Austin, Texas — It is said that everything is bigger in Texas, and today’s launch of the Texas commemorative quarter–dollar coin was no exception. Staged around the 35–foot–tall bronze Lone Star sculpture in front of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin, the kick–off for the 28th commemorative quarter–dollar of the popular 50 State Quarters Program was a larger–than–life Texas celebration with mariachis and free barbecue. Each child who attended the ceremony received a shiny, new Texas quarter, and adults exchanged their bills with local celebrities who handed out rolls of new quarters.
“Today, we are ALL Texans,” United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore told the crowd. “This strong lone star carries the pride of Texas. It is instantly recognizable with the distinctive outline of your State. The eyes of the Nation are on the Texas quarter.”
The Texas quarter is the third of 2004 and the 28th in the United States Mint’s popular 50 State Quarters Program. The quarters are issued in the order the states were admitted into the Union. On December 29, 1845, Texas became the 28th state to be admitted into the Union.
“The Texas quarter will serve as a timeless representation of our state’s proud and storied history,” said Governor Rick Perry. “When Americans reach into their pockets, this quarter will remind all of the proud and rich history of the state that was once its own sovereign nation.”
The Texas quarter’s reverse (tails side) incorporates the distinctive outline of the State with a superimposed star and the inscription, “The Lone Star State.” The lariat encircling the design is symbolic of the cattle and cowboy history of Texas and the frontier spirit.
Nearly 2,600 candidate design concepts were submitted in response to a statewide contest authorized by the Texas Quarter Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee. From those design concepts, 17 finalists were selected by the Texas Numismatic Association and presented to the Texas Quarter Dollar Coin Design Advisory Committee to review. The Committee further narrowed the submissions to the five designs that were most emblematic of the state. Governor Rick Perry submitted the preferred design, which was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
Texas quarters in two–roll sets and bags are available on the United States Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov and by calling 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). Lesson plans about the Texas quarter and the 27 previous quarters can be downloaded free from the website.
Launched in 1999, the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program is a 10–year initiative that honors our Nation’s states. The initiative is the most popular coin program in United States history, with more than 130 million Americans collecting the 50 State Quarters coins. Each quarter is produced for about 10 weeks and will never be produced again.
Created by Congress in 1792, the United States Mint is the manufacturer of legal tender coinage for the United States. The United States Mint also produces proof and uncirculated coins, commemorative coins and medals for sale to the general public. Additionally, the United States Mint manufactures and sells platinum, gold and silver bullion coins. In FY 2003, the United States Mint manufactured approximately 11.4 billion coins and contributed about $600 million to the U.S. Treasury General Fund.