The third coin of 2006 in the United States Mint’s popular 50 State Quarters® Program was released to the public in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, June 14, 2006. Colorado, also nicknamed the "Centennial State," was admitted into the Union on August 1, 1876, becoming our Nation's 38th state. The Colorado quarter depicts a sweeping view of the state's rugged Rocky Mountains with evergreen trees and a banner carrying the inscription "Colorful Colorado." The coin also bears the inscriptions " Colorado" and "1876."
Prior to the launch, the United States Mint hosted a Coin Collectors Forum in a downtown, Denver classroom, featuring United States Mint Deputy Director David Lebryk and Associate Director for Sales and Marketing Gloria Eskridge. Similar forums have been held on the eve of other recent coin launches, and have provided local collectors with the opportunity to engage United States Mint officials in discussions covering a wide range of numismatic issues.
First released in 2004 in response to strong collector demand, the United States Mint is pleased to once again offer the set, now featuring 2006-dated quarters. Just in time for Father’s Day and graduation, this attractive set of fine silver coins makes a great gift for so many memorable occasions.
Presented in a sturdy, clear plastic protective case, this set features all five 2006-dated coins issued in the 50 State Quarters® Program, honoring Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 2005, the United States Mint sold more than 600,000 United States Mint 50 State Quarters Silver Proof Sets, and this year’s set is expected to be just as popular with collectors.
For the first time in its 214-year history, the United States Mint is preparing to strike and sell 24-karat gold coins. Authorized as part of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, the coins will feature the classic and beloved designs of noted sculptor James Earle Fraser on their obverse and reverse. Recreating the images originally prepared for the 1913 Type I five-cent coin, the new American Buffalo 24-karat Gold Coins will be available in both proof and uncirculated condition. A bullion coin for investors will also be offered to the public through a network of wholesalers, brokerage companies, precious metal firms, coin dealers and participating banks. This method provides an effective and efficient distribution, which maximizes the vailability of the coins in local retail markets as well as major investment markets.
Since their debut in 1913, James Earle Fraser’s buffalo and Indian head design have become two of the most admired and respected images to ever grace our Nation’s coinage. They were produced from 1913 to 1938, until the release of the first nickel featuring Thomas Jefferson. In total, more than 1.2 billion were struck by the United States Mint during this time.
James Earle Fraser was born November 4, 1876, in Winona, Minnesota. He studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago, and at the Academie Julian and Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Fraser’s sculpture titled "End of the Trail," completed in 1894, before he was seventeen years old, and considered one of the best-known art pieces in America, won the $1,000 award of the American Art Association in Paris. One member of the Association's jury, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the designer of the $10 and $20 eagle and double eagle coins in 1907 and considered among the greatest of modern sculptors, later asked Fraser to become his assistant.
Featuring a stunning view of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC on its cover, the United States Mint’s 2006 Spring Gift Catalog is ready to be mailed to millions of numismatic collectors around the world. With the inclusion of products showcasing the final coin of the Westward Journey Nickel Series™, the choice of President Jefferson’s shining memorial is both fitting and appropriate.
In keeping with past issues of the United States Mint’s catalog, the Spring 2006 Gift Catalog showcases the full range of American Eagle precious metal proof coins, as well as many of the Agency’s most popular annual collections.
A selection of bronze medals are also offered, including one honoring legendary artist and illustrator Charles M. Schulz and featuring many of his beloved "Peanuts" characters.
Nicknamed the "Granite Lady," the old United States Mint production facility in San Francisco was originally constructed between 1870 and 1874, and opened on November 5, 1874. Built in the Classic Greek Revival style, the formidable structure at Fifth and Mission Streets was one of only a handful of buildings to survive the devastating earthquake and fire of 1906. Thanks to its remarkable construction, and the efforts of United States Mint employees to save the building, the Francisco Old Mint played an integral role in the subsequent rebuilding of San Francisco in the weeks and months that followed the terrifying ordeal. The "Granite Lady" has been depicted by the United States Mint on a medal — image at right.
This is the second commemorative coin program for 2006, following the Benjamin Franklin program, which launched in January and quickly sold out. The San Francisco Old Mint Program is a two-coin program, including a $5 gold coin (100,000 coins) and a $1 silver coin (500,000 coins). The coins authorized under this Act "shall be struck at the San Francisco Mint to the greatest extent possible."
According to the authorizing legislation, the designs featured on these coins "shall be emblematic of the San Francisco Old Mint Building, its importance to California and the history of the United States, and its role in rebuilding San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire."
June is time for wrapping up another school year...testing, grading, graduating...but hopefully you’ll still have time for a State Quarter Day in the Classroom! The Colorado quarter will be released during June, and tools to help your class join the celebration are available on the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ Web site. Just look for the "State Quarter Day in the Classroom" icon on the home page, or click here.
And don’t forget our free lesson plans for all grade levels, for each and every one of the states whose quarters have been released, as well as North and South Dakota (whose coins will be released later this year). Add to that our quarter-related games like Quarter Explorer and PuzzleMint, and kids have tons of fun ways to mine the educational value of the 50 State Quarters® Program.