Although today’s tangible currency seems old school, the symbolism imprinted on them is still relevant. 

Just ask the U.S. Mint. Through their 2024 American Women Quarters Program, the agency wants to remind future generations of what we can accomplish “with vision, determination, and a desire to improve opportunities for all.”

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Among them is our very own Celia Cruz. The Cuban icon now joins the series of quarters featuring notable women in U.S. history in commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Celia Cruz becomes the third Latina honored on a coin

The U.S. Mint issues five designs each year, from 2022 through 2025, for a total of 20 designs. A committee selects a woman for her contributions to the country, and she is featured on the reverse of each coin.

According to the press release, the U.S. Mint recognizes Celia Cruz as a cultural icon and “one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century.”

“All of the women being honored have lived remarkable and multi-faceted lives. And have made a significant impact on our Nation in their own unique way,” said Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson. “The women pioneered change during their lifetimes, not yielding to the status quo imparted during their lives. By honoring these pioneering women, the Mint continues to connect America through coins which are like small works of art in your pocket.”

La Reina de la Salsa joins New Mexico educator and suffragist Nina Otero-Warren and journalist and activist Jovita Idar, the previous two Latinas honored by the American Women Quarters Program.