The Oklahoma Quarter reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill. The design features a Scissortail Flycatcher soaring above various Oklahoma wildflowers including the official State Wildflower known as Indian Blanket (Gaillardia Puchella.) Oklahoma is the 46th state to be admitted to the Union, and its quarter is the first issue of the tenth year of the Statehood Quarter program, which was recently expanded for an extra year to honor Washington D.C. and the U.S. Territories.
The evening prior to the launch ceremony, Shaver held a U.S. Mint Coin Collector's Forum. These popular events are hosted by the Mint in an effort to learn more about what the public expects from the Mint, as well as to answer questions and concerns posed by the general public. As reported by Matt Dinger on the NewsOK.com Web site, the Forum was well-attended and lively, with questions being asked about the new Reagan Dime's release date (there's isn't a Reagan Dime in the works at all) and a sort of show-and-tell where someone brought certain coins in and asked what their composition was. Shaver revealed that it currently costs the Mint 1.6 cents each to strike the penny coin, which is currently made of 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper. Another participant asked why the Susan B. Anthony Dollar was created (to meet demand from the public for a dollar coin, according to Shaver, who added that in many cities they were actually used as transportation tokens, a fact I've never heard before this.) Shaver also revealed that the expected mintage for the Oklahoma Quarter will be between 500 and 550 million coins (which is about average for Statehood Quarters.)
If, as the United States Mint claims, 140 million people are collecting the Statehood Quarters, you'd better grab your coins quickly, because at that level of interest and a mintage of 550 million coins, there are less than 4 coins per person to go around! ;)
See all of the upcoming 2008 Statehood Quarters in the 2008 Statehood Quarter Photo Gallery & Commentary section.
United States Mint image.