Partnership with H.E. Harris Makes Official U.S. Mint Products Available to Consumers

Washington, D.C. April 18, 2001 – Creating its first mass-market retail presence, the United States Mint announced today a partnership with H.E. Harris &Co., an Atlanta-based company specializing in collectibles. Just in time for National Coin Week (April 15 -21), the new products are now available nationwide at Barnes and Noble, as well as other major retail stores. The multi-year licensing agreement with H.E. Harris is made possible through a U.S. Mint partnership with The Jim Henson Company.

Coin collecting is once again emerging as a mainstream hobby among Americans of all ages thanks to the popularity of many U.S. Mint programs, such as the 50 State Quarters™ Program. Currently, more than 125 million adult Americans are collecting these new quarters. The new products, manufactured by H.E. Harris, will become a daily reminder to American citizens that the U.S. government can deliver a mainstream product in a creative, enjoyable package for consumers.

“The 50 State Quarters™ Program continues to fascinate Americans,” said Mint Director Jay W. Johnson. “ These six new collecting products from H.E. Harris and the U.S. Mint will add more historical perspective to what is becoming the most collected coin series in U.S. history.”

“These quarters have joined the most popular collectibles in the world, expanding not only coin collecting but also our understanding of the heritage, geography, and diversity of America,” according to David Pickens, Associate Director of the U.S. Mint.

“The quarters appeal to young and old alike. H.E. Harris has done a wonderful job creating books and products for every member of the family,” said Shelley Sanderson, acting Publisher of The Jim Henson Company.

H.E. Harris and the U.S. Mint have created the new “The Official U.S. Mint” line of products not only to meet the needs of new collectors, but also to meet the demands of experienced collectors for durable and archival-quality products.

Six new licensed products will be introduced in April, including a deluxe 3-ring binder that can store all 100 (Philadelphia and Denver issues) of the new quarters, 50 State Quarters educational books about the 1999-2001 quarters, 50 State Quarters Handbook, 50 State Quarters Portfolio, silver plated bookmark-insert your own quarter, a polystyrene snap-lock coin holder and a Complete 100 Hole Collector’s Folder. Additional products are scheduled to hit stores later this spring, including coin albums and folders, E-Z Wraps paper coin wrappers and much more.

“We felt it most appropriate to launch these exciting new products in celebration of our national heritage and fascination with coinage,” said Mary Counts Executive Vice President of Sales for H.E. Harris & Co.

In addition, to being available at major retail stores across the country, these products will be available through the H.E. Harris’ Web site at www.heharris.com.

About H.E. Harris & Co.

Henry Ellis Harris founded the company in 1916 and was its guiding force through most of the 20th century. Harris knew the benefits of coin and stamp collecting were threefold: educational, historical and financial, and he made it his life’s work to bring knowledge of other times and cultures to the American people. Harris’s vision continues to succeed in the 21st century.

About the Jim Henson Company

Established leader in family entertainment for more than 40 years, is a multimedia production company; one of the top character licensors in the industry; a leading publisher of children’s books and home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. The Company is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices and production facilities in New York and London. The Jim Henson Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of EM.TV & Merchandising AG based in Munich, Germany. For more information, please visit The Jim Henson Company Web site at www.henson.com

About the U.S. Mint

The U.S. Mint’s primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint has grown to a Fortune 500-sized manufacturing and international enterprise with more than$3.7 billion in annual revenues and 2,800 employees; it s the world’s largest manufacturer of coins, medals and coin-based consumer products. For more information please visit the U.S. Mint’s Web site at www.usmint.gov.

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