Nevada brings to mind gambling, atomic testing and, maybe, Hoover Dam. So which image will adorn Nevada's entry into the U.S. Mint's state quarters program? If you picked a casino motif, you'd be wrong: the U.S. Treasury Department said no dice. Atomic testing? Not surprisingly, a Nevada state committee tasked with nominating quarter designs axed that idea. Hoover Dam? It's too far south; the committee wanted images representing the "whole of the state." The 49,000 residents who have cast their votes (balloting ends this week) have had five renderings to choose from--and, in another odd turn, two of them are evocative of the Golden, not Silver, State.
In one mock-up on the Nevada State Treasurer's Web site, a petroglyph of a bighorn sheep depicted in an outline of Nevada is actually found on a rock in the desert of south-central California. (Mint artists didn't have specific enough information, says Kathy Besser, chief of staff to the state treasurer; if selected by voters, the errant petroglyph can be replaced with an accurate one, she says.) The site's description of another design, "Morning in Nevada," originally said it showed the sun rising over the Sierra Nevada--even though all but a sliver of Nevada sees the sun set over the range. The mountains are now described only as "snow-capped."