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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 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.

What Goes Around...Circulates

Image shows circulating coins circulating.

Goldie the Mint Fish loves to fill her "Coin News" area with all the latest about the new coins in the making.  But, every day, the United States Mint makes coins that she hadn't talked about!  Well, she's just recently fixed that problem for good.  Coin News now has a page for each of our currently circulating coins:  the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar, and dollar coins.

Each page gives some of that coin's history, links to more information about it, and phrases people use that remind us how big a part these coins play in our lives.  There's a wealth of information here for writing school reports and for just getting to know the money we use daily.  Check out the new circulating coins pages under "The Coins Are Coming"!

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Louisiana Purchase Set in Metal

We told you in the last issue about the new nickel that was about to be released.  Well, it's here!  Yes, in March, the Peace Medal nickel began to appear in pockets across the land.

The design features the words "Louisiana Purchase" to honor the 1803 purchase of what became the Louisiana Territory from France at the fantastic price of less than 3 cents an acre. You can see how large this land area was on the map on the Louisiana quarter.  The territory covered our entire Midwest, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

Bill points out the Louisiana Purchase area behind the Peace Medal nickel

And now, the name and date of that historic purchase is set in metal, along with the design that President Jefferson used on his famous Peace Medals: hands shaking in friendship and a pipe crossed with a tomahawk. Lewis and Clark gave these medals to American Indians as a sign of peace and friendship.  Bill explores this nickel in April's Coin of the Month.

Keep your eye out for this great nickel in your change (as well as a second design before the year is out), and see our information page where "The Coins Are Coming"!  Teachers, don't miss our nickel lesson plans in the Teachers area.

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Quarters of the Quarter:  Florida and Texas

This is one of those calendar quarters that should see two new spending quarters:  the Florida quarter in April and the Texas quarter in June.

Florida's design is all about discovery.  On it, you can see the kind of Spanish galleon that carried explorers to Florida's coast centuries ago, and the kind of space shuttle that still carries astronauts to the frontiers of space.  Flip the Mint Seal did a great job of presenting this coin in March's Coin of the Month.

The design on the Texas quarter focuses on the shape of the state and its famous "lone star" qualities.  Did you know that Texas was its own country before it joined the Union in 1845?  Find out more on our Texas quarter page.

Image shows Florida quarter design.

Image shows Texax quarter design.

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Pal's Place: Bill

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

"Teachers!  I'm all about teachers and history. That's why I love the Teachers part of our site.  I help to get together all our lesson plans, teacher features, and state quarter days in the classroom.  I make sure the Coin Curricula Center is centered and the Stockroom is stocked with fun and educational materials for teachers to use with their students.

Bill sits beside other Pals in the classroom.

"And it's a big job! We keep adding new, interesting activities all the time.  But the best thing of all about the Teachers area is that I get to learn...about the stories that coins tell and about the people who spent those coins.

"If you teach children, I hope you come by and browse all the goodies.  If you're a kid, for the next time you see coins in your classroom.  They just may have gotten there through the Teachers section!"

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Spring 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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