HONOLULU – The Hawaii quarter, the 50th and last coin in the popular 50 State Quarters Program, was ceremonially launched at Bishop Square in downtown Honolulu today. Amid a keiki hula performance and Hawaiian music, United States Mint Director Ed Moy bade farewell to the Nation’s most successful coin program in history.

“Long after the last coin in the 50 State Quarters Program rolls off the presses at the United States Mint, we will remember the wonderful things we accomplished with this 10-year initiative,” said Director Moy. “Americans gained a renewed sense of pride in their respective states. More of us were inspired to explore our Nation’s history through the unique story that each quarter-dollar tells. Because of the 50 State Quarters Program, a geography lesson will jingle in our pockets for years to come.”

Following the ceremony, Governor Linda Lingle and Director Moy handed out shiny new Hawaii quarters to children who attended the launch. Adults lined up to exchange their bills for $10 rolls of Hawaii quarters. An estimated 147 million Americans collect the coins in the 50 State Quarters Program.

In 2009, the United States Mint will embark on the District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarters Program by minting and issuing six newly designed quarters.

On the eve of the Hawaii quarter launch, Director Moy hosted a Public Coin Forum at the Kanaina Building, Iolani Palace grounds, where he discussed United States Mint programs. Members of the audience asked questions and told him what they would like to see on American coinage in the future.

The 50 State Quarters Program has honored each state in the order it was admitted into the union. Hawaii became the 50th state on August 21, 1959. It is known as “The Aloha State.” The reverse of Hawaii’s quarter, designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, features Hawaiian monarch King Kamehameha I stretching his hand toward the eight major Hawaiian Islands. Inscriptions on the coin include the State motto, “UA MAU KE EA O KA ‘AINA I KA PONO” (“The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”), “HAWAII” and “1959.”

The United States Mint is offering the Hawaii quarter in two-roll sets (40 coins per roll) containing one roll each from the United States Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver, and in 100- and 1,000-coin bags. To place an order, visit the United States Mint Web site at www.usmint.gov or call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). The two-roll sets are $32.95, bags of 100 coins are $32.95 and bags of 1,000 coins are $309.95.

For a digital image of the Hawaii quarter, go to http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/pressroom/2008HawaiiUnc.jpg

Free United States Mint lesson plans about the Hawaii quarter may be downloaded at www.usmint.gov/kids.

A satellite feed that includes Hawaii quarter launch footage, sound bites of participants and production B-roll will be available on Monday, November 10th, from 7:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET, at C Band Analog, AMC 11, Tr. 6 DL 3820H; and Tuesday, November 11th, from 1:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. ET, at GA 28C, Tr. 19 DL 4080V.

Contact:
Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222
Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)