WASHINGTON – The United States Mint announced today that it will begin selling the 2004 Thomas Alva Edison Commemorative Coin on February 11, 2004, at 12:00 noon (E.T.). The silver dollar coin commemorates the 125th anniversary of Edison’s invention of the light bulb and his many other contributions.

“It is impossible to imagine the world without the contributions of Thomas Edison,” said United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore. “His practical application of scientific principles resulted in thousands of products we see in use today.”

As authorized by Public Law 105-331, the United States Mint will produce a maximum mintage of 500,000 silver dollar coins in proof and uncirculated condition. Equal portions of the surcharge proceeds from the sale of these coins are authorized to be paid to the Museum of Arts and History (Port Huron, Michigan), the Edison Birthplace Association (Milan, Ohio), the National Park Service (West Orange, New Jersey), the Edison Plaza Museum (Beaumont, Texas), the Edison Winter Home and Museum (Fort Myers, Florida), the Edison Institute (Dearborn, Michigan), the Edison Memorial Tower (Edison, New Jersey), and the Hall of Electrical History (Schenectady, New York). The surcharge proceeds are to be used for the expansion of educational programs, construction of a museum, and preservation of materials.

The obverse of the coin, by United States Mint sculptor/engraver Donna Weaver, features a portrait of the great inventor in his laboratory, holding an early experimental light bulb. The reverse design, by United States Mint sculptor/engraver John Mercanti, features a rendering of Edison’s 1879 light bulb, with rays emanating from it. The image is encircled above by the inscription “125th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIGHT BULB” and below by the inscriptions “1879-2004,” “United States of America,” “One Dollar,” and “E Pluribus Unum.” The composition of the coin is 90% silver and 10% copper.

During the program’s pre-issue sales period – February 11 to March 26, 2004 – the proof coin is $33, and the uncirculated coin is $31. To qualify for pre-issue prices, orders must be postmarked no later than March 26, 2004. After the pre-issue period, the proof coin is $37 and the uncirculated coin is $33. The price of each includes a $10 surcharge, and both the proof and uncirculated coins will bear the mint mark of the United States Mint at Philadelphia.

Customers can purchase the 2004 Thomas Alva Edison Commemorative Coin 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 $4.95 will be added to each order. Please allow four to six weeks for shipping.

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