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Fun Facts
Reeded edge of coin
1.  "Clipping" is not just an offense in football...  Before they were made by machines, coins weren't perfectly round. They also didn't have reeded (grooved) edges. This made it easy for people to shave off pieces of precious metal. After "clipping" a coin this way, people then illegally spent the coin for its original value. Some people were even put to death for this crime in 17th century London.
2.  Five-cent coins minted from 1942 to 1945 aren't nickels...  Why? Because they don't have any nickel in them! During that time, the United States Mint used a special wartime alloy instead—copper (56%), silver (35%), and manganese (9%). That way all the saved nickel could be used in the war effort.
Obverse and reverse of 1999 New Jersey Quarter.
3.  The whole country makes money when the Mint makes money...  Why? The answer is "seigniorage"—the difference between the cost of making a coin and its face value. (For example, it costs only a few cents to make a quarter, yet its face value is 25 cents.) This profit runs the Mint and puts extra funds into the country's Treasury—funds then spent on education, health care, defense, and other services for the nation.
4.  Rain or shine, you can visit the Philadelphia Mint. That wasn't always true...  Back in 1825, you couldn't visit when it was raining. The following is from the official rules and regulations that were adopted that year: "Visitors may be admitted by permission of an officer to see the various operations of the Mint on all working days except Saturdays and rainy days."
Obverse and reverse of 1998 Lincoln Penny.
5.  Nickels, dimes, and quarters are pickled before they're minted...  It might sound strange, but the blanks used to make these coins really are pickled. They're not soaked in vinegar, though, like the pickled cucumbers you get on hamburgers. Instead, these copper-nickel blanks are soaked in a special chemical solution. This "pickling" washes and polishes the blanks.
6.  In 1694, copper elephants lured people to America...  How? That year, England minted "Elephant Tokens"—two half pennies meant to increase interest in the colonies. On the reverse one penny said, "God Preserve New England"; the other, "God Preserve Carolina and the Lord Proprieters."
Obverse and reverse of 1998 Silver Dollar.
7.  You can hold a Ferris wheel in the palm of your hand...  How? It's easier than you might think. So is turning cartwheels with your fingers. Both "Ferris wheel" and "cartwheel" are nicknames for silver dollars!
8.  Long before the 1999 quarter, there was another New Jersey coin...  What was it? The "New Jersey Cent." This copper coin was minted from 1786 to 1788—more than 200 years before the New Jersey quarter became the third coin in the 50 State Quarters® Program.
Obverse of Silly Head Cent
9.  Honest, you'd be lucky to have a silly head! Here's why...  "Silly Head" is the popular name for a U.S. cent minted in 1839. The coin got this nickname because most people thought the picture of Miss Liberty on the obverse (front) looked silly.
10.  At one time, people used ant noses to buy food and clothes in China...  It's true—in 600 B.C. China, people used ant noses to buy food and clothes. "Ant Nose" is one name for the copper money they used. (In case you're wondering, these coins are bigger than the name suggests!)

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