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Friday, January 20, 2006 - Page updated at 07:17 AM

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Best design worth 2 bits

Seattle Times staff reporter

The "quarter" finals are upon us.

Three designs for a Washington state quarter are in and will go to a public vote this spring.

The designs, picked by the state's Quarter Advisory Commission, are:

• 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.

The three designs must be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Then this spring, the final designs will be presented to the public in an online poll to help the commission make its final recommendation to the governor, who will have the final say.

 SURVEY
Two bits for your thoughts
Three finalists are vying to be the Washington state quarter. Which of the above designs do you like the best?

The combo meal salmon, apples and a side of Mount Rainier
Hold the apples, but keep the salmon
Orca rising
spacer

View Results
 

Last summer, the Quarter Advisory Commission invited Washington residents to submit essays about what image they would like to see on the quarter. In all, 1,500 essays were submitted.

The three finalists released Thursday were winnowed from five designs released in October.

Based on suggestions by Washington citizens, the U.S. Mint drew renderings of some of the submissions and sent them back to the state in December.

The state hopes to put the three designs to a vote in March.

Gov. Christine Gregoire must choose a winner by the end of March, said Mark Gerth, with the Washington Arts Commission.

The new quarter will be the 42nd in a series commemorating the states. It is scheduled for release in 2007.

The quarters are being released five a year, based on the order in which each state entered the union.

Mount Rainier was the most popular image submitted.

Five quarters will be released this year: Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota.

It's uncertain how many of the new Washington coins will be minted, but the most recent coin released, West Virginia, had 722 million.

The highest number of quarters released for one state was Virginia, with 1.6 billion minted.

The quarters program ends in 2008, when quarters for Alaska and Hawaii will be released.

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company


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