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The following are two versions of the state quarter design selection procedures as announced by the Mint. The original procedure appears at left. It was used to pick the designs for the state quarters issued from 1999 to 2004. The revised procedure appears at right. It was announced by Treasury Secretary Snow on March 11, 2003, and will be used to pick the designs for the state quarters issued from 2005 to 2008.

The key difference (underlined below) between the two policies is this: In the original policy, states submitted drawings of their designs, which the Mint just adapted. In the new policy, states can only submit written descriptions of what they want, and the Mint will create their designs from scratch with only the writing as a guide. According to the Mint, this new procedure "will enhance the program's educational value and promote the historical accuracy and artistic beauty of the designs." However, some in the numismatic community have expressed concern that this new procedure will remove control from local artists, bringing additional recognition to the Mint while weakening states' ability to create designs they are most proud of.

Original Procedure Revised Procedure
Stage 1
    The Mint will contact the Governor approximately 24 months prior to the beginning of the year in which the State will be honored to initiate the State design process. The Governor will appoint an individual from the State to serve as the Mint’s liaison for this program.
Stage 1
    The United States Mint will initiate the formal state design process by contacting the state governor approximately 24 months prior to the beginning of the year in which the state will be honored. The governor, or such other state officials or group as the state may designate, will appoint an individual to serve as the state's liaison to the United States Mint for this program.
Stage 2
    The State will identify and provide to the Mint a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 different design concepts or themes emblematic of the State. The process for identifying concepts will be one of the States’ choosing. Concepts should be provided to the Mint, accompanied by supporting material as appropriate – for example, photographs or sketches of landmarks, landscapes, historical buildings, or official depictions of State symbols. If copyrighted materials are used, releases must be provided from the copyright holders. (Please Note: Any artwork submitted without proper releases will not be considered.)
Stage 2
    The state will conduct a concept selection process as determined by the state. The state will provide to the United States Mint at least three, but no more than five, different concepts or themes emblematic of the state; each concept or theme will be in narrative format. The narrative must explain why the concept is emblematic of the state and what the concept represents to the state's citizens. A narrative that merely describes a particular design is not acceptable.
Stage 3
    The Mint will review concepts for appropriateness and coinability. If fewer than three concepts are submitted, the Mint will develop additional concepts as necessary.
Stage 3
    Based on the narratives, the United States Mint will produce original artwork of the concepts, focusing on aesthetic beauty, historical accuracy, appropriateness and coinability. If the state has not provided at least three concepts, the United States Mint may produce additional concepts for the state.
Stage 4
    The Mint will produce drawings of all design concepts.
Stage 4
    The United States Mint will contact the state to collaborate on the artwork. The state will appoint an historian, or other responsible officials or experts, to participate in this collaboration to ensure historical accuracy and proper state representation of the artwork. The United States Mint will refine the artwork before forwarding it to the advisory bodies.
Stage 5
    The Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee (CCCAC) will review drawings and recommend candidate designs.
Stage 6
    The U.S. Fine Arts Commission will review candidate designs.
Stage 5
    The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts will review the candidate designs and make recommendations, and the United States Mint may make changes to address such recommendations.
Stage 7
    Candidate designs will be presented to the Secretary of the Treasury for review and approval.
Stage 6
    The United States Mint will present the candidate designs to the Secretary of the Treasury for review and approval.
Stage 8
    The Mint will return approved designs to the Governor for selection of the State design.
Stage 7
    The United States Mint will return to the state all candidate designs approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Stage 9
    The State will select the State design through a process determined by the Governor, within a timeframe specified by the Mint.
Stage 8
    From among the designs approved by the Secretary, the state will recommend the final design through a process determined by the state, within a time frame specified by the United States Mint.
Stage 10
    Final design will be returned to Treasury for approval by the Secretary or his designee.
Stage 9
    The United States Mint will present the state's recommended design to the Secretary for final approval.