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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 winter 2004 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.

Discover America All Over Again

If you like to explore, have we got a game for you!  Discover some of the wonders of our nation with the new "Quarter Explorer" game.

Image show Bill on Main Street and the words Quarter Explorer.

Geography, state trivia, and the designs on our new quarters are all territories you will investigate.  And as you play, you help Bill the Mint Buffalo get ready for his most exciting trip:  exploring every state in the Union.

Of course, it will take until 2008, when the fiftieth quarter is released, for you and Bill to cover the whole country.  But you can start with the first twenty-five states right away!  Just visit the Games area and click on Bill's Quarter Explorer icon.  Happy traveling!

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Edison's Brightest Idea

Thomas Edison had a lot of bright ideas, but you could say the light bulb was his brightest!  It sure took a lot of work to find something that would burn long enough to make it worthwhile.  But now, 125 years later, all that work lights up all of our lives.

To honor Edison, "the Wizard of Menlo Park," the United States Mint will make a silver dollar that marks this great invention.  See the coin's design and read more about it in the Coin News area.

Obverse and Reverse (on mouse-over) of the Thomas Edison Silver Dollar

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Monticello Takes a Break

You can see that Thomas Jefferson is pictured on the front of the nickel.  You can see also that the grand home Jefferson designed and built for himself is on the back.  That home, called "Monticello," has been pictured there for more than 60 years.  But it won't stay there for long!  Soon Jefferson's portrait will be backed with images of events from 200 years ago.

The nickel is the perfect coin on which to celebrate these events because President Jefferson played a major role in both of them.  The first event is the Louisiana Purchase, in which Jefferson bought the Louisiana Territory from France.  This about doubled the land area of the United States.  The design features the Peace Medal that Jefferson had made as gifts to Native American chiefs.

The second event is the Lewis and Clark expedition, which delivered the Peace Medals.  Jefferson formed the expedition to explore the new territory, make friends with the native peoples, and take careful notes about everything they saw and learned during the trip.  The design features the expedition's keelboat with some of the crew aboard.

In 2004, the two new nickel designs will be minted and released for everyone to enjoy.  You'll still know the nickel because President Jefferson will look the same on the front.  But if you miss seeing Monticello on the back, don't worry.  Jefferson's beloved home is scheduled to reappear on the nickel in 2006.  Meantime, check out our special "New Nickels" page in the Coin News area by clicking here.

Obverse of new nickels shows familiar Jefferson profile.

First new nickel design shows Jefferson Peace Medal design.

Second new nickel design shows Lewis and Clark keelboat.

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Quarter of the Quarter

The release of quarter number 26 begins the second half of the 50 State Quarters Program in January.  The state that this quarter features is Michigan, the "Great Lakes State."  This nickname fits Michigan so well because the lakes practically surround the state.  Michigan is the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes, so of course they have been important to the state's history and growth.

But Goldie the Mint Fish has all this neat information covered in her Coin News area.  Go to "The Coins Are Coming" and read more about the state and its new quarter!

Reverse and Obverse (on mouse-over) of the Michigan Quarter

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Pal's Place:  Goldie

Which place on the site does each H.I.P. Pocket Change pal like best?  We'll just let them tell you themselves.  In this quarter's issue, we have a word from Goldie:

Goldie reads a newspaper

"Why do I love the Coin News area of H.I.P. Pocket Change?  Well, one reason is this Making Cents newsletter!  It's got so much information about what's happening in the world of coins and links to even more.

"Coin News is a great place to find out about everything new in the world of coins.  And there's so much happening in 2004!  Not only will there be five new quarters, but two new nickels and new commemoratives on two different subjects.  I like to keep an eye on 'The Coins Are Coming' to find out about all the new coins.

"I just feel like I'm really 'in the know' when I'm around here.  Know what I mean?  If you like adding to your treasure of coin knowledge as much as I do, we'll just keep on reporting all the news that's fit to mint!"

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Winter 2004 Crossword

Hope you've enjoyed reading Making Cents!  Click to see and print out the crossword puzzle, which uses words from all the articles in this issue.  This will test your memory, but if you need clues, go back to the articles.  Most of the words in the puzzle were in this issue.

Check your answers with the answer key.

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