The 2023 Official State Medallion was designed by Alaskan artist, Marti Bennett. A few words from the artist:
My husband Richard and I retired and moved from Washington State to Eagle River in 2019. Although I lived most of my life in the lower 48, I was actually born and spent my childhood in Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska, where my father was a missionary-bush pilot, so Alaska has always felt like home to me. With much of my family living in Alaska, we visited often through the years, and my husband came to love the state as much as I did. He delighted in being able to use his photography hobby in the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife. We knew this was where we would eventually end up living.
I had an interest in art from childhood, but never had the opportunity to get any training, so didn’t do much with it. I ended up marrying an Idaho farmer, and–with raising a family on a busy farm– there just wasn’t time or space to indulge in artistic endeavors. Then in 1999, our youngest child left for college and I decided to deal with the empty nest by trying my hand at some kind of art. I wanted to do something a little “different,” so—after doing some research and talking to different artists–I decided to try painting on glass. I discovered a French-made paint that did not require a kiln for firing, but could simply be cooked in a home oven. I loved working with this medium, and began really working at my art and developing a style of my own. Being a lover of wildlife, this is naturally what I began painting. And being Alaskan at heart, my subject matter was most often ALASKAN wildlife. Being blessed with a photographer husband (and after many photography trips to Alaska), I had access to a full library of ideas from which to work.
As time went on, I was asked to paint specific projects on other surfaces—metal, stone, wood, canvas—and this required learning to use a variety of other paints. Most often this was acrylic. I continue to expand my artistic horizons with different mediums—most recently metal gold pans—but still choose to paint subjects that express my love of what God has created in Alaska.
These medallions are available in 1oz. .999 fine silver, 1 oz single gold relief (24k plating on part of the silver coin) and 1 oz. double gold relief (24k gold plating on both sides). The 1 oz medallion is similar in size to a silver dollar. They are also available in a 2 oz medallion that is 2 inches in diameter. They are packaged in an airtight container and handsome gift box. The reverse is the Seal of the State of Alaska. The edge of the 1 oz. silver and gold relief medallions are stamped with their purity .999 fine silver, our hallmark Alaska Mint, and a serial number. The silver medallions are minted in 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz, 1 oz. and 2 oz. weights. The gold medallions are minted in 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz, 1 oz. and 3 oz. weights. The Official State Medallions are packaged individually and also in proof sets.