The United States Mint is a government institution within the Department of Treasury in charge of the whole United States coinage system. They even oversee bullion trade and transactions and do not print paper money. The United States Mint was founded in 1792 with the Philadelphia Mint, and the Denver Mint, San Francisco Mint, and West Point Mint have since been added. The US Mint also maintains offices and official status in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, and Fort Knox.
The United States Mint was formed with the passing of Act 2, 1792, and the Mint’s subsequent bureau was established on February 12, 1873, over a decade later. The Mint was founded to manufacture coins for public circulation in the country, but it gradually became one of the primary sources for making bullion and numismatic coins.
The American Eagle and American Buffalo are two of the most well-known bullions ever issued by the United States Mint. These coins and national medals were also available in silver, platinum, and palladium.
What Will I Learn?
- History of the United States Mint
- Facilities of the United States Mint
- Coins Minted by the US Mint
- United States Government Bullion by the US Mint
History of the United States Mint
The first-ever US coin was the Fugio Cent for the circulating coinage, developed from the Continental Dollar. But the current US mint was established by the Coinage Act of 1792 when the United States Mint was part of the Department of State, and Philadelphia would be the first-ever building for the Mint. But later, the Mint changed its path and added several facilities to go with the growing country.
Until 1799, the US mint was an independent agency within the State Department. They would sell precious metal bullion with just a refinery charge, and anyone would be able to access the coins. Under the Coinage Act of 1873, the US mint became an official part of the Treasurer of the United States, and it acts as the mints parent agency, the first Mint of the US. And thus, the legal tender coins are produced and minted for the treasury account.
The Philadelphia Mint started with one building and later had to branch out. The 1972 building in Philadelphia is known as “Ye Olde Mint,” Later, the Mint came up with several mint marks for each of its branches in the state.
Charlotte and Dahlonega only produced gold coins as they were opened to facilitate gold conversion in those areas. But Dahlonega and North Carolina branches were closed in 1961, during the Civil War. In 1870, an extension of the US Mint was opened in Carson City, Nevada, to incorporate the gold deposits into gold coins right after the civil war ended. But the facility was closed off in 1893.
The Manila Mint, still the foreign branch of the United States Mint, was established in the Philippines in 1920. The Mint produced coins until 1941 and had its mint mark. Another branch of the United States Mint was established in Dalles, Oregon, in 1864, but the facility never produced any coins.
Mint Marks for US Mint Branches
All the mint coins produced were given a mint mark or sign, except for a brief period between 1838 and 1839. Before 1908, all the mint marks were visible on the coin’s reverse side. And in those times, Philadelphia mint had branches. So the branches would decide on the mint mark.
The mint mark on nickels, dimes, quarters and a half dollars vanished over time as silver coinage was replaced by base metal coinage services. This was done to stop the hoarding of metal coins. But later, it was reintroduced in 1971.
New Orleans: O
Carson City: CC
Denver : D
San Francisco: S
West Point, W
Facilities of the United States Mint
Currently, the US mint has four different production facilities. The front Knox facility is a storage space, and the Washington one is a selling point.
This is the largest facility and first Mint of the US mint and has been there since the beginning of the US mint. It was established in 1969, but the facility’s buildings started producing coins in 1792. At that time, Philadelphia was the capital of the United States and the chief coiner location, and it bore no mint mark. In 1980, P was added to all the coins except the cent, and at that point, the Philadelphia Mint was responsible for the proof coins. The facility is for master die production, engraving, and designing of coins.
The US Mint started this branch in 1863, and gold was discovered in Denver. The facility was first a local assay office. But by the 90s, the facility had produced gold and silver products worth five million dollars annually. And thus, in 1906, a fully developed new branch was opened in Denver. Denver uses the D mint mark, and Denver produces working dies for them and also for the other mints.
West Point Mint
The branch of the West Point Mint started in 1988 and was built from the West Point Bullion Depository. Currently, the Mint uses the Mint Mark W and produces a huge number of proof coins and commemorative coins. Previously, the Mint was used for the gold bullion storage reserve, and it is currently a 5 gr producer of American Eagle Coins in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint was established during the California Gold Rush in 1854. The Mint uses the mint mark S. By 1968, the facility produced most of the proof coins previously made in Philadelphia. All the America the Beautiful Quarters are produced in this facility.
Coins Minted by the US Mint
Here we include a list of coins for general circulation by the United States Mint.
These are one-cent coins from the United States Mint. This is one-hundredth of the one-dollar coin. Copper and zinc are used to produce the coins.
- Flowing Hair Chain
- Flowing Hair Wreath
- Liberty Cap, Large Cents
- Classic head large cents
- Braided Hair cents
- Flying Eagle small cent
- Indian Head coins
- Lincoln cents
This is a five-cent coin struck by the US mint and is made of copper and nickel. The first nickels were produced in 1866 and weighed around 5 grams.
- Silver Half dime
- Sheild Nickel
- Liberty Head or V nickel
- Native American Head Nickel
- Westward journey commemorative.
This is a ten-cent coin, which means they are one-tenth of the US dollar. Currently, the dimes are made of copper and nickel; previously, silver was used instead of nickel.
- Draped bust Dime
- Capped bust dime
- Liberty dime seated
- Barber dime
- Mercury dimes
- Roosevelt dimes
These are 25 cents and feature George Washington. The quarter dollars are made of copper and nickel.
- Draped bust
- Capped bust quarter dollars
- Seated Liberty
- Barber quarters
- Isabella Quarter
- Standing Liberty Quarter
These are 50-cent pieces and made of copper and nickel. The first half dollar was minted in 1794.
- Kennedy Half dollar
- Draped Bust Half Dollar
- Seated Liberty
- Half-dollar Walking Liberty
United States Government Bullion by the US Mint
United States Mint has listed several bullion products to choose from with the engraving of weight, purity, face value, and ” E Pluribus Unum.” Here we include a list of them.
- American Gold Eagle
- American Buffalo
- American Liberty
- National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
- Negro league baseball
- Barbara Bush coins, etc.
- American Eagle Silver Coin
- Tuskegee American National Historic Site.
- Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
- Negro League baseball, etc.
- First amendment to the US constitution coin
- The preamble to the declaration of independence, etc.
- American Eagle Palladium Coins.
As previously stated, the United States Mint is a binding site for coin transactions, and as such, they have sale centers in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and Denver. Front Knox is presently a storage facility run by the United States Mint, one of the country’s largest. The US Mint provides free public tours; contact them directly.