CoinTrapTM Commentary: As the 49th state to enter the Union, Alaska achieved statehood on January 3, 1959. Alaska was purchased from the Russian Empire for $7.2 million on March 30, 1867. This amounted to about 2 cents per acre. Seems like quite the bargain in today’s money! Alaska is known for its extreme beauty and sparse population, remaining to date the least densely populated state of the United States.
Otherwise known as "The Great Land," as imprinted on the reverse of the Alaska quarter, Alaska continues to draw people from all parts of the world to experience the raw wildlife and rugged country. The Alaska quarter features a grizzly bear emerging from the waters clutching a salmon in its jaw. The coin’s design includes the North Star to the upper-right and majestic scenery in the background.
Coin Value: What is the value of your Alaska Quarter? You know it always depends. The Alaska Quarter worth or value depends on these main factors: (1) your coin’s grade, (2) whether it is a proof coin (Deep Cameo or DCAM) having a mirror-like polished finish, (3) scarcity/demand, and (4) whether it is the silver version. Regarding your coin’s grade, it has become a standard in the field of numismatics (coin collecting) to grade coins on a point-scale from 1 (poor) to 70 (perfect). This is also referred to as the “Mint State” or just “MS” for short. Click here to find the up-to-date estimated value of your 2008 Alaska State Quarter coin from the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS®), which takes all four factors mentioned above into account*. If you do not know the grade of your Alaska Quarter, you can take it to your local coin dealer and ask that they have it graded at one of the three major coin grading services.
50 STATES COMMEMORATIVE COIN PROGRAM ACT
[[Page 111 STAT. 2534]]
Public Law 105-124
To provide for a 10-year circulating commemorative coin program to
commemorate each of the 50 States, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Dec.
1, 1997 - [S. 1228]>>
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: 50 States
Commemorative Coin Program Act. 31 USC 5101 note.>>
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``50 States Commemorative Coin Program
SEC. 2. FINDINGS. <<NOTE: 31 USC 5112 note.>>
The Congress finds that--
(1) it is appropriate and timely--
(A) to honor the unique Federal republic of 50
States that comprise the United States; and
(B) to promote the diffusion of knowledge among the
youth of the United States about the individual States,
their history and geography, and the rich diversity of
the national heritage;
(2) the circulating coinage of the United States has not
been modernized during the 25-year period preceding the date of
enactment of this Act;
(3) a circulating commemorative 25-cent coin program could
produce earnings of $110,000,000 from the sale of silver proof
coins and sets over the 10-year period of issuance, and would
produce indirect earnings of an estimated $2,600,000,000 to
$5,100,000,000 to the United States Treasury, money that will
replace borrowing to fund the national debt to at least that
(4) it is appropriate to launch a commemorative circulating
coin program that encourages young people and their families to
collect memorable tokens of all of the States for the face value
of the coins.
SEC. 3. ISSUANCE OF REDESIGNED QUARTER DOLLARS OVER 10-YEAR PERIOD
COMMEMORATING EACH OF THE 50 STATES.
Section 5112 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by
inserting after subsection (k) the following new subsection:
``(l) Redesign and Issuance of Quarter Dollar in Commemoration of
Each of the 50 States.--
``(1) Redesign beginning in 1999.--
``(A) In general.--Notwithstanding the fourth
sentence of subsection (d)(1) and subsection (d)(2),
quarter dollar coins issued during the 10-year period
beginning in 1999, shall have designs on the reverse
[[Page 111 STAT. 2535]]
in accordance with this subsection which are emblematic
of the 50 States.
``(B) Transition provision.--Notwithstanding subpar-
agraph (A), the Secretary may continue to mint and issue
quarter dollars in 1999 which bear the design in effect
before the redesign required under this subsection and
an inscription of the year `1998' as required to ensure
a smooth transition into the 10-year program under this
``(2) Single state designs.--The design on the reverse side
of each quarter dollar issued during the 10-year period referred
to in paragraph (1) shall be emblematic of 1 of the 50 States.
``(3) Issuance of coins commemorating 5 states during each
of the 10 years.--
``(A) In general.--The designs for the quarter
dollar coins issued during each year of the 10-year
period referred to in paragraph (1) shall be emblematic
of 5 States selected in the order in which such States
ratified the Constitution of the United States or were
admitted into the Union, as the case may be.
``(B) Number of each of 5 coin designs in each
year.--Of the quarter dollar coins issued during each
year of the 10-year period referred to in paragraph (1),
the Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe, on the
basis of such factors as the Secretary determines to be
appropriate, the number of quarter dollars which shall
be issued with each of the 5 designs selected for such
``(4) Selection of design.--
``(A) In general.--Each of the 50 designs required
under this subsection for quarter dollars shall be--
``(i) selected by the Secretary after
``(I) the Governor of the State
being commemorated, or such other State
officials or group as the State may
designate for such purpose; and
``(II) the Commission of Fine Arts;
``(ii) reviewed by the Citizens Commemorative
Coin Advisory Committee.
``(B) Selection and approval process.--Designs for
quarter dollars may be submitted in accordance with the
design selection and approval process developed by the
Secretary in the sole discretion of the Secretary.
``(C) Participation.--The Secretary may include
participation by State officials, artists from the
States, engravers of the United States Mint, and members
of the general public.
``(D) Standards.--Because it is important that the
Nation's coinage and currency bear dignified designs of
which the citizens of the United States can be proud,
the Secretary shall not select any frivolous or
inappropriate design for any quarter dollar minted under
``(E) Prohibition on certain representations.--No
head and shoulders portrait or bust of any person,
living or dead, and no portrait of a living person may
be included in the design of any quarter dollar under
[[Page 111 STAT. 2536]]
``(5) Treatment as numismatic items.--For purposes of
sections 5134 and 5136, all coins minted under this subsection
shall be considered to be numismatic items.
``(A) Quality of coins.--The Secretary may mint and
issue such number of quarter dollars of each design
selected under paragraph (4) in uncirculated and proof
qualities as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
``(B) Silver coins.--Notwithstanding subsection (b),
the Secretary may mint and issue such number of quarter
dollars of each design selected under paragraph (4) as
the Secretary determines to be appropriate, with a
content of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.
``(C) Sources of bullion.--The Secretary shall
obtain silver for minting coins under subparagraph (B)
from available resources, including stockpiles
established under the Strategic and Critical Materials
Stock Piling Act.
``(7) Application in event of the admission of additional
states.--If any additional State is admitted into the Union
before the end of the 10-year period referred to in paragraph
(1), the Secretary of the Treasury may issue quarter dollar
coins, in accordance with this subsection, with a design which
is emblematic of such State during any 1 year of such 10-year
period, in addition to the quarter dollar coins issued during
such year in accordance with paragraph (3)(A).''.
. . .
Approved December 1, 1997.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1228:
SENATE REPORTS: No. 105-130 (Comm. on Banking, Housing, and Urban
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 143 (1997):
Nov. 9, considered and passed Senate.
Nov. 13, considered and passed House.