SF Mint unveils new coins

August 6, 2008 4:50:43 PM PDT
U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy introduced a new commemorative set of gold coins at a news conference in San Francisco this morning.

The coins, dubbed the "8-8-08 Double Prosperity Set," are the second installment in the U.S. Mint's Celebration Series designed to appeal to coin collectors and non-coin collectors alike.

Moy said Asian Americans will have a "great affinity and liking" for the set, as the number "8" is associated with prosperity in many Asian cultures and the triple "8" only occurs once every century.

The set consists of two half-ounce gold coins: a 22-karat coin with an American eagle on one side and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' figure of Liberty on the other, and a 24-karat coin with an American buffalo on one side and a portrait of an American Indian on the other.

"They're more than just denomination, they're more than investments," Moy told reporters at the U.S. Mint at San Francisco, where attendees temporarily surrendered their loose change to U.S. Mint police before entering the tightly secured building. "They teach us about who we are as a country."

Moy said the first Celebration Series coin was introduced earlier this year in conjunction with the Lunar New Year and 18,000 have been sold, generating $20 million in revenue.

The U.S. Mint at San Francisco is one of six locations throughout the country operated by the U.S. Mint, and manufacturers proofs, collector's and commemorative coins, not making coins for general circulation.

The process for manufacturing proof coins in San Francisco includes inspecting for quality, treating and conditioning, and dying and stamping the coins, which are never touched by bare hands and are packaged in a robotics room.

The building opened its doors for today's news conference, but does not offer public tours.

"Part of it is because of the high-quality work we do here," Moy said, mentioning that competitors from other countries would like to see the process.

The 8-8-08 Prosperity Set will sell for $1,228.88 and is available at www.usmint.gov or by calling (800) USA-MINT.


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