Hawaii quarter is fit for a king
The new coin, set for release in 2008, features Kamehameha I
The Hawaii Commemorative quarter will feature the likeness of King Kamehameha I stretching his hand toward the Hawaiian islands and the state motto, "Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka 'Aina I Ka Pono," the U.S. Mint has announced.
ASSOCIATED PRESS / US MINT
This handout artist rendering provided by the U.S. Mint shows the design for Hawaii's coin in the Mint's 50-state quarter program.
Designed and sculpted by U.S. Mint sculptor-engraver Don Everhart, the Hawaii quarter also bears the state name and 1959, the year Hawaii became a state, mint officials said yesterday.
"I think it's great. I think it's representative of who we are as a people, our history and our philosophy all in one," Gov. Linda Lingle told the Star-Bulletin.
The major design elements on the Hawaii quarter are the eight major islands, while the inclusion of Kamehameha emphasizes his role in unifying the islands into a single kingdom.
The Hawaii commemorative quarter is scheduled to be released in fall 2008.
Following a state-sponsored competition last year, five themes -- surfing, aloha spirit, Diamond Head, "island state" and "Hawaii" -- were recommended to the Hawaii Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission.
The commission recommended the design titled "Hawaii, the island state," which included the familiar Kamehameha statue and the state motto in Hawaiian, to Lingle, who had the final say. The motto means: "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."
That design also received the most votes from the public.
"It may not reflect an image that a tourist might have of Hawaii and in that sense I think it's great because it's educational," Lingle said yesterday. "As people read more about the background and the history of the state -- that we were a nation, that we were a territory -- people who collect quarters will learn that and I think that's a very positive thing."
The U.S. Mint said the commemorative quarters are released in the order in which the states were admitted into the Union and are minted for about 10 weeks.
Besides Hawaii, the last series of quarters to be issued next year will honor Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona and Alaska.
Star-Bulletin reporter B.J. Reyes contributed to this report.