The obverse design displays at its centre the Seal of the Northern Mariana Islands, which consists of a shield superimposed with a star representing the United States, and a latte stone - used in Ancient house construction as house foundation by the Chamorro people, one of the main ethnic elements on the islands. Surrounding the shield is a "mwarmwar" (decorative wreath) representing the Carolinian ethnicity, and the sacred history and customs of the islands.
Below the seal, an American eagle. In the background, rays of light.
Around above, the inscription COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS; separated from it by a thin line, 50 stars (25 on the left, and 25 on the right), representing the 50 United States (to which the commonwealth is associated).
Below, the face value 5 DOLLARS.