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Making Cents - All the news that's fit to mint! - What's news at the United States Mint!

Welcome to the spring 2003 issue of Making Cents, the online newsletter that tells you what's new and striking at the United States Mint.  Be sure to check back every 3 months for a new issue.

Alabama Launched

We talked about the Alabama quarter, which began circulating late in March.  Its raised braille letters mark the name of a brave deaf and blind woman—Helen Keller—and also mark the first time a circulating quarter has used this special way of writing that allows blind people to read.

You can learn more about this quarter on its own page in the Coin News area of the site.

Obverse of the Alabama quarter

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National Coin Week

The theme for this year's celebration of National Coin Week is "The Tale of the Coin."  How will YOU celebrate?  To give you some ideas, we've set up a special Web page at Camp Coin with a different activity for each day of the Week.

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Mint's Birthday

Happy 211th birthday!  Learn about the fascinating history of the United States Mint with our interactive timeline at Camp Coin.

Happy Birthday, United States Mint!

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New Badge News for Scouts

A new edition of the Boy Scouts of America booklet of requirements for earning the Coin Collecting Merit Badge was published in January of 2003.

The badge's requirements have always included collecting current U.S. coins, and knowing the mints and mint marks.  But the new revision includes collecting five of the new quarters from the 50 State Quarters® Program, identifying features on U.S. paper money, knowing terms used in collecting and grading coins, and knowing how to use coin reference catalogs.

In addition to the standard options of collecting foreign coins, world currency, and tokens or medals, the new options include touring a United States Mint facility, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or a Federal Reserve Bank; visiting a coin show or club meeting; or visiting the Web site of the United States Mint or a coin dealer.

The coin collecting badge is one of 120 merit badges a scout can earn—badges that relate to life skills, job possibilities, and leisure-time activities.  Since the coin collecting badge was introduced in 1938, more than 400,000 scouts have earned the badge—5,406 of them in 2001 alone.

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Merit Badge Crossword

Like what you've learned?  Test your knowledge with our Merit Badge Crossword!

Test your answers with the Answer Key

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Inspector Collector's Top 10 Reasons to Collect Coins

  1. So they can remember special places, people, or events.
  2. To see the way making them has changed over the years.
  3. To see how many different designs you can find.
  4. To display and share with others and meet fellow collectors from around the world.
  5. To enjoy the beauty of their different shapes and colors.
  6. To learn about history and foreign lands.
  7. Because of their interest in art, science, animals, or some other theme.
  8. For the joy of learning about the coins themselves.
  9. For the challenge of completing a collection.
  10. For the excitement of finding treasures in their pocket!
Inspector Collector

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