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Arizona Finally Gets Its Quarter
by Scott Craven

Arizonans should be accustomed to waiting. We had to wait years for such things as professional sports teams, Ikea and light rail.

And now, with the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters program in its 10th year, we’re finally getting ours, all because of the original wait - for statehood. On Friday, the 48th state’s design became the 48th state quarter as the Grand Canyon and saguaro began their minting run in Denver.

But we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer because the coins aren’t likely to show up in tills around the Valley for another two weeks or so, according to Michael White, a U.S. Mint spokesman.

After two years of planning and thousands of people putting in their 2 cents’ worth on what the quarter should look like, the first of the planned 500 million quarters rolled off the Denver Mint’s press as Gov. Janet Napolitano looked on.

The state-quarters program, which the Mint calls its most popular coin-collecting program, began Jan. 1, 1999, with the release of Delaware’s quarter. Delaware, as every elementary-school student knows, was the first U.S. state.

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