Designs Signal Conclusion of Popular Program

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint is announcing today the designs for the five new 2008 commemorative quarter-dollars in the 50 State Quarters® Program. The new quarters-honoring Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska and Hawaii-signal the end of the most popular coin program in the history of U.S. coinage.

The first commemorative quarter of 2008 honors Oklahoma. It is the 46th coin released in the 50 State Quarters Program. Oklahoma, nicknamed the “Sooner State,” became the 46th state admitted into the Union on November 16, 1907. Designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Phebe Hemphill, the reverse of the coin features Oklahoma’s State bird, the Scissortail Flycatcher, in flight with its distinctive tail feathers spread. The bird is soaring above the State wildflower, the Indian Blanket, amid a field of similar wildflowers. The coin’s design also bears the inscriptions “Oklahoma” and “1907.”

The second commemorative quarter of 2008 honors New Mexico. It is the 47th coin released in the 50 State Quarters Program. Nicknamed the “Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico was admitted into the Union on January 6, 1912, becoming the 47th state. Designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, the reverse of the New Mexico quarter features the Zia sun symbol. The symbol is superimposed over a topographical outline of the State. The coin’s design also bears the inscriptions “Land of Enchantment,” “New Mexico” and “1912.”

The third commemorative quarter of 2008 honors Arizona. It is the 48th coin in the 50 State Quarters Program. Arizona, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon State,” was admitted into the Union on February 14, 1912, becoming the Nation’s 48th state and the last in the continental United States. The Arizona quarter was designed by AIP Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Medallic Sculptor Joseph Menna. The reverse of the coin features a detailed image of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, with Arizona’s State flower, the Saguaro Cactus, in the foreground. Inscribed on the coin is a banner reading “Grand Canyon State.” The coin’s design also bears the inscriptions “Arizona” and “1912.”

The fourth commemorative quarter of 2008 honors Alaska. It is the 49th coin in the 50 State Quarters Program. Alaska was admitted into the Union on January 3, 1959, becoming the 49th state. Designed by AIP Master Designer Susan Gamble and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles Vickers, the reverse of the Alaska quarter features a grizzly bear emerging from the water clutching a salmon in its jaw. The coin’s design includes the North Star displayed above the inscription “The Great Land.” The coin’s design also bears the inscriptions “Alaska” and “1959.”

The fifth and final commemorative quarter in the 50 State Quarters Program honors Hawaii. Nicknamed the “The Aloha State,” Hawaii became the 50th state admitted into the Union on August 21, 1959. Designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, the Hawaii quarter features King Kamehameha I stretching his hand toward the eight major islands of Hawaii. The coin also bears Hawaii’s state motto “UA MAU KE EA O KA ‘AINA I KA PONO,” (“The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness”), “Hawaii” and “1959.”

Five quarters bearing unique reverse designs reflecting each state’s culture and heritage have been released annually since the 50 State Quarters Program began in 1999. The quarters are released in the order in which the states were admitted into the Union and are minted for approximately 10 weeks.

More than 140 million Americans are collecting the 50 State Quarters.

Images of the new quarter designs for 2008 are available for downloading at:
http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=Photo#50state

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