. Arkansas has an abundance of clear streams, rivers and lakes. In fact, Arkansas has more than 600,000 acres of natural lakes. Arkansas is also known for its sportsmanship and boasts mallard hunting as a main attraction for hunters across the nation. Visitors to Arkansas can search Crater of Diamonds State Park for precious gems including, of course, diamonds. The mine at Crater of Diamonds State Park reportedly is the oldest diamond mine in North America, and the only one in the United States open to the public-visitors get to keep what they find. Visitors can also experience "Rice Fever" in Arkansas-just the way W.H. Fuller did when he grew the first commercially successful rice crop in Arkansas. Soon after, thousands of acres of the Grand Prairie were changed to cultivate rice, and Arkansas became the leading producer of the grain in the United States.

In January 2001, Governor Mike Huckabee announced the Arkansas Quarter Challenge as a statewide competition. A two week media tour promoting the Challenge resulted in 9,320 entries. After several rounds of elimination, the Governor forwarded three concepts to the United States Mint, including Arkansas' natural resources and the State Capitol building. The United States Mint provided four candidate designs based on the concepts to the Governor from which he chose the natural resources design.

Source: United States Mint's 50 State Quarters Program

50 State Quarters
State Quarters
The 50 State Quarters program (Pub.L. 105-124, 111 Stat. 2534, enacted December 1, 1997) was the release of a series of circulating commemorative coins by the United States Mint. From 1999 through 2008, it featured each of the 50 U.S. states on unique designs for the reverse of the quarter.
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