United States Mint Director and Governor Launch Minnesota Quarter

ST. PAUL, MN – United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore, Governor Tim Pawlenty, state celebrities and thousands of Minnesotans gathered today at the State Capitol to launch the Minnesota commemorative quarter-dollar coin, celebrating the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” The reverse design on the new quarter depicts a tree-lined lake with two people fishing, a loon on the water, and a textured outline of the State surrounding its nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” The second quarter to be released in 2005, it is the 32nd coin to be issued in the United States Mint’s popular 50 State Quarters® Program.

“The images on your quarter beckon us to Minnesota” Director Fore told the crowd. “We see a loon gliding on a tree-lined lake as two friends fish nearby. This is the first 50 States Quarter that celebrates fishing, and many of us would like to be in that little boat, baiting our hooks, listening to the haunting call of the loon.”

Joining Director Fore and Governor Pawlenty were Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Carol Molnau, Minnesota Secretary of State Mary E. Kiffmeyer, Minnesota Education Commissioner Alice Seagren, TV star Ron Schara, Minnesota Twins Great Kent Hrbek and Minnesota Vikings Great Ed McDaniel. Following the launch ceremony, coin collectors of all ages exchanged their dollar bills for rolls of Minnesota quarters.

The Lakeville High School Band, the Nativez Inc. drummers and the Minnesota Boys Choir provided the entertainment. Attractions for school children included history, science, math, and reading-oriented learning activities and a play about the importance of saving money. On the eve of the Minnesota quarter launch ceremony, Director Fore hosted a Coin Collectors Forum to discuss what the American people would like to see in their coinage.

In selecting the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” design, Governor Pawlenty chose the design recommended to him by the Minnesota State Quarter Dollar Commission. Other designs considered were the “State with Symbols,” including a snowflake, loon and plow; “Mississippi River Headwaters;” and the “Fisherman/Lake Recreation” theme.

Lesson plans about the Minnesota Quarter, the 50 State Quarters Program, and the Westward Journey Nickel Series™, may be downloaded free from the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ website at http://www.usmint.gov/kids. Teachers, parents and students can also explore the many other teaching aids, and the games, puzzles and stories for kids that show how coins are “history in your pocket.”

The Minnesota quarter is available in two-roll sets (40 coins per roll), including one roll each from the United States Mint at Philadelphia and Denver, and in bags of 100 and 1,000 coins, at the United States Mint website at www.usmint.gov. The two-roll sets are $32.00, bags of 100 coins are $35.50, and bags of 1,000 coins are $300.00.

For a digital image of the Minnesota quarter,

VIDEO AVAILABLE

Satellite Feed of B-Roll of Minnesota State Quarter Launch

Satellite feed date: April 12, 2005; Feed time: 3:30 PM-4:00 PM; IA5; Transponder 5; DL 3800V

April 13, 2005; Feed Time: 1:00 PM-1:15 PM; IA6; Transponder 16; DL 4020H

This b-roll produced by the United States Mint will contain: 1.Minting of the Minnesota quarter; 2. Scenes from the launch event at the State Capitol in St. Paul; 3. Sound bites of officials from the event, launching the new Minnesota quarter.

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