WASHINGTON – The United States Mint announced today it will begin selling the First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins on August 1, 2003, at 12:00 noon (E.D.T.). The $10 gold, $1 silver and half dollar clad coins commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ historic flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903. Maximum mintages of 100,000 gold, 500,000 silver and 750,000 clad First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins are authorized by law.

The program’s $10 gold coin obverse, designed by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Donna Weaver, features a frontal portrait of Orville and Wilbur Wright, with the inscription “Orville & Wilbur Wright” and “First Flight Centennial” appearing below the portrait. The $1 silver coin obverse, rendered by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Jim Ferrell, features a profile portrait of the Wright brothers, based on the classic design by George T. Morgan first used on the Congressional Medal awarded to Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1909.

The obverse of the half dollar clad coin, designed by United States Mint sculptor/engraver John Mercanti, features a dramatic perspective looking upward at the Wright Monument atop its star-shaped base on Big Kill Devil Hill. The inscription “Wright Monument” appears below the image.

The First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins feature a common reverse theme, depicting various perspectives of the 1903 Wright Flyer as it flew near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The silver reverse, designed by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Norman E. Nemeth, features incused inscriptions, while the gold and clad reverses, designed by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Donna Weaver, bear relief inscriptions.

During the program’s pre-issue sales period – August 1 through September 26, 2003 – coins may be purchased at a discount. The proof gold coin is $350, the uncirculated gold coin is $340, the proof silver coin is $33, the uncirculated silver coin is $31, the proof clad coin is $12.50, and the uncirculated clad coin is $9.75. To qualify for pre-issue prices, orders must be postmarked no later than September 26, 2003. After the pre-issue period, the proof gold coin is $375, the uncirculated gold coin is $365, the proof silver coin is $37, the uncirculated silver coin is $33, the proof clad coin is $13.50, and the uncirculated clad coin is $10.75. The gold coins will feature the West Point mint mark, and the silver and clad coins will bear the Philadelphia mint mark.

Surcharges of $35 on the sale of each gold coin, $10 surcharge on the sale of each silver coin, and $1 surcharge on the sale of each clad coin are authorized to be directed to the First Flight Centennial Foundation for the purposes of repairing, refurbishing and maintaining the Wright Monument on the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Available surcharges will also be used by the First Flight Centennial Foundation to expand and maintain the visitor center and other facilities at the Wright Brothers’ National Memorial Park, including providing educational programs and exhibits for visitors.

Customers can purchase First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins online through the United States Mint’s secure website at www.usmint.gov, or by calling toll-free 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468) 8:00 a.m. to midnight, 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., Monday through Friday. Mail orders may be sent to United States Mint, P.O. Box 382618, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-8618 (Attention: Order Processing). A shipping and handling fee of $3.95 per order will be added to all orders. Please allow six to eight weeks for shipping.

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