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Ericson coin proceeds presented

Five years after coins went on sale, proceeds from the sale of the 2000 Leif Ericson Millennium Commemorative Coin Program have finally made it to their destination.

On Nov. 15, David Lebryk, Acting Director of the U.S. Mint, presented a symbolic check for $1,728,980 to Steingrímur Hermannsson, chairman of the board of trustees of the Leifur Eiríksson Foundation, in a ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. 

As designated in the original legislation, surcharges from the program will finance student exchanges between the United States and Iceland.

Sales of the program were as follows: U.S. silver proof dollar, 58,612; U.S. silver uncirculated dollar, 28,150; the two-coin U.S. & Iceland silver proof set, 86,136; total silver for the U.S., 172,898; Iceland silver proof, 12,947; Iceland silver proof in Icelandic language, 3,000; total silver for Iceland, 102,083; and total sold, 274,981.

Mint officials were asked why it took so long for the Mint to forward the surcharges from the sale of these coins to the Leifur Eiriksson Foundation.
Becky Bailey, public affairs director for the Mint, said, “The funds were forwarded to the foundation in May after it was determined that the foundation met the eligibility requirements (having raised the required matching funds).

“The Commemorative Coin Reform Act Amendment of 2003 limited to two years the amount of time a recipient organization has to raise matching funds.

For those programs already in existence (Leif Ericson and Black Patriots), they had two more years to raise the matching funds from the time of the amendment’s enactment: 2003. The foundation also only needed to raise an amount equal to or greater than the surcharge amount.”

More information can be found on the Mint’s Web site at http://www.usmint .gov/mint_programs/commemoratives/index.cfm?action=Ericson.

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