Experiments are being conducted to bring edge lettering to the new Presidential dollar coins.
Samples of edge-lettered planchets, the same used for Sacagawea dollars, were shown to Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., before he introduced the House version of the Presidential dollar legislation.
The Senate version of the bill was approved by both houses of Congress and signed by President Bush.
?Those original planchets were made to test the suitability of the ?golden dollar? material for the edge lettering process,? said Mint spokesman Michael White. ?The edge lettering will be done during the wash/burnish process, before minting.?
The legislation includes provisions to prevent tarnishing to the planchets and the struck coins. ?As to the anti-tarnish requirement, any treatment applied to the strip will be burned off when planchets are annealed, thus the planchets have to be treated prior to or after coining,? said White.
Olin Brass, a division of Olin Corporation in East Alton, Ill., supplies the U.S. Mint with coinage strip used for blanks for nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and the Sacagawea dollars.
?We have consulted with Olin and other sources and have adjusted our wash/burnish process to reduce tarnish,? said White. ?This treatment will preserve the coins better and the coins will retain the original luster longer than the golden dollars made to date.?