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April 10, 2007


fatty jubbo

The biggest thing that always strikes me with these state quarters is how poorly designed they are. Most of the quarters seem like a five year old just randomly plopped elements in on photoshop. The Ohio quarter is a good example- even foil wrapped chocolate coinage has better design. Not to mention that all that little detail is eventually going to rub off into indistinguishable blobs...is it really necessary to render every fold of the spaceman's suit? At least render a human form properly before carving in a million little crotch folds. The Kansas quarter already looks like a blob- no years of rubbing neccessary for that one!

The best quarter yet is from Georgia. A giant peach! Iconic, pretty and actually taking into account that a quarter is circular. The new Wisconsin and Montanta quarters are great as well (I haven't seen them yet). Your observation is quite funny.

Listener James from Westwood

Nevada's quarter? Pretty damn disappointing. No slot machines, showgirls, Greys, gay tiger-tamers, mushroom clouds, reclusive billionaires, mafiosi, or Elvii to be seen.


I think all the geysers in Yellowstone are actually in Wyoming, but Montana certainly has some hot springs. And believe it or not, that skull is actually supposed to be a bison skull. Which is pretty appropriate, considering the fact that most bison which wander out of Yellowstone into Montana are slaughtered by the Montana Department of Livestock, for fear of transmitting brucellosis to our sacred cattle.

Knut Knars

Kitty Hawk is a place, not the name of the plane.


Nick the Bard

Washington's quarter could've been one of the best if they had voted to put the Whale Plane on it instead of the lame salmon.


Please, let's rise above the petty state bashing please and not punish the whole for the condition of the portion, even if that portion is the majority. Although- and I assure you I don't mean this as a statement of ego- I must admit to feeling at times like I'm the only cultural opportunity in Ohio.

The Ohio coin is seeking to commemorate its role in aviation- the Wright Brothers designed their machine out of their shop in Dayton and went to Kittyhawk to fly it because of the winds and the lack of anything to crash into. John Glenn was Ohio's senator-in-orbit and a bunch of NASA/Air Force stuff still goes on in Dayton and Cleveland- I believe the moon suit was trying to show just how far the American ability to fly has come in less than a century.

I will agree, though, that the aesthetic of the whole series is pretty crappy and Ohio is certainly one of the worst. I think it reflects more the character of our national culture that inelegant, bland supermarket display compositions are being used to portray every state's identity. The only thing worse I could think of is creating a set of coins that shows which character on "Friends" best resembles your state. "Ugh! Ohio is so Ross..."

listener simon

You are one of my favoritest funny people, and I recognise that the goal of being funny over-rules all other considerations, but I think I would be doing a disservice to my inner pedant if I did not point out that it does say, on the Ohio quarter, "BIRTHPLACE OF AVIATION PIONEERS" -- the aviation pioneers being, apparently, Orville Wright (born in Dayton, Ohio) and John Glenn (born in Cambridge, Ohio).

Why the state of Ohio chose to celebrate these gentlemen rather than, say, the many U.S. Presidents who came from that state, or the many wonderful rock'n'roll DJs who made their names in Cleveland, or the burning Cuyahoga River itself, is a matter best left to those who have made the sacrifice of living in Ohio. I, for one, would have chosen an image of R. Crumb and Harvey Pekar facing each other like the Smith Bros. on a cough-drop box. Without the beards.


i'm from montana, but my favorite quarter is connecticut. i like the tree.


Wait, wait, wait... dead Indian on a horse? I always thought it was a sad Indian, you know mourning the loss of the world he knew and all the buffalo that wound up on the quarters.

Gotta agree with Ryan about the CT quarter--the Charter Oak looks pretty good. Maine's lighthouse is sort of neat, too. Arkansas's (offical possessive spelling of Arkansas, per the state legislature) quarter has a cool-looking diamond on it, but it's surrounded by all this other junk that clutters the design.


Why not a dinosaur? Lots of fossils in Montana. And Jack Horner, who digs them up and kinda linked them with birds, didn't he?


And no one so far has noticed that Alabama put a Wobbly on their quarter. Alabama of all states...

I think Vermont has the most well-designed one so far. Michigan's is simple, but a little boring.


I agree with Ryan. Connecticut set the standard early on, and no one has come close.

Worst quarter? Indiana.

Danne D

Mississippi gets a special prize for bad form. It's bad, not out of pure aesthetics but because the state couldn't even be bothered to come up with a design (notice how it says the Mint asked Governor Musgrove for 'concepts' and then drew some up and sent them back?) Lazy!

I have to say that though it's not out yet, Utah's design looks cool. On the technical merits as it commemorates the joining of the country by rail as well as for what it gives to the imagination which is the idea of a head-on track wreck about to happen!

Nevada's looks cool aesthetically but is a disappointment because Kentucky already did a horse and is much more readily identified with horses (since they can't make the grass blue on the coin).

We have to blame Pennsylvania for a very annoying trend (happily not copied by New Jersey) of showing the state outline on the coin. If your state is so forgettable that you need to actually remind people what it looks like, maybe you shouldn't have even bothered having a coin! Happily, Idaho seems to be the only recent offender.

