HarpBlaster.com News Wire
HONOLULU — The Hawaii quarter, the 50th and last coin in the 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,” Moy said. “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, Gov. Linda Lingle and 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, the U.S. Mint said.
In 2009, the U.S. Mint will start the District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarters Program by minting and issuing six newly designed quarters.
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 U.S. 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.”