Kansas quarter struck in mint

Coin will officially be released on Aug. 29

Shawnee Heights High School student Michael Mannell, center, looks on as Kansas Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, left, uncovers the state's official quarter for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, right, on May 6, 2004, in Topeka.

The Kansas commemorative quarter was struck Monday at the U.S. Mint in Denver, and, yes, the buffalo’s horns point in the right direction.

The coin will officially be released Aug. 29 when it enters circulation through the Federal Reserve. Between 400 and 500 million coins will be issued, mint spokesman Michael White said.

“It will take some time for them to work into the system,” White said of the quarters.

They should be widely available by the Sept. 9 official state “launching” of the coin during a ceremony at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius will attend. All children attending will receive a quarter.

The coin features the image of a buffalo and a sunflower. It also bears the date 1861, which was the year Kansas became the 34th state admitted to the United States. Kansas high school students voted on the designs last year and selected the one featured on the coin.

But the design also caused a stir when it was unveiled because the buffalo’s horns were pointed too far forward and thus were anatomically incorrect.

“I believe they got that fixed right off the bat,” said Nicole Corcoran, spokeswoman for Sebelius’ office. “There was no problem once they got past the initial illustration.”

In 1999, the mint began printing and issuing commemorative quarters for all states. They are being released in the order of statehood. Kansas is the fourth state to have its quarter released this year.

Initially, 1,500 designs were proposed for the Kansas quarter.