Washington — The first silver medal series ever offered by the United States Mint, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System, will be available for sale on July 24, 2003, at 12:00 noon (E.D.T.).
The limited–edition 2003 National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series shares a common obverse honoring President Theodore Roosevelt, the father of the National Wildlife Refuge System, and four successive reverse images highlighting the system’s diversity.
The bald eagle silver medal and a bronze version of the same design will be the first in the series to be offered. The reverse design depicts a bald eagle in flight with a treetop background, and the inscription “BALD EAGLE” at the top right. The three remaining silver medals — depicting an elk, salmon, and canvasback ducks — will be successively released every four to six weeks.
There is no production limit on the bronze bald eagle medal. Production is limited to 35,000 for the silver bald eagle medal, and 25,000 each for the elk, salmon, and canvasback ducks designs.
The silver medals, priced at $29.50 each, are finished in a similar fashion to that of proof coins, which feature distinctive matte–finish artwork on a mirror–finish background. The medals will be the first United States Mint product to use laser technology. The bronze version of the bald eagle design will sell for $4.50.
A portion of the proceeds is authorized to benefit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its conservation efforts. Members of the National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series subscription program will receive each of the silver medals automatically as they become available. The bronze bald eagle medal is not included in the subscription program. Customers interested in subscribing to the program may do so at the United States Mint’s website at www.usmint.gov.
The silver medals are 1.5 inches in diameter with a smooth edge, struck in proof–like condition, encapsulated in plastic and packaged in their own presentation cases with a United States Mint blue velvet finish. The bronze medal, with the same diameter and edge as the silver medals, is packaged in Mylar®. A Certificate of Authenticity from the Director of the United States Mint is also enclosed. The medals will be struck in the Philadelphia, Mint facility but will not bear a mint mark.
Customers can purchase the National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series online through the United States Mint’s secure website at www.usmint.gov, or by calling toll–free 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468) seven days a week, 8:00 a.m. to midnight (E.D.T.). Also, orders may be mailed to the United States Mint, P.O. Box 382601, Pittsburgh, PA 15250–8601. A shipping and handling fee of $3.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders. Hearing– and speech–impaired customers may order by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468).