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Official Alaska State Medallions

Updated on February 20, 2015

Official Alaska State Medallion - Puffins

Puffins
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Official Alaska State Medallions

Alaska has been minting medallions that are truly works of art for years. The images are produced by Alaskan artists, and have included many forms of wildlife. The same mint, the Alaska Mint, also produces other medallions, but the Official Alaska State Medallions are most likely to maintain their value.

Intro image: This is our own photo, and has no link. This image is the property of Black Spaniel Gallery, and was taken by Black Spaniel Gallery.

Ptarmigan

The 2013 Official Alaska State Medallion is the Ptarmigan, Alsaka's state bird.

Official Alaska State Medallions

The State of Alaska officially sanctions, by statute, the minting of an Official Alaska State Medallion annually. One side of the medallion depicts a scene involving wildlife. The other side contains the Great Seal of the State of Alaska.

The wildlife used changes annually, and is reproduced from a winning entry from an artist. The artist must, by law, be a resident of the state of Alaska. The law also requires that no more medallions be struck than the demand for them that year requires. Once that demand is met, the medallions are never again to be produced.

The Alaska Mint has produced these since 1992. The first coin minted for the series by the Alaska Mint was the eagle. The 2011 issue is the Bald Eagle. According to the official site there were 1989 through 1991 issues that were minted outside of Alaska, but the 1992 Eagle seems to be what many consider the start of the series.

The coins are minted in fine silver, fine silver gilded with twenty-four karat gold, and twenty-four karat gold. The most common silver medallion is the one Troy ounce coin. Coins as small as one-tenth Troy ounce are minted, but they are usually found in proof sets. Each year some, usually just a few, two Troy ounce coins are minted, but are not included in the proof sets.

The gilded coins are minted in a multitude of sizes.

Gold medallions are minted in sizes up to three Troy ounces.

The real collectible medallions are the ones minted in proof and stamped with a number on the edge. A reeded edge, less expensive, fine silver medallion can also be found. The reeded edge medallions are considered proof-like, and are not numbered.

The 2012 Wolves Medallion

The 2012 Wolves medallion is now out. The design consists of a pair of wolves, ans is available in silver, silver gilded with gold, and gold at the Alaska Mint. This is another beautiful addition to the series!

Preserving the Value of Official Alaska State Medallions

The value of these medallions is preserved by not handling them. Handling any medallion can reduce its desirability. Even if no damage is observed, the oils from a finger can cause damage in future years. Proper handling is to hold the medallion by the edge.

Keep the medallion on an airtight capsule approved for coins. Pollutants can slowly damage an exposed medallion.

Keep all materials that came with the medallion from the mint with it. Boxes and Certificates of Authenticity enhance the value of the medallions.

Why Not Refer to Official Alaska State Medallions as Coins?

Technically, to be considered a coin an object must be minted by the authority of a government that has its own money. Furthermore, all coins must have a denomination of currency stamped on them. Since Alaska is part of the United States, and is not authorized to mint its own money, it would be improper to call these medallions coins.

Official Alaska State Medallions LIST

1992 EAGLE

1993 WOLF

1994 GRIZZLY BEAR

1995 PUFFINS

1996 CARIBOU

1997 MUSK OX

1998 MOOSE

1999 RAM

2000 FOX

2001 MOUNTAIN GOAT

2002 KING CRAB

2003 LYNX

2004 POLAR BEAR

2005 BLACK-TAILED DEER

2006 KING SALMON

2007 GEESE

2008 ALASKA WILDLIFE

2009 HUMPBACK WHALE

2010 BLACK BEAR

2011 Bald Eagle

2012 Wolves

2013 Ptarmigan

2014 Moose

2015 Polar Bears

Official Alaska State Medallion

Check against an image of the "official" medallion.

Official Alaska State Medallions (SILVER)

It may be none are available at times.

Items shown may or may not be official medallions.

Official Alaska State Medallions (gold)

It may be none are available at times.

Items shown may or may not be official medallions.

Should Other States Do the Same?

It would seem likely that other states could benefit from an art to medallion program, especially those states where subject matter is plentiful. But, would the market support another state minting medallions? Certainly if all fifty states tried similar programs the demand for any particular medallion would be likely to be low. So, how many states could there be holding art contests and minting medallions. The art contests might survive, since they could be restricted to state residents, as Alaska's is. But would one or two other medallions bring attention and increase demand for Alaska's. or would the demand split among those available? Would Alaska medallion collectors continue to add to their collections even if they missed some of the now expensive pieces, or would the collectors get a fresh start with medallions initially inexpensive? These are the questions that make it difficult for other states to start an art and medallion program.

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    • Wbisbill LM profile image

      Barbara Isbill 

      6 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Great and beautiful lens!

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 

      6 years ago from Florida

      I never had the pleasure to see one of these coins. Thank you.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I have several Canadian silver coins with Wolves, Bears and Cougars that are similar to some of these coins you've featured.

    • lucy439br profile image

      lucy439br 

      6 years ago

      great lens!

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 

      6 years ago

      Wolves would make great symbols for Alaska, I'd wager that the salmon does too.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 

      6 years ago

      Wolves would make great symbols for Alaska, I'd wager that the salmon does too.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 

      6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Great information here for the serious coin collector.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      nice lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      great lens, learned something new!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      great lens, learned something new!

    • profile image

      ptnjust007 

      6 years ago

      :-) visited

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 

      6 years ago

      Woww these Alaska medallions are so pretty. A perfect addition for a collection !

    • TheLittleCardShop profile image

      Malu Couttolenc 

      6 years ago

      Woww these Alaska medallions are so pretty. A perfect addition for a collection !

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      How exciting, congratulations on receiving Squidoo front page honors on Official Alaska State Medallions!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Just realized this would be a great feature on my Alaska Documentary Videos, Quizzes & Coloring Pages and put it above the guest book, thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Had to stop for another look at the Alaska 2012 Wolf Medallion, what a lovely piece of art!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      These are beautiful!

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Some day I would like to visit Alaska. My husband has been there on a hunting trip and loved the beauty of the State. Very nice lens.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      nice lens.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      6 years ago

      nice lens.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Blackspaniel1 

      7 years ago

      @TonyPayne: We appreciate that.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I forgot to add, I listed this on my Alaska lens.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton, UK

      I would love to go to Alaska one day.

    • GamingLaptopsGu profile image

      GamingLaptopsGu 

      7 years ago

      Beautiful poster

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      What beautiful representations of the state of Alaska!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Very impressive collection of medals, looks very grand and exotic.

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