Sunday, September 07, 2008

A Few More State Quarters

Tennessee Date Quarter Released: January 02, 2002 (16th) Statehood: June 01, 1796

This quarter is just sorry. The three musical instruments represent the three musical traditions of the three regions of Tennessee and the three stars ALSO represent the three regions. Ok, we get it, three regions and three types of music. But no banjo? Clearly, a disastrous oversight. In case you did not get the message about music and regions, Tennessee thoughtfully included a banner with the simple declarative: “Musical Heritage.” Tennessee has a musical heritage, how unique among the states.

Tennessee has an outstanding nickname already, “the Volunteer State.” Tennessee is home of heroic patriots since 1812 and the War for Texas Independence. Too bad the current residents could not have figured a better way to commemorate this heritage.

Ohio Date Quarter Released: March 11, 2002 (17th) Statehood: March 01, 1803

This quarter is very well done. Ohio is known for two things, being the birthplace of presidents and for being the home of the Wrights and of the more famous astronauts. Recognizing this heritage, Ohio chose to commemorate that, rather than make up something phony and contrived (see: Tennessee).

The design itself was really well done, featuring the state outline, which I really like and a couple of design elements: the Wright flyer and a lunar astronaut. While I think the astronaut is supposed to be Neil Armstrong, a proud Buckeye, the design is based on the famous picture, taken BY Neil Armstrong, of Buzz Aldrin of New Jersey. So, like North Carolina, Ohio puts a native of another state on their quarter.

Louisiana Date Quarter Released: May 20, 2002 (18th) Statehood: April 30, 1812

Sometimes, it is the little things that knock down an otherwise first rank quarter design. Louisiana’s entry was really promising outline of the state, within the outline of the United States. Special bonus points to the graphical depiction of history with the outline of the Louisiana Purchase included in the design. There is also a pelican standing off to the side, its feet in Mexico and its head in New Mexico. There is no problem with the pelican since it is the state bird and is actually featured on the state flag.

Where the design goes wrong is the incorporation of a trumpet stuck up in Canada with three musical notes being tootled out of it. The design has a theme: the history of Louisiana and an official symbol. The addition of the trumpet muddies the effect and clutters the design. Too bad, there was real potential here.