Phoenix, Arizona — As a Mariachi band played, the Arizona commemorative quarter–dollar coin, the 48th quarter of the popular 50 State Quarters Program, was introduced into circulation in a ceremony on the State Capitol Senate Lawn today. United States Mint Director Ed Moy joined Governor Janet Napolitano in hosting the festivities.
“This quarter celebrates the breathtaking natural beauty of Arizona, from its rare Saguaro cactus to the awe–inspiring Grand Canyon,” Director Moy told the crowd. “When Americans pull this coin out of their pockets, they’ll immediately think of Arizona.”
After the ceremony, Director Moy and Governor Napolitano passed out shiny new Arizona quarters to the children in the audience. A large crowd of adults lined up to exchange their bills for $10 rolls of Arizona quarters as Mariachi Aguila de Marcelino Cervantes of Phoenix played on.
On the eve of the launch, Director Moy hosted a coin collectors’ forum at the Carnegie Center in Phoenix, where he discussed United States Mint programs. Members of the audience told him what they would like to see on American coinage in the future.
The reverse (tails side) of the Arizona quarter features an image of the Grand Canyon with a Saguaro cactus in the foreground. A banner reading “Grand Canyon State” separates the two images to signify that the Saguaro cactus does not grow in the Grand Canyon. The coin also bears the inscriptions “Arizona” and “1912,” the year Arizona was admitted into the Union.
For those who were unable to attend the Arizona Quarter Launch today, the United States Mint is offering the Arizona quarter in two–roll sets (40 coins per roll) containing one roll each from the United States Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver, and in bags of 100 and 1,000 coins. To place an order, visit the United States Mint Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/, or call 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468). The two–roll sets are $32.95, bags of 100 coins are $32.95, and bags of 1,000 coins are $309.95.
Free United States Mint lesson plans about the Arizona quarter may be downloaded at www.usmint.gov/kids. For a digital image of the Arizona quarter, go to http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=Photo#50state.
A satellite feed that includes the Arizona Quarter Launch, sound bites of participants and production B–roll will be available on June 2, 2008 at 3:30 p.m.–4 p.m. (ET), Galaxy 25C, Transponder 23, Downlink 4160V; and on June 3, 2008 at 1:00 p.m.–1:15 p.m. (ET), Galaxy 25C, Transponder 23, Downlink 4160V.