Coins - 2003
The 2003 mint set contained 10 uncirculated coins from the Denver mint and ten from the Philadelphia mint,
including the penny, nickel, dime, half dollar, dollar and the five state quarter coins. Separate envelopes held
the ten coins from each mint.
The 2003 mint set included the fifth year of the US Mint's state quarters program and the fourth
year of the new Sacagawea golden dollar coin.
The two envelopes in the 2003 mint set included a red one for the coins minted in Denver and a
blue one for the Philadelphia minted coins. Within each envelope, two Mylar sleeves held the coins. One sleeve held
the five state quarters while the other held the penny, nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar uncirculated
For the 2003 mint set, the US Mint placed an image of a proud eagle in front of an American flag blowing in
the wind. Both envelopes used the same image, and the image was surrounded by the color for the mint, red
for Denver and blue for Philadelphia.
In addition, the front of each envelope includes "United States Mint" and "2003 Uncirculated Coin
Set." The 50 State Quarters logo displays on the lower left of each envelope.
Look at how the red and blue colors identify each mint and how they make the images appear differently.
2003 Mint Set Package
The backs of the envelopes in the 2003 mint set reflected the colors associated with each
mint - red for Denver and blue for Philadelphia. The US Mint's web site address on each envelope's flap shows in
white against the red or blue.
The contents of each envelope in the 2003 mint set remained consistent except for
the designs. Two Mylar sleeves held the coins, an insert provided information about the coins, and
an inserted card made it easy to order more sets.
From the top left in the picture below, the Denver portion of the 2003 mint set included the US
Mint's red card describing the Denver uncirculated coins, the dominantly red envelope, the red re-order card, the
regular uncirculated coins in the red-edged Mylar and the state quarter uncirculated coins in the black-edged
Similarly, from the top right, the Philadelphia portion of the 2003 mint set contained blue versions of the
materials with the regular uncirculated coins in blue-edged Mylar and the uncirculated state quarters in the
2003 Mint Set Uncirculated Coins
From the obverse (heads) view, the two Mylar sleeves in the 2003 mint set for the Denver minted
coins include the red-edge for the penny, nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar uncirculated coins.
The black-edged Mylar sleeve contained the fifth set of five uncirculated state quarters.
On the right, the dark blue-edged Mylar held the dollar, half dollar, nickel, penny and dime uncirculated coins
from the Philadelphia mint. The white-edged sleeve contained the five uncirculated, Philadelphia-minted state
The separately sealed spaces in each Mylar sleeve protect the uncirculated
coins from each other and from fingerprints. Each space, larger than the coin it holds, allows the
uncirculated coins to move freely while protected.
From the back, the reverse images of the uncirculated coins can be seen through their clear
Mylar protection. The Denver uncirculated coins are on the left with the Philadelphia minted coins on the
2003 Mint Set Insert and Certificate of Authenticity
Each 2003 mint set envelope contained informational inserts. The designs are similar except for
the red and blue colors and the background images for each mint.
The US Mint continued the simple design begun the previous year on the informational inserts. The
design shows an image of the eagle from the Great Seal in red or blue behind the title of the
The red-toned insert belongs to the Denver minted coins with the blue to the Philadelphia uncirculated
Except for the colors and the mention of Denver or Philadelphia, the inside of the inserts in
the 2003 mint set are the same. The inserts discuss the coins included in the set and describe
the fifth year of the 50 state quarters program. The coin specifications for the state quarters show
on the inside.
Denver's insert includes a red font while the Philadelphia was printed in blue.
The back of the two inserts in the 2003 mint set shows the coin specifications of the cent,
nickel, dime, half dollar and dollar uncirculated coins.
The back of both inserts continue with the corresponding red or blue ink.
In the 2003 mint set, the US Mint continued their practice of adding a separate card
for easily ordering additional sets. The red and blue envelopes held the red and blue cards respectively.
(Note: the cards are no longer valid, but they help cushion the coins in each envelope.)
The opposite side of the reorder form suggests the collector order more mint sets for friends and
family and includes the instructions for completing and sending the order to obtain more of the 2003
Larger images of the 2003 mint set
inserts show the contents of the inserts and the coin specifications with more detail.
