New Wyoming quarter unveiled
Official Ceremony September 14th
July 25, 2007
Flanked by a three-foot-wide illustration of the Wyoming Quarter, today Gov. Dave Freudenthal said just 51 days remain until the state unveils its very own $.25 coin at a ceremony in Cheyenne.
At a news conference in the Governor’s Formal Office, Freudenthal said the state has eagerly anticipated the release of the Wyoming Quarter for some time.
“We’ve waited quite a while because the sequence they have done the quarters in is the order by which the state was admitted to the union. We were the 44th state, so we will become the 44th quarter,” Freudenthal said. Wyoming is one of those states that is clearly identified with its logo - nearly everyone knows Wyoming is the bucking horse state.”
The Wyoming Quarter’s design pays homage to the state’s western culture and its commitment to equal rights for women.
Freudenthal said he’s beginning to get caught up in the excitement surrounding the collection of the Wyoming Quarter and the other quarters in the United States Mint's 50 State Quarters program.
“It’s been interesting to me, and I might not have been fully appreciative of what this quarter meant when we started the process all these years ago to select it,” Freudenthal said. “I’m amazed how many people collect them, and in fact, I’ve gotten to the point that I want to make sure that I collect them so that Nancy and I will have them available for our kids and hopefully at some point, some grandkids after everyone gets married. Because we’re only going to do this once.”
Milward Simpson, director of the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, described the events planned for Sept. 14 in Cheyenne.
The unveiling will kick off with a formal ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Cheyenne Civic Center and will finish with a shorter outdoor celebration on the steps of the Wyoming State Capitol at 11:30 a.m.
“We anticipate that it will be packed,” Simpson said. “So we encourage people to attend, and to get there early.”
A select group of dignitaries at the event will include Freudenthal, Sen. Mike Enzi and the director of the United States Mint, Edmund C. Moy, in addition to other state and local officials. Native American dancers will take part in the ceremony along with the University of Wyoming band and the UW Cowgirls basketball team. Casper native Pete Williams of NBC Television will act as master of ceremonies at the event.
Simpson said the university will play an important part in the lead-up to the unveiling.
“The quarter will be used in the coin toss for the University of Wyoming game against Utah State on Sept. 8. So, prior to the Cowboys trouncing Utah State, the official Wyoming state quarter will be used in the coin toss,” Simpson said.
Leonard Scoleri of the Oregon Trail Bank, which will serve as the official bank of the Wyoming Quarter release, said his bank is honored by the distinction.
“We’re going to oversee the circulation of the quarter and the distribution in the initial phase of the quarter when it’s released to us from the United States Mint through the Federal Reserve to us,” Scoleri said. “We will be handling the quarter at the official ceremony and we want to stress that we’ll be selling rolls, and rolls only, and then we’ll do an exchange, dollar for dollar, for the quarters.”
Wyoming Bankers Association president Dave Johnson said his group is proud to be involved in the unveiling of the coins.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime event and these quarters, of course, are so important to Wyoming, but when you when you think about it, they will be picked up by coin collectors all over the world and this just adds to the excitement of people wanting to see Wyoming and participate in the heritage of Wyoming and the Old West.”
The Wyoming Bankers Association and the state worked together to design a commemorative coin card that will be produced by Cheyenne-based Unicover Corporation.
Chief Executive Officer Jim Willms explained how the card would be made by his company, which specializes in commemorative materials for coins and stamps.
“I’d just like to say as an employee of a home-grown Wyoming corporation, we’re particularly pleased that we have the opportunity to produce this commemorative for the Wyoming Quarter,” Willms said.
He described the card which bears a photograph of the Teton Range on one side, with images of Devil’s Tower and Old Faithful on the other side. Embedded in the card is the official Wyoming coin encased in a clear plastic so that it is visible from both sides.
The text on the 4-inch by 7 ½-inch souvenir card speaks of Wyoming’s stunning vistas, its important role as the first state to give women the right to vote and the long history of the bucking horse and rider symbol at the University of Wyoming and on the state’s license plates.
The cards will be available at banks around the state in September for $2.