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Utah quarter gains golden spike

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Utah?s 2007 state quarter will feature the golden spike that connected the nation?s railroads in 1869.

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. unveiled the winning design for the quarter at a May 10 ceremony at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Box Elder County, Utah, at Promontory Summit.

?In 1869 with the driving of the golden spike and the completion of the transcontinental railroad, Utah became the Crossroads of the West,? Gov. Huntsman said. ?This holds true today as we celebrate our past with this quarter and move toward our future.?

The event also celebrated the completion of the Transcontinental railroad with an historical re-enactment.

Titled the ?Crossroads of the West,? the quarter design was chosen over two others: a female snowboarder with the 2002 Winter Olympics motto, ?The World is Welcome Here,? and a beehive with the words, ?The Beehive State.?

According to an article in the Deseret Morning News, a total of 136,000 people voted online for their favorite design. More than 52 percent voted for the golden spike, compared to around 27 percent for the beehive and almost 21 percent for the snowboarder.

Charged with making the final decision, Huntsman went with the popular choice.

The beehive design was controversial because of its connection to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Religious symbols are not allowed on the quarters, according to U.S. Mint rules.

The Mint will begin minting the Utah quarter in January 2007. It?s expected that a total of 450 million quarters will be minted, according to the Deseret Morning News.

In all, more than 5,000 ideas were submitted for the Utah quarter, said the paper.