As many people know, I collect State Quarters. I started way back in ‘99 when the whole project started using this very nifty book my sister got me for Christmas. Actually, my whole family collects the State Quarters, but I’m the only one who does so in a manner most consistent with fanaticism.
Anyway… for those unfamiliar with the State Quarter program, the U.S. Mint releases five new quarters every year, thus completing the 50 state program over a period of 10 years. States are released in the order in which they were admitted to the Union. For the past 8 years we’ve been delighted by the likes of Florida, Georgia, and yes… Rhode Island. As we enter into the last three years of the program those late comer states are finally getting to strut their stuff. Which means it’s time for Washington State to swing into action with an exciting quarter design of it’s own.
Before I show you the three finalists, let me say that I had a bet with my friends about our fair state’s design. I suspected (deep in my soul) that the Committee would be unable to reconcile their East/West differences… giving us a quarter that proudly displayed both the Seattle Space Needle and the Washington Apple. I was not excited about that prospected. Florida’s quarter is easily the worst because it makes evident that they couldn’t agree on what best represents their state. Now, I did make a second prediction… if they were able to agree on a single symbol the symbol would be Mt. Rainier. Its visible from both regions, so it struck me as the obvious compromise choice.
All that being said, here are the three finalists as reported by the Seattle Times.
A salmon, Mount Rainier and an apple within an outline of the state
A salmon breaching the water with Mount Rainier as a backdrop
A Northwest Native-American orca
All in all, I’m impressed. Mt. Rainer, so I’m right on that count, but I didn’t think about salmon. Very clever Washington State Quarter Advisory Commission. My personal vote is for option #3. Although I like the picturesque nature of the Mt. Rainier options, I think the Native-American motif will set our quarter apart from the rest of the state quarters. I’m not quite sure why it’s an orca though?! Wouldn’t a salmon have been better? Given that, my guess is the State will settle on option #2… unless, of course, those apple lovers come out in force.
Apples… if apples get to be on the quarter, where is my Space Needle!?