¡Azúcar! The one and only Celia Cruz is set to appear on a U.S. quarter in 2024, depicting her flashing a dazzling smile with a mic in hand while wearing a rumba style dress.
The Cuban-American icon, who will be the first Afro Latina to appear on a coin, is being honored as part of the American Women Quarters Program. She’ll join a series of quarters featuring four other influential American women in U.S. history.
Born Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, Cruz became one of the 20th century’s most popular Latin artists, recording more than 80 albums, winning five Grammy Awards (in addition to a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Grammy) and receiving the president’s National Medal of Arts among other accolades.
Before her passing in 2003, she formed a deep bond with Miami, a city that became a second home to a large community of Cuban exiles like herself. Although she never lived in the city, she had a public viewing at the historic Freedom Tower after her death, where tens of thousands of people paid their respects.
Cruz will be featured on the reverse side (“tails”) of the quarter, with her signature catchphrase, ¡Azúcar!, inscribed along with her name. The “heads” side will depict a portrait of George Washington, originally composed and sculpted by Laura Gardin Fraser to mark Washington’s 200th birthday. According to the U.S. Mint, the coin is made of Cupro-Nickel and weighs 5.670 grams.
Other women honorees for the 2024 coins alongside Cruz are:
- Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress.
- Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War-era surgeon and abolitionist.
- Pauli Murray, a poet, writer, activist, lawyer, and Episcopal priest, as well as an advocate for civil rights.
- Zitkala-Ša, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnie, who was a political activist for Native Americans’ rights.
The U.S. Mint created the American Women Quarters Program to feature women who have contributed to a variety of fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space and the arts. It will be issuing five new designs every year through 2025 to honor “ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse individuals.”
According to Coin World, quarters with Celia Cruz’s design will be released into circulation through the Federal Reserve on Aug. 12. Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray’s will be issued on Jan. 2, Patsy Takemoto Mink’s on March 25, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker’s on June 3 and Zitkala-Ša’s on Oct. 21.
Visit www.usmint.gov for more information.