Two New Silver Dollars Celebrate 300th Anniversary of Franklin’s Birth

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint announced today that it will begin taking orders for the 2006 Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Coins at 12:00 noon (ET) on January 17, 2006, the birthday of the great statesman, inventor, scientist, philosopher and patriot.

As authorized by Public Law 108-464, dated December 21, 2004, the United States Mint is producing two silver dollar designs, with a mintage limit of 250,000 coins for each design, to mark the 300th anniversary of Franklin’s birth in 1706. Surcharges from the sale of these coins are authorized to be paid to the Franklin Institute for purposes of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission.

The first coin, “Scientist,” features on its obverse an image of a younger Franklin and recalls the groundbreaking success of his experiments into the nature of electricity in June of 1752. The reverse design reproduces Franklin’s famous political cartoon, featuring a severed snake, and is meant to convey Franklin’s belief that colonial unity was truly a matter of life and death, titled “Join, or Die.”

The second coin in the program, “Founding Father,” reflects a more familiar image of Benjamin Franklin, capturing the great patriot and statesman in the autumn of his years. The reverse of the second coin, featuring a 1776 Continental Currency dollar, showcases the contributions made by Franklin to the spirit of early American coinage and currency design.

During the period from January 17 to 5:00 p.m. (ET) on March 14, 2006, Benjamin Franklin Proof Silver Dollars will be available for $35 each and the uncirculated silver dollars for $33 each. After 5:00 p.m. (ET) on March 14, the proof silver dollars will be offered for $39 each and the uncirculated silver dollars for $35 each. Shipments of Benjamin Franklin Silver Dollars are expected to begin in March.

A Benjamin Franklin Coin & Chronicles Set may also be ordered beginning January 17. This set, priced at $65, contains a “Scientist” uncirculated silver dollar; a collection of four stamps honoring Franklin from the United States Postal Service; a reproduction of Poor Richard’s Almanack from the Government Printing Office, created from an original edition (courtesy of The Library Company of Philadelphia); and an intaglio print, executed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, honoring Franklin’s contribution to the drafting of the Declaration of Independence. The Benjamin Franklin Coin & Chronicles Set is expected to begin shipping in April 2006, after the official release of the U.S. postage stamps that are included in the set.

Later this year, the 2006 United States Mint American Legacy Collection™ will offer a “Founding Father” proof silver dollar and proof versions of all 2006-dated circulating coins. This set will also include a proof version of a coin from the second commemorative coin program for 2006 – if one is authorized by Congress.

Images of both coins issued for the Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Coin Program can be found at www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#2006Franklin, by clicking on “Commemoratives.”

Customers may order the Benjamin Franklin Commemorative Coins beginning January 17, 2006, at 12:00 noon (ET) by using the United States Mint’s secure website, www.usmint.gov, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order will be added to all domestic orders.

Contact:
Press inquiries: Michael White (202) 354-7222
Customer Service information: (800) USA MINT (872-6468)