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The Illinois State Quarter is the 21st quarter released in the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters and trade; Program and the first to be released in 2003. It’s jam-packed with symbolism. On January 6, 2003, U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore said, “The Illinois quarter sends a powerful message. It highlights how the state’s agricultural traditions and business and financial climate – all the things that make Illinois a major hub of international commerce – rest on Lincoln’s legacy of integrity and hard work. Centered in the design is a young Abraham Lincoln at a turning point in his life, where in New Salem Illinois, he resolved to “put down the ax and pick up the book.” The image of Lincoln, superimposed over an outline of Illinois, is based on a sculpture by Avard Fairbanks; “The Resolute Lincoln.” To the left of Lincoln lies a farm scene, representing the agricultural tradition of the “The Prairie State,” and the official state slogan, “Land of Lincoln.” On the right, the Chicago skyline symbolizes the Illinois as a powerful industrial, business and financial leader. The inscription “21st State/Century,” notes Illinois as the 21st state and the state’s present and future role in the Union. A wreath of 21 stars echoing Illinois’ position as the 21st state to enter the Union and the date of its acceptance, 1818, complete the design. Source: United States Mint.
Item #: 20561IL
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