2003 Mint Set Coins and Metals
The coins of the 2003 Mint Set contained the following metals:
Penny: copper-plated zinc, 2.5% copper; 97.5% zinc
Nickel: 25% nickel; 75% copper
Dime: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Quarter: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Half Dollar: 91.67% copper; 8.33% nickel
Dollar: manganese-brass clad, 88.5% copper, 6% zinc, 3.5% manganese, 2% nickel
Click on Mint Set Population to view the contents of the sets
through the years. Take a look at the overall Mint Set page to see how the mint
set values compare among the sets across the years.
2003 Mint Set Year - News about Coins and the US Mint
(note: the below links to newspapers open in a new window)
Immigrant's signature becomes an American icon
The Union Democrat - March 11, 2003
As Treasurer of the United States, Mexican-born Rosario Marin oversees the money-makers at the US Mint and the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing. She may not be well-known, but her name along with that of the treasury secretary
can be found on billions of currency notes.
Mint director makes change
The Union Democrat - April 23, 2003
Henrietta Holsman Fore champions change in the nation's coins. As director of the US Mint, she oversees the
production of billions of coins each year. She advocates a new look for the circulating coins. Collectors embrace
her ideas; others heatedly prefer the coins as they are.
Treasury plans new nickel
Dayton Business Journal - April 24, 2003
Most people have not seen a nickel different from Jefferson on the front and Monticello on the back, but new
five-cent coins will soon be available. Jefferson remains on the front, but the back of the coin will honor the
Lewis and Clark expedition in celebration of the bicentennial of their adventures.
The $1 million nickel
CNN Money - May 28, 2003
The Liberty head nickel was produced for circulation through 1912. But, a US Mint employee made a few of the coins
with a 1913 date planning to capitalize on collectors' interests. He produced five of the coins. Today, the
whereabouts of four are known. The fifth rare nickel remains lost after a fatal car crash in 1962.
Claims of harassment at US Mint draw probe
Deseret News - June 13, 2003
In Denver, 32 female US Mint employees filed complaints this month for sexual harassment and unequal treatment from
their management. Mint director, Henrietta Holsman Fore sent officials from the Treasury Department to examine the
claims of harassment and discrimination.
Bit by two bits, commemorative state quarters are halfway there
Seattle Pi - November 4, 2003
The 50-state quarter program began with Delaware and will end with Hawaii. This week, it met the halfway point when
the Arkansas state quarter began circulation.
Nickel will feature new 'tails' design in 2004
Herald-Journal - November 5, 2003
To commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the US Mint unveiled two new designs for the
'tails' side of the 2004 five-cent coin. This is the first change in the nickel since 1938 when the Indian and
Buffalo designs were replaced by Jefferson and Monticello.
Nickel getting first makeover in 65 years
The Telegraph-Herald - November 7, 2003
After 65 years with hardly a change, the nickel gets two new designs next year. One design features clasped hands
of friendship, and another shows Lewis and Clark on a keelboat. Jefferson, however, remains on the 'heads'
Mint wants to retain pool of coin designers
Sun Journal - November 29, 2003
With its new Artistic Infusion program, the US Mint seeks a pool of 40 artists it can utilize periodically for coin
designs. The Mint Director said, "We would like to continue the renaissance of coin design in America and infuse it
with new approaches from this century."
Reagan and FDR may soon share the 10-cent coin
National Review - December 10, 2003
Soon, Ronald Reagan dimes could show up in your pocket change. Legislation before Congress proposes a change in the
dime to an image of Ronald Reagan. But, congressional action is not necessary, because the US Mint can decide
administratively to change them.
Turning change into livelihood
The Free Lance Star - December 21, 2003
Twenty-five years ago, Gus Tiso turned his coin hobby into a business. Now, he is one of the top silver dollar
dealers in the nation. Mr. Tiso said that Americans have long been fascinated with the silver dollar even back in
Colonial times. Today, it's the Morgan and Peace dollars people want.
The coin news during the 2003 Mint Set Year included discussions of the new nickel reverse
designs along with the potential for other coin changes as well.