Looking at them though, the worst design has to be Illinois. - It's like they tried to make everybody happy by throwing every idea under the sun into a really ugly design. You have the state outline. You have a way too detailed Lincoln that really doesn't look like Lincoln. I'm actually assuming it's Lincoln since they felt the need to type "Land Of Lincoln" right next to him. You have a farm scene on one side. The Sears Tower and then a truncated pseudo-skyline of Chicago on the other. Then they actually are the only state so far besides Delaware to enumerate what number state they are. 21st State and then to be clevery they put Century under the word state so it reads like this: "21st State Century". I mean WTF? Oops almost forgot the 21 stars surrounding this mess. Damn I never realized what a disaster this was until this thread game along!

As for our beloved New Jersey. I was a little disappointed, though as an early state they had little to go on. They really good gotten things off into all kinds of directions if they put Sinatra on there but have to settle for the odd factoid of being the first state to put the same guy on the front and back of the coin. No truth to the rumor that Washington was just trying to avoid paying the toll for the return trip to Pennsylvania.



What about the murky curse surrounding the coins? Vermont put the Old Man of the Mountain on its quarter, and then the famous rock escarpment collapsed and no longer looks like an old man. Then the Governor of Indiana selected a quarter design and he died in office. These are only two examples. For whatever reason I think there must be at least three strange happenings to establish a pattern. On a similar note, I read of complaints that the new dollar coin does not have "In God We Trust" stamped on it. Psych! It appears along the edge of the coin where the grooves used to be. Strangely, no one really complained that the word "Liberty" has disappeared.


ok, even the pedant is wrong. ohio has an astronaut on the quarter because NEIL ARMSTRONG was born in ohio. wapakoneta, to be precise. you silverbacks may recall a little adventure wherein he and another man, i dunno... landed on the MOON or something.

the quarter is meant to show that ohio produced aviation pioneers. they could have picked her many presidents, or election-stealing republicans. we go way back with that.

shoot, they coulda picked chrissie hynde. i'm one up on her - i haven't set foot back in ohio in 25 years.

eh, oh, way to go, ohio.


I stand corrected! (pedantically)

Devo would get a thumbs up from me.

I liked the mention of Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb up the column a ways.

Ghoulardi perhaps?

Listener Sharon

I didn't even know about the Montana skull quarter until I read Bronwyn's post today. I went out and bought a few groceries and low and behold! A Montana skull quarter in my wallet!! I'm gonna keep it in my wallet forever. Abandon hope all ye who enter here indeed.

Listener Paul

This post reminds me I've got to get back to pressing all those quarters in my state quarter map thing. We've got three years of catching up to do.

Danne D

The Old Man in The Mountain was New Hampshire, not Vermont. No word on what's become of the purpose collecting maple syrup depicted on the Vermont quarter and if the evil curse has befallen them.

With the Old Man though I actually was driving through New Hampshire a couple years back and stopped by the roadside restop which served as a viewing station. They actually went to the trouble of adding a holographic image showing what the mountain used to look like before the face fell one foggy night.



speaking as a resident of california and a graphic designer... the california quarter is the worst!
florida's is similar in that no one could decide what to put on it so they put everything!
there was a design for the CA quarter that had the giant redwood (state tree) with AWESOME tree rings on it.
of course... being the best design... it didn't win.


I think the skull is a reference to Montana painter Charlie Russel (http://www.cmrussell.org/) who used to sign his paintings with a skull.


Before I posted about the Old Man, I checked the mint website and still I got it wrong. If I go through the trouble of looking something up, I should at least remember what I saw. Why do my thoughts unnaturally gravitate toward Vermont despite the presence of New Hampshire in black and white. Vermont. Vermont. Verm. Verm. Haunts the silent shallows of my liminal being. Ver ver v v v.


I work as a guard at a museum and I spend a lot of time looking at pocket-change so I really love the state quarter project. Although I have only recently started analyzing them artistically I have found Rhode Island's to the the most beautiful and well crafted. It depicts a sail boat in a bay with a bridge in the background. "The Ocean State". Not only is the image breathtaking but the artist's use of space is exceptional as well. The bridge gives the sense of horizontal expanse while the tip of the sail extends all the way to the top lettering of the state name. The ripples of the ocean continue to the very bottom of the quarter. Many of the other quarters (Minnesota and Vermont most egregiously) do a poor job of framing the image on the quarter; the Rhode Island quarter, however, looks natural and complete.

Tennessee is the only quarter with musical instruments, a guitar and a violin.

Massachusetts is the only to depict a weapon, a gun.


I'm another Montana resident and all I can say is thank god that asshole Lewis and butt buddy Clark aren't on the quarter.

Why does anybody praise them? They "discovered" a land that thousands of people already lived on...

Vietnam tour operator

Exotic Ho Chi Minh City, still referred to as 'Saigon' by many, has preserved its distinctly Asian feel and ancient culture, where monks pray in the numerous pagodas, temples and mosques. The capital Hanoi, is a pleasant and charming city of lakes, shaded boulevards and public parks. The old quarter, built around the Hoan Kiem Lake, is an architectural museum-piece characterised by its narrow streets. Halong Bay, with its 3000-plus islands rising from the clear, emerald waters, dotted with beaches and grottoes created by waves, is one of Vietnam's natural marvels.

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