There are no shortage of images associated with New Jersey. Finding ones that are positive enough to put on a coin is apparently a bit more difficult.
New Jersey has listed Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty as its chosen sites for the U.S. Mint's current round of state-themed quarters, tweaking some New Yorkers who see the two sites as more associated with the Empire State.
"People identify the Statue of Liberty with New York. It's part of New York, it's part of New York history, it's part of New York folklore. Jersey can find something on their own, maybe a swamp or something," King said to WABC.
Who owns the historic islands has been in dispute for about as long as there has been a New York and a New Jersey. The current state of affairs was decided by two separate Supreme Court cases. A 1987 ruling decided Liberty Island was a part of New York, despite being surrounded by Jersey City waters, and a 1997 ruling found that 90 percent of Ellis Island, home to an immigration museum run by the National Park Service, belonged to New Jersey.
Now, New Jersey wants both islands on its coin, due to be released in 2017. All the coins in the current set of "America the Beautiful" are supposed to represent different national sites, with the New York coin depicting Saratoga National Historical Park already minted. For some reason, Jersey went with the Ellis/Liberty combo, despite Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River being a national site.
Mint officials interviewed by the New York Post acknowledged the choice had its issues and they had rejected some designs for not being Jersey enough.
"We felt that the design of the New Jersey portion of Ellis Island should really be evocative of just the New Jersey part of it,” Mint official Mary Lannin, said to The Post.
Social media reactions to the quarter's proposed design ranged from amusement to anger.
According to The Post, designers have until March to finalize the quarter. That's plenty of time to put together a tableau of Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and Chris Christie. Father, Son and Holy Spirit.