Puerto Rico’s quarter was officially welcomed to the island and debuted to the world April 2 by U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy and Gov. Luis Fortuño at a ceremony in Old San Juan.
Cheers from a crowd gathered at La Arcada in Paseo La Princesa accompanied the official placement of an image of the new quarter on a giant map showing the locations of the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories issues.
“Puerto Rico’s striking quarter design evokes its tropical beauty, rich history and bilingual culture,” Moy said. “With San Juan Bay as the background of the coin, the hibiscus flower and 16th century sentry box remind us that Puerto Rico stands for ‘rich port.’”
The Spanish “Isla del Encanto (Island of Enchantment)” legend on the reverse design highlights the bilingual character of the issue.
Moy gave the governor the artwork used for quarter after the placement of the image on the map.
The design by Joseph Menna depicts an old fort sentry box from the city overlooking the sea along with the official hibiscus flower. The date and “E Pluribus Unum” also appear in the design.
Accompanying the governor were his wife, First Lady Lucé Vela, and Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock. Both helped Moy and the governor distribute free quarters to children under 18 who were present.
Adults attending the ceremony were able to buy rolls for the $10 face value.
On April 1, Moy took part in a coin forum hosted by the Sociedad Numismática de Puerto Rico (Numismatic Society of Puerto Rico) where he was asked about the quarter’s scarcity.
“We are in the lowest production cycle in about 25 years,” he said.
The Mint is selling bags and rolls to collectors on its Web site at www.usmint.gov, or by telephone at (800) USA-MINT.
Price of a set featuring one 40-coin roll each from both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints is $32.95. Bags of 100 coins are $32.95 each and bags of 1,000 coins are $309.95 each. Shipping charges are added to those prices.