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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 2006 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.

A Founder to Remember

Image shows Peter standing before both Ben Franklin commemorative coins.

Does the date January 17th ring a bell?  If that's your birthday, you're in good company.  It's also Benjamin Franklin's birthday!  Franklin was a publisher, scientist, one of our nation's founding fathers, and more.  And since 2006 is the 300th year since he was born, the United States Mint is celebrating by creating two commemorative coins in his honor!

Image shows a paper half dollar and a metal continental, both with Franklin’s chain circle design.  The links are labled with the states’ names and We Are One is written in the middle.

One coin pictures Franklin doing his legendary kite-and-key experiment on the front and a cartoon drawing on the back that he published in his newspaper.  The other coin shows his face on the front and a colonial coin on the back.  The coin's chain looks just like paper money that Franklin designed (see the Fun Fact).

Peter the Mint Eagle is excited to tell you about one of these commemorative coins.  Find out why he likes Ben Franklin so much when he presents this coin as his pick for January's Coin of the Month.  Then go to the "Commemorative Coins" page for even more about the man and his coins!

Paper currency reproduced with permission from
The Department of Special Collections, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

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Come Fly a Kite!

Image shows Franklin's Try-N-Fly Kite.

Speaking of Ben Franklin, you won't want to miss our newest game, "Franklin's Try-N-Fly."  Franklin once published in his newspaper a cartoon that he probably drew.  Titled "Join, or Die," the cartoon showed a snake cut in pieces, the pieces labeled with the initials of the colonies.  Only when the pieces were joined could the snake be alive and healthy.

His goal was to have the colonies work together against attacks from other nations.  Your goal is to put the snake together.  But first you'll need to collect the power from passing clouds to keep lightning from striking the pieces of the snake.  Once the pieces are safe, you can put the pieces together and try to beat your own best time.  "Franklin's Try-N-Fly" is on the Games page.

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Three Ways to Have Fun with 2006 Quarters

Image: Games update 2006

No need to wait for all five of this year's quarters to make their way to your nearest store before you can have fun with the new designs.  Instead, just go to the Games page!  All five have are being added to your favorite quarter-related activities during January.

  • "Cents of Color" for coloring fun
  • "PuzzleMint" for jigsaw puzzle fun
  • "Quarter Explorer" for state trivia fun

Get a head start on your state trivia knowledge by reading about these five states and seeing their quarters on the 50 State Quarters® Program pages.  These pages also have Goldie's coloring icon, so the designs can be printed and colored (make sure you have help or permission).

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The Nickel Returns

Image shows Jefferson and Monticello and the words 2006 Nickel.

After two years of new nickel designs, the Westward Journey Nickel Series returns to Monticello.  The final design in this series will appear on the nickel in 2006 as the "Return to Monticello" Nickel.  Where can you get the story behind the coin?  As always, the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change has the answer!  In fact, there are two places you can go for information:

  • The New Nickels page.  At the bottom, a section has been added that describes the "Return to Monticello" Nickel.  Coloring pages for both sides of this coin are linked here as well.
  • Come March, Flip will present this nickel as his pick for Coin of the Month.

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Quarter of the Quarter:  Nevada

Image show a portion of the Nevada Quarter reverse; highlighted in violet.

The galloping wild horses on Nevada's quarter add lots of movement to this design.  The horses also moved Plinky to choose this quarter as the Coin of the Month for February!  Read all about it!

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