2005 United States Mint Proof Set & California Official First Day Coin Cover Available March 3

February 23, 2005

WASHINGTON — The United States Mint today announced that the 2005 United States Mint Proof Set® will be released Thursday, March 3, 2005, at 12:01 a.m. (ET) via its online catalog. The set, priced at $22.95, features proof versions of the Lincoln cent, the Westward Journey Nickel Series™ “American Bison” and “Ocean in View” 5–cent coins, the Roosevelt dime, the Kennedy half–dollar and the Golden Dollar, all in one sealed presentation case. A separate presentation case contains proof versions of the commemorative quarter–dollar coins from each state honored this year in the United States Mint 50 State Quarters Program — California, Minnesota, Oregon, Kansas and West Virginia.

Also available March 3 at 12:01 a.m. (ET) via the online catalog is the limited edition of 75,000 California Official First Day Coin Covers, priced at $19.95. The cover features two California commemorative quarter–dollar coins — one each bearing a mint mark from the United States Mint at Philadelphia and Denver.

Customers can begin ordering both products at 8:30 a.m. (ET), Thursday, March 3, via the United States Mint’s toll–free number at 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468).

Proof coins are manufactured by the United States Mint at San Francisco using specially prepared, highly polished dies, and bear the “S” mint mark. Each coin is struck at least twice to ensure the finest detail in a frosted cameo image on a bright, mirror–like background. The sealed cases containing the coins are inserted into specially printed sleeves and are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Struck on January 3, 2005, the first day of mintage, the quarter–dollar coins in the California Official First Day Coin Covers are mounted on a handsome display card with a cancelled 37–cent United States Flag postage stamp. The postmark of January 31, 2005, Yosemite National Park, California, marks the day California quarter dollars were first released to the Federal Reserve Bank and to the public, certifying this limited edition and honoring America’s “Golden State.”

The California quarter–dollar is the 31st in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program, which honors the states in the order that they ratified the Constitution or were admitted into the Union. Five state designs will be issued each year through 2008, at approximately 10–week intervals.

California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 1850, becoming America’s 31st state. The reverse design, by United States Mint Sculptor/Engraver Don Everhart, portrays naturalist and conservationist John Muir admiring Yosemite Valley’s monolithic granite headwall known as Half Dome. Soaring between the naturalist and the mountain is a California Condor. The coin bears the inscriptions “California,” “John Muir,” “Yosemite Valley” and “1850.”

There is no household order limit for the 2005 United States Mint Proof Set or the California Official First Day Coin Cover. Customers may order as many sets as they desire while supplies last. The United States Mint Proof Set and the California Official First Day Coin Cover are also available through the United States Mint’s Subscription Program. For more information about this convenient ordering method, please visit www.usmint.gov.

The 2005 United States Mint 50 State Quarters Proof Set™, featuring proof versions of the 2005 quarters issued under the 50 State Quarters Program, may be purchased separately for $15.95.

Customers can purchase the 2005 United States Mint Proof Set and the California Official First Day Coin Cover online through the United States Mint’s secure website at www.usmint.gov/catalog, or by calling toll–free 1–800–USA–MINT (872–6468) 8:00 a.m.(except for March 3, when phone orders begin at 8:30 a.m.) to midnight (ET), seven days a week. Hearing– and speech–impaired customers may order by calling 1–888–321–MINT (6468) 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday. Also, orders may be mailed to the United States Mint, P.O. Box 382601, Pittsburgh, PA 15250–8601. A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders.

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