coinfodder's Blog

15 Jul 2020

The Fifty States of Coinage- Part 3- Arizona

Coins-United States | coinfodder

Welcome to Arizona, home of the greatest ditch in the ground known to man. This week, we will visit the state of Arizona.

Arizona, pre-1850, was owned by Mexico. Many missions were located in the state. The Mormons under Brigham Young settled the area, founding Tempe, Mesa, and Phoenix. After the Mexican's surrendered after the fall of Mexico City, the Territory of Arizona was ceded to the US in the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hildago. In 1856, the government made the Gadsden Purchase, creating the border of Arizona as we know it today. With the addition of Arizona as a territory, the native population was mostly shoved out of Arizona. About 25% of land is reservation land today in Arizona.

In 1912, Arizona became the 48th state, the last of the lower 48 to achieve statehood. Famous citizens include Barry Goldwater, Geronimo, and Stewart Udall.

First to mind in coins is the 50 State Series and the America the Beautiful Quarter. Both feature the Grand Canyon, as it is the state's most prominent landmark. The 50 state quarter also features a Saguaro, the giant cactus. Both are considered to be one of the best modern coin designs.

While we are on the subject of coinage, before Arizona belonged to the US of A the place belonged to Mexico. Mexico, in the First Republic (before the insane Austrian named Maximilian declared himself king) used coins also. Many of these coins look like the Gobrecht $1 Gold Dollar pattern, featuring a liberty cap with radiating sun rays around it. There are other coins, but many of the Mexican First Republic coins feature the liberty cap, symbolic of the country's victory over the Spanish.

The Mormons also created coinage golden coinage for the territory they had settled in. They are not very elaborate pieces, stamped "Deseret" (the name for the polygamous, Mormon state) with the beehive stuck to them.

Next up next week- Arkansas! See ya!


I. R. Bama

Level 5

Interesting. I have one of those 8 Reales coins in au condition. I love that coin, one of my favorites. It would be interesting to see how many countries feature that cap. It is known as a Phrygian cap and was first worn during the French Revolution to the best of my knowledge.

Long Beard

Level 5

Informative and to the point. Well done.


Level 6

Fantastic blog. I was just looking at those Mexican Cap and Ray coins. I also thought that gold coin looked like a Mormon issue. I wish I had one. Thanks for a great read..


Level 5

Great quarter with the grand canyon. I like the twenty dollar coin. Very interesting information.

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