A big party has been planned to welcome Arizona’s new state quarter, part of the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters program.
The state will commemorate the new quarter with an event Monday on the lawn of the state Capitol in Phoenix, when Gov. Janet Napolitano and U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy are scheduled to launch into circulation the first of what will be 500 million Arizona quarters.
The event is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the State Capitol Senate Lawn. After the ceremony, the public may exchange their bills for $10 rolls of the new Arizona quarters. All children at the event under 18 will receive one free 48th-state quarter, according to the U.S. Mint.
“Children make up a good portion of the 147 million Americans plugging the coins into their commemorative folios or folders,” Moy said. “This has educated a whole generation of Americans in geography and history.”
The new quarter features a saguaro cactus against the backdrop of the Grand Canyon.
Moy said the design illustrates the state’s natural beauty.
“That’s why we think the Arizona state quarter will be one of the more popular ones, because of that natural-beauty factor,” he said. “There is a whole segment of people who get excited about naturally occurring things that are unique to each state.”
The Arizona Quarter Commission, appointed by Gov. Napolitano, solicited designs from across the state.
Before making its selection, the commission narrowed down more than 4,200 coin design ideas.
On May 1, 2007, Napolitano announced her recommendation of the Grand Canyon with saguaro cactus design theme, based on results of an online poll, according to the U.S. Mint.
After the Arizona quarter goes public, only the Alaska and Hawaii coins will remain to be released.
Both will go into circulation later this year, Moy said.