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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 summer 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.


The Inspector Charts the Course

This image shows Inspector Collector smiling with a coin collection.  It says 'Inspector Collector's Coin Course.

Inspector Collector has sure been busy!  And, as a result, he's proud as punch.  He has plumbed all the way to the deepest depths of his profound numismatic knowledge to come up with the answers to all a young coin collector's questions and called it "Inspector Collector's Coin Course"!

Discover the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and hows of coin collecting through five lessons, complete with games and activities to support and challenge your new understanding.  Be sure to check out the Coin Course at Camp Coin right away!


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One in a Million

Do you think you could save up a million pennies?  What does a million pennies look like?  You may never have seen that many pennies all at once, but some students at a grade school in Utah have!

This is a photograph of the bin of a million pennies.

Thanks to one of their "one-in-a-million" fifth-grade teachers, students have saved up one million pennies just to see what a million looks like!  The project taught them many cool things, such as:

  • A million is a lot!  A special plastic box had to be built to hold all those pennies.  The box is a cubic yard in size—each side is three by three feet.
  • One million pennies is worth ten thousand dollars (since there are 100 pennies in a dollar).  (The school plans to give the money to a good cause.)
  • One million pennies weighs about three tons (6,000 pounds).  That's about half as much as a full-grown African elephant weighs.
  • It took eight years to save up the pennies.  These fifth graders were tiny tots when the project began!  So you'd better start saving right away if you want your own cool million pennies!

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Explore the Wilderness...and More

This icon says Lewis and Clark Adventure.

Have you played the Lewis and Clark Adventure, the newest game on the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change Web site?  This five-in-one game will have you catching magpies, identifying plants and animals, steering a boat down a river, following map directions, and trading with American Indians.  As you travel the trail of Lewis and Clark to the Pacific Ocean and back, you build a collection of Lewis and Clark medals and coins.

If you haven't been down that trail, maybe you have also missed other new games on H.I.P. Pocket Change—like Inventor's Challenge.  Inspired by this year's Thomas Edison commemorative coin, the game has you gather molecules for a light bulb to see if you can collect enough to beat the computer at creating the longest-burning bulb.

Also new this year is "Presidential Portraits."  This game will help you see how well you know the presidents on the coins in your pocket...and which coins they appear on.

To check out these new games, click on the green "Games" coin icon on the left side of this page!

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The Keelboat Is Coming

The image shows a keelboat on a river.

Sailing into the flow of circulating coins this quarter is the second design in the Westward Journey Nickel Series:  the Keelboat Nickel.  A design that features a keel-bottomed boat with a sail will take the place of the Peace Medal design, the last design on the back of the five-cent coin.

Captain Meriwether Lewis designed his keelboat to carry supplies and explorers on the Missouri and other unknown rivers.  But the story of this design isn't unknown.  In fact, you can read about it under "The Coins Are Coming" on the "New Nickels" page.

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This image shows Peter and the Iowa quarter.

Quarter of the Quarter:  Iowa

What's hot this summer besides the weather?  Iowa's quarter!  This new quarter design honors education as well as farming, and you can read all about it on our Iowa quarter page.  The Iowa quarter is also the Coin of the Month for August, presented by Peter the Mint Eagle, so be sure to check that out as well.


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Pal's Place:  Inspector Collector

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 Inspector Collector:

This image shows Inspector Collector at Camp Coin.

"Tally ho!  Here it is, summer, and I get to present my favorite spot on H.I.P. Pocket Change, which is Camp Coin, of course.  Kids and coins go together like summer and camp.  But what I like about Camp Coin is that it's the all-year-'round camp.  Through a computer, you can go there even when it's snowing!

"And it's a great place to learn about coin collecting—or even if you already collect coins.  (Saving up a million pennies doesn't count!)

"This summer is especially exciting at Camp Coin because of a brand new feature:  Inspector Collector's Coin Course!  This five-lesson course in coin collecting will teach you all the whats, whys, hows, and whos of starting, growing, and keeping up your very own collection.

"With each lesson, you sharpen your detective skills by solving coin cases.  If you've been to Camp Coin before, you probably have seen ten of these cases under "Get a Clue About Collecting"...but now there are five new cases.  And case number 15 is the course's big finish:  an awesome coin course site quest!

"You simply must stop by Camp Coin and investigate!"

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Summer 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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