The Utah Quarter
The fifth and final commemorative quarter-dollar coin released in 2007 honors Utah and is the 45th coin in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters® Program. Utah was admitted into the Union on January 4, 1896, becoming our nation's 45th state. The reverse of Utah's quarter features two locomotives moving toward the golden spike that joined the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads—linking East to West and transforming both the Utah Territory and the nation—along with the inscription "Crossroads of the West." The coin also bears the inscriptions "Utah" and "1896."
"Crossroads of the West"
On May 10, 1869, two steam locomotives met at Promontory, Utah, for the "Joining of the Rails Ceremony," at which the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads completed the transcontinental route. The event was crucial to the development of the American West because it made cross-country travel more convenient and economical. The construction of the railroad and the subsequent mining boom brought diverse ethnic and religious populations to Utah. The railroad also symbolized the changing technology and moved Utah from an agrarian economy to a more industrialized one.
Even before the time of steam locomotives, Utah experienced a steady flow of explorers and pioneers. The Spaniards first came to explore Utah in the 18th century and were followed by mountain men, Mormons, and prospectors in search of precious metals in the 1860s. Because of its central location, Utah became known as the "Crossroads of the West."
Choosing the Design
The Utah Commemorative Quarter Commission invited narrative submissions from the citizens of Utah. The commission received approximately 5,000 submissions and recommended three concepts to the United States Mint for rendering by the United States Mint sculptor-engravers and artists in the United States Mint's Artistic Infusion Program. More than 150,000 citizens voted in a 25-day statewide vote in April 2006. "Crossroads of the West" prevailed as the favorite design among voters. Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., announced the state's recommendation at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Promontory on May 10, 2006, the 137th anniversary of the Joining of the Rails.
The Department of the Treasury approved the design on June 22, 2006. The two other design concepts considered were the "Beehive," featuring a beehive, part of the official seal and state emblem of Utah (symbolizing industry and working together for common purposes), and "Winter Sports," featuring a female snow boarder and celebrating Utah as a world-class winter sport destination and the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
The 50 State Quarter ProgramSigned into law in 1997, the 50 States Commemorative Coin Program Act has become the most successful numismatic program in American history, with roughly half of the U.S. population collecting the coins, either in a casual manner or as a serious pursuit. The program produces five different reverse designs each year for ten years—each representing a different state—the order of which is determined by the order states were admitted to the Union. Design concepts are submitted to the Secretary of the Treasury by state governors for final approval. The obverse of each quarter is a slight redesign of the quarter's previous design. The cost to manufacture a quarter is about 5 cents, providing a profit of approximately 20 cents per coin. So far, the federal government has made a profit of $4.6 billion from collectors taking the coins out of circulation. In 2009, the U.S. Mint launched a separate program issuing quarters commemorating the District of Columbia and various U.S. territories.
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|Release Date:||November 5, 2007|
|Captions:||"Crossroads of the West"|
|Composition:||Copper Nickel alloy|
|Weight:||2.000 oz (5.670 g)|
|Diameter:||0.955 in (24.26 mm)|
|Thickness:||0.07 in (1.75 mm)|
|No. of Reeds:||119|
|Data Source: The U.S. Mint.|