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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 1:33 p.m., Thursday, December 21, 2006

Final five designs chosen for Hawai'i's state quarter

Poll: Which design do you prefer?

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

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Three images of King Kamehameha the Great, including one with Diamond Head as a backdrop, a hula dancer and a surfer off Waikiki were selected today by a special advisory commission as candidates for the face of the nation's last of 50 state commemorative quarters.

The Hawai'i Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission made the selection at an emergency meeting this morning.

Commission members originally thought they had until next month to submit their choices to the U.S. Mint, but were told Dec. 13 that they had until tomorrow, said Marsha Wienert, state tourism liaison and advisor to the commission.

Two mint committees as well as the U.S. secretary of the Treasury will comment on the selections. At that point, Hawai`i commission members will have to rank their choices and give them to Gov. Linda Lingle, who makes the final selection, sometime in March, Wienert said.

It's taken most of 2006 to work through themes and designs that would fit on the 1-inch face of a quarter. Among the issues mulled over: Did the surfer have enough muscle definition and were his trunks appropriate?

"I think that the commission has captured in each of the designs, a design that is very emblematic of who we are as a people in Hawai'i," Wienert said. "Whether it be hula and the word 'Aloha,' a surfer with Diamond Head or the island chain and King Kamehameha, I think each one is very emblematic of who we are."

Reach Mike Gordon at mgordon@honoluluadvertiser.com.