Posted by: William-José Vélez González | December 16, 2008

United States Mint selects design for the Puerto Rico Quarter

Puerto Rico Quarter Design

Puerto Rico Quarter Design

The Puerto Rico quarter is the second in the 2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Quarters Program. Explorer Christopher Columbus arrived at Puerto Rico (“rich port”) in 1493, and it soon became a Spanish colony and important military outpost. Over the years, numerous unsuccessful attempts were made by the French, Dutch and English to conquer the island, but it remained an overseas province of Spain until the Spanish-American War. Under the Treaty of Paris of 1898, it was ceded to the United States, and its residents became American citizens in 1917. On July 3, 1950, Congress passed a law authorizing Puerto Rico to draft its own constitution, and it officially became a United States commonwealth on July 25, 1952.

One of the most characteristic elements of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is its massive belt of walls of stone, built by the Spaniards in the early 16th century to protect the capital city from attacks from the sea. Of particular interest on these walls, which symbolize Puerto Rican strength and fortitude, are the sentry boxes, placed at strategic points along the walls. The sentry box and the walls of San Jan represent Puerto Rico’s rich history, geographical location and defensive role. The Puerto Rico quarter features a historic sentry box and a hibiscus flower with the inscriptions, PUERTO RICO and Isla del Encanto, which means “Isle of Enchantment.”

A commission established by the Governor of Puerto Rico and chaired by the director of the Puerto Rico Culture Institute developed two reverse design concepts emblematic of the territory – the sentry box and one featuring the Palacio de Santa Catalina (Santa Catalina Palace), today the official residence of the governor. These concepts were forwarded to the United States Mint for the production of final artistic renderings, which were then proposed to the commonwealth. The Secretary of the Treasury approved the sentry box dsign on July 31, 2008.



  1. Design is nice, but I’m sure many Americans will have an issue with the coin saying “Isla de Encanto” because it’s not in English. Nevermind the fact that virtually all U.S. money uses Latin phrases such as E Pluribus Unum, and no one seems to mind that. I can hear them now, “if “they” want to use “our” money, they should atleast speak English. Hypocrites.

  2. Actually, the quarters for Hawaii, a state, Guam and American Samoa, territories like Puerto Rico, have mottos in other languages other than English or Latin. It is extremely presumptuous to claim what you are saying not to mention completely separate from reality. Americans don’t have an issue with this, it is merely a ill conceived assumption, clearly not based on fact.

  3. You are correct that this is only my opinion however being ill conceived would be a matter of perspective. My statement derives from personal experiences. Your relpy that Americans do not have an issue with this is also an assumption, a broad one at that, and in my opinion not true.

  4. Does anyone know why the designers of the quarter placed the hibiscus flower instead of our national flower? According to official records, The Maga Flower is our National Flower. The hibiscus is recognized as the national flower for Malaysia and South Korea.

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