What the fuck, New Mexico? Who designed this bloody thing? I know originality is hard and that we don’t have a lot of creativity to go around, but seriously, there was a contest and people submitted designs. Are you going to tell me that out of all the designs submitted the one chosen had to be exactly like Texas’s? The quarter has the state symbol superimposed over the outline of the state, which is fine for Texas, because it has an interesting shape. New Mexico is a box with squiggles at the bottom at best. It’s boring.
It’s a lame quarter and we ought to be ashamed. We could have put a roadrunner on that sucker. At the very least. My design would have had a roadrunner on it with a yucca plant behind. It’s not that much more complicated than the state design and it combines two of our most prominent states symbols. Heck, we could even throw a zia in there if we wanted. This would certainly generate less controversy than the older design I’ve heard brandied about, one that I rather like: A mushroom cloud with a note at the bottom: Home of the Trinity Site. Let the other states know our power. Send a clear message to Washington: Fix our fucking highways or else.
The quarter first appeared in April 2008 and feature the outline of the State of New Mexico embellished by a few mountains and the Rio Grande River with a giant zia over it and the words “The Land of Enchantment” in the lower left corner. Above the entire image is “New Mexico 1912” and below is “2008 E pluribus Unum” which is Latin for something similar to the Three Musketeer’s Motto and used on the United States’s great seal (may it eat shellfish forever).
Since April I have seen more of these quarters than any other state quarter which leads me to believe the Mint probably releases state quarters to their home states first and lets other states acquire them via normal buying and spending processes (money does travel far, just see www.wheresgeorge.com if you don’t believe me). I have received change that is nothing but New Mexico quarters in some stores.
It’s a real pity that the quarter isn’t cooler. Idaho’s quarter has this really cool bird on it, and Utah has some trains, Wyoming has a cowboy (since Wyoming is a box, they’ve very cleverly opted out of showing their state at all), and Alaska’s upcoming quarter is just about the coolest thing ever: A bear eating salmon. But since New Mexico’s is no longer upcoming, I can only shake my head and say, “Jeez, a roadrunner would have been cool on this thing.”