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US Mint releases new Mount Rushmore quarter

CUSTER (AP) — The U.S. Mint has released a coin featuring Mount Rushmore National Memorial in western South Dakota's Black Hills.

The coin is part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Program, which depicts a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

Mount Rushmore is a mountain-side carving of the faces of former U.S. presidents Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The South Dakota quarter features two workers putting the final touches on Washington and Jefferson.

South Dakota's state quarter, released in 2006, featured a completed carving of Mount Rushmore.

Memorial Superintendent Cheryl Schreier and Denver Mint Manager David Croft said the new coin will make a well-known national memorial even more prominent.

"Each of the national parks quarter program coins has a specific lesson plan that can be used in all the schools nationwide, so it isn't just going to be represented in South Dakota," Croft said at an unveiling ceremony in Custer on Wednesday. "Children across the country are really going to get to learn about Mount Rushmore."

Nick Clifford, 92, who worked on the carving between 1938 and 1940, attended the ceremony.

"I feel honored to have a small part in carving it," he said. "And it's a big part of my life."