Land of Alaska Quarter
by The U.S. Mint
was on the Colony Stage at the Alaska State Fair
in Palmer today as a crowd celebrated the
ceremonial launch of the Alaska commemorative
quarter-dollar coin. United States Mint Deputy
Director Andrew Brunhart joined Alaska
Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell for the event.
"The bear gripping a salmon firmly in its jaws
as it emerges from rapids captures the essence
of your State," Deputy Director Brunhart said of
the Alaska quarter design. "When Americans pull
this coin out of their pockets, they will think
of Alaska-America's last frontier."
The Alaska quarter went into circulation
nationwide on August 25, 2008. It will take
about two weeks for most Americans to see the
new quarter-dollars in their change. The United
States Mint estimates that it will produce about
500 million Alaska quarters. After the ceremony,
the public lined up to be among the first to
exchange their currency for $10 rolls of Alaska
quarters. Deputy Director Brunhart and Lt.
Governor Parnell handed out newly minted Alaska
quarter-dollars to children who attended the
On the eve of the launch, Brunhart hosted a free
Public Coin Forum at the Alaska Heritage Museum
in Anchorage. At the forum, members of the
public expressed their opinions about future
U.S. coinage designs.
Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959.
The quarter commemorating Alaska's statehood is
the 49th coin in the United States Mint's 50
State Quarters® Program. The reverse of the
Alaska quarter features a grizzly bear emerging
clutching a salmon in its jaws, symbolizing
Alaska's natural beauty and abundant wildlife.
The North Star is depicted above the inscription
"The Great Land." Additional inscriptions are
"Alaska" and "1959."
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