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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 2005 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.

Time Machine Report

What's new in the Time Machine?  As Peter continues to beef up his trusty transport, we get new adventures to enjoy.

This graphic shows a scene from the adventure with the words Time Machine and War of 1812 superimposed.

You may remember that the first three trips in time have been expanded already.  The fourth trip takes us to Washington, DC, during the War of 1812.  It's an adventure you won't want to miss, with some interesting historical coins to check out and some big decisions to make during a fire emergency.  Just click on the Time Machine coin to your left when you're ready to travel.

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Quarter of the Quarter:  California

This image shows Inspector Collector and a large California quarter by a camp fire.

You can imagine how much Inspector Collector, the director of Camp Coin, loves camping.  Well, this quarter's quarter is all about enjoying nature, so the Inspector is happy to make the California quarter his Coin of the Month in February.

The state of California has chosen for its quarter a scene from Yosemite (yo-SEM-i-tee) National Park with a big California condor circling overhead.  The design also shows the famous naturalist John Muir, quite a camping fan himself.  When Muir was 30, for example, he explored the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains.

John Muir

Lover of Wild Things

John Muir, a writer and nature lover, co-founded a club whose members work together to take care of nature.  Muir served as the club's president for the rest of his life.  Muir has inspired many people around the world with his writings on the beauty of wilderness and the need to keep it safe for people not yet born.

Every year, April 21 (his birthday) is John Muir Day in California.  Several places in the United States are named after him, and Yosemite is now a national park largely because John Muir worked to make it one.

A Still-Wild Place

The Yosemite Valley, named after the Yosemite Indians who used to live there, is now part of Yosemite National Park.  The scenery of this 747,956-acre park in the Sierra Nevada mountains is simply spectacular.  Set aside as a national park in 1890, the park has some very grand natural features.

Yosemite Valley

For example, Yosemite Valley has many high cliffs and some of the highest waterfalls in the world.  The Mariposa Grove contains hundreds of giant sequoias (redwood trees).  These trees are the world's largest living things, thousands of years old.  Glacier Point has an amazing view of Yosemite Valley and the high country during summer and fall.

The park is also home to dozens of kinds of amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, and birds, including many endangered species like the California bighorn sheep and the southern bald eagle.

At first, California had two parts.  Upper California is the area we know as the state of California.  Baja (BA-ha) California is the peninsula west of Mexico ("baja" is Spanish for "low").  One year after upper California became part of the United States, gold was found there and a gold rush began.

California's nickname, "The Golden State," really fits—not only because of the actual gold found there but, as we have seen, because of the state's many other natural resources.  And these wonders look great on its quarter!

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New Coins for the New Year

The Coins Are Coming!

What's coming in 2005?  The coins are coming!  What coins?  To find out, just check out "The Coins Are Coming" in the Coin News area.  You'll see and read about five new quarters, two new nickels, and two new commemorative silver dollars.

Which states will be honored with new quarters this year?  Who and what will be on the commemorative coins?  What will the new nickels bring us from Lewis and Clark?  What will the new image of Thomas Jefferson look like?  Find the answers to all these questions and more at Coin News!

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Pal's Place:  Nero

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 Nero the Mint Police Dog:

This image shows Nero in a yellow spotlight waving to you.

"I love to wander all around the site, checking that everything's okay, sharing a Coin of the Month with you every once in a while, even playing a game now and then...but most of all, I guard the `About Us' part of the site.  That's my favorite.

"About Us' is where you can find out where H.I.P. Pocket Change comes from, how to use it, and why it's safe to surf here.  If you ever get stuck on how to move around the site or where a cool feature is found, you can get an answer here.

"I even keep a site map so you can see everything at a glance.  And if you ever need to do a school report about a Web site, `About Us' is the place to find a lot of the information you might not even think about when you're just visiting for fun.

"So come visit me and look around next time you're in the neighborhood.  Then you'll know where to go when some pesky question pops up!  YIP!"

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Winter 2005 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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