Change for a quarter?

October 06, 1997|By Los Angeles Times

Mr. Potato Head on the back of a quarter? Or the Nike swoosh? Or the Golden Gate Bridge?

These are a few of the ideas -- silly and serious -- being batted around as Congress completes a proposal to let every state put its own artwork on the reverse side of America's most used coin.

Starting in 1999, George Washington and his silver pigtail would head a series of redesigned tails. Five new coins would be minted each year for nationwide use, honoring states in the order they were admitted to the union.

In 2009, the American eagle would return. Not surprisingly, the plan has inspired some wild imaginings.

The Chicago Tribune suggested chiseling Michael Jordan onto Illinois' 25-cent piece. The San Francisco Chronicle urged a California bas-relief of "a motorist beating a bicyclist to death with a stuffed spotted owl." And New Jersey residents have floated such ideas as a tollbooth, Thomas Edison with a light bulb and the slogan "Washington slept here."

The federal government, meanwhile, has another vision -- an estimated $1 billion savings from coin collectors and schoolchildren keeping the 50-state sets as souvenirs.

Pub Date: 10/06/97

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