Mint Unveils First Historic Joint-Issue of U.S./Republic of Iceland Commemorative Coins

Washington, D.C., June 21, 2000 – The United States Mint today announced that the Leif Ericson Millennium Commemorative Coins, celebrating the millennium of the discovery of the New World by Leif Ericson, will be available by mail on June 21, and online at www.usmint.gov beginning June 26.

“This jointly-issued coin set magnificently symbolizes a shared history and friendship with the Republic of Iceland that dates back through the last millennium,” said U.S. Mint Director Jay W. Johnson. “What a beautiful way to celebrate the 1000 years since the discovery of the New World by Leif Ericson, by issuing a first of its kind U.S./Foreign Commemorative Coin Set.” “The Leif Ericson Commemorative Coin is really the perfect millennium collectible,” said David Pickens, Associate Director for Numismatics, “commemorating a 1,000-year anniversary in the year 2000.”

The two beautifully detailed coins, designed respectively by the United States and the Republic of Iceland, are minted by the United States Mint. Both coins are legal tender and are struck from 26.73 grams of 90 percent silver. They come packaged in a handsome satin-lined presentation case with a Certificate of Authenticity.

The coins may be purchased either in a two-coin proof set or separately–United States Proof Silver, United States Uncirculated Silver, or Iceland Proof Silver. The United States Proof Silver and Uncirculated Silver coins display an heroic portrait of the intrepid explorer, Leif Ericson, on the obverse, designed by Mint engraver/sculptor John Mercanti, and a depiction of his Viking ship under full sail on the reverse, designed by Mint engraver/sculptor James Ferrell.

The Icelandic Proof Silver coin’s obverse features an image of Stirling Calder’s famous sculpture of Leif Ericson, presented to Iceland by the United States in 1930. The reverse of the coin depicts the eagle, the dragon, the bull and the giant from the Icelandic Coat of Arms. The designer of the coin is Icelandic artist Throstur Magnusson.

Leif Ericson coins are available at a pre-issue price, starting June 21 and ending August 4.

The Proof Silver United States and Proof Silver Republic of Iceland Coins are available at the pre-issue price of $33.00 through August 4, and for $37.00 thereafter. The Uncirculated Silver United States Coin is available at the pre-issue price of $30.00 through August 4, and for $32.00 thereafter. The United States and the Republic of Iceland Two-Coin Set is available at the pre-issue price of $63.00 through August 4, and for $68.00 thereafter. To qualify for pre-issue discount prices, orders must be postmarked or received no later than August 4, 2000.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the coins is authorized to be used by the Leifur Eiríksson Foundation for the purpose of funding student exchanges between students in the United States and the Republic of Iceland.

Customers may order the Leif Ericson Commemorative Coins directly online via the U.S. Mint secure web server at www.USMINT.gov and pay no additional shipping and handling charges. Customers who prefer to fax their orders may download an order form from the web site and fax it to (301) 344-4150, ATTN: Order Processing. Customers may order by telephone by calling 1-800-USA-MINT. Operators are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take orders. Customers may also order by mail; send check or money order to United States Mint, P.O. Box 382614, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-8614. Please allow 8-10 weeks for delivery. Please note, online sales do not begin until June 26, 2000.

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