Officials seek input on Alaska quarter

State coin will be released in 2008

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2007

ANCHORAGE - Polar bears or grizzlies, mushers or goldpanners, snowcapped mountains or massive ice floes?

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The final four designs for the state quarter were unveiled Tuesday, and state officials expect a flurry of public opinion on which Alaska landform, figure and pithy phrase should be stamped for posterity onto the national currency.

Is it the Land of the Midnight Sun or The Great Land? Should we look North to the Future or instead pay homage to Denali, The Great One?

The Alaska quarter, to be released in August 2008, is the product of a congressional program that circulates a new batch of quarters honoring a different state every 10 weeks in the order the states joined the union. The program began with Delaware in 1999.

Alaska will be the penultimate state to appear on the commemorative cash, followed by Hawaii. Both became states in 1959.

State officials said 851 written suggestions from around the state were incorporated into four designs by the U.S. Mint based on aesthetics, historical accuracy and how well the drawing would fit on a quarter.



Which design do you think best represents the state?


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The coins emphasize Alaska's wildlife, rugged landscape and pioneering spirit.

One depicts a shaggy polar bear atop an ice shelf, backed by ice floes and the lance-like rays of a hovering sun. Caption: Land of the Midnight Sun.

Another features a peppy sled dog team and hooded musher heading away from Mount McKinley with the Big Dipper and North Star overhead. Caption: North to the Future.

In the third, a hulking grizzly emerges from roiling waters beneath a small waterfall, a salmon clenched in its jaws. Caption: The Great Land.

In the fourth, a bearded miner pans for gold with Mount McKinley in the distance. Caption: Denali The Great One. Denali is the most commonly used Alaska Native name for North America's highest peak and is preferred over the official name by many Alaskans.

Gov. Sarah Palin will choose the final design later this month based on public preference, said her spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow. Comments can be submitted online and through the governor's office.

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