This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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Upgrading the public tour at the Philadelphia Mint was the focus of two days of meetings there Sept. 14-15 by Mint officials and representatives of Quatrefoil, a Laurel, Md., company that has been hired to do the job.
Cost is expected to be $3.5 million to $4 million, said Tom Jurkowsky, U.S. Mint Director of Public Affairs, most of which will pay for new interactive, video and static displays.
A founding partner of Quatrefoil, Abbie Chessler, said it was her vision to bring the public to the actual production floor of the Philadelphia Mint for at least part of the tour.
“You get to see the real thing,” she said, “not make believe.”
She planned to emphasize the fact that Philadelphia is the “real place where coins are made.”
The old tour had not materially changed since the current Philadelphia Mint building was opened in 1969.
For anyone who has taken the tour, Chessler said she would “give them a really good reason to come back.”
She said the new tour, which will be designed and built over the next 18-24 months, would be “very dynamic, very interactive and very exciting.”
Jurkowsky explained that Quatrefoil was chosen from a field of 10 companies that had responded to a Mint request for proposals.
Quatrefoil has done work for the Fort Worth Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility public tour as well as for the Smithsonian Institution.
“We’re extremely delighted that we are finally getting this off the ground,” Jurkowsky said.
In recent years, 250,000 people annually have taken the tour of the Philadelphia Mint.