After ten marvelous years the fifty states quarter series is coming to an end with the striking of the Hawaii quarter. Here are excerpts from an account in the Honolulu Advertiser, which features a GREAT photo of Gov. Linda Lingle juxtaposed with an image of the coin.Hawai'i's coin features King Kamehameha I stretching a hand toward the eight major Hawaiian Islands. Inscribed is the state motto, "The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness," in Hawaiian. It will go into circulation Nov. 3, and a ceremony marking the release will be held at Bishop Square in Honolulu on Nov. 10, said U.S. Mint spokesman Greg Hernandez.
I was dreading this event for two reasons - the end of a wonderful circulating commemorative program, and the looks I get from my kids when I tell them that when I was born, there were only 48 states in the Union. By the time I made it to grade school the number was 50, but on August 24, 1958 (a day which shall live in infamy) Alaska and Hawaii had yet to become states (January 3, 1959 and August 21, 1959, respectively). -Editor
"It's our vision for Hawai'i's future and it shows our respect for all the land," Lingle said of the quarter's design and motto. "And it also shows that although there are many islands, we're united as a state."
Delegation members, including Lingle, state dignitaries and coin collectors, lined up to push a button on a stamp press that spit out individual quarters. Many had their picture taken while flashing the shaka.
For coin collector Rock Villaruel, a guest of design commission member Gregory Hunt, today's event fulfilled a boyhood dream. Villaruel bought his first collecting magazine after becoming interested in coins at age 12. A trip to San Francisco's historic mint years ago ended in disappointment. It was boarded up.
"This is my first time visiting a mint, and it's about time," the 48-year-old Villaruel said.
Kamehameha, who ruled in the early 1800s and unified the islands, was picked instead of designs that featured a hula dancer, Diamond Head on the main island of O'ahu, and a surfer modeled after a young Duke Kahanamoku. For Hunt, the chosen coin is about reminding people that Hawai'i is part of America.
"Sometimes people forget that we are part of the United States," Hunt said. "Visitors to the Islands say, 'You know, back in the states,' and we remind them, 'You mean, back on the Mainland.' "
And it's a coincidence, but it's coming up on our 50th anniversary as a state, we're the 50th state and the 50th quarter," said Lauren Kamei, a freshman at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa who served on the commission.
To read the complete article, see: Hawaii commemorative coin, the final state quarter, struck at Denver Mint (http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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