United States Mint
Overview
 
The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 for the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to conduct its trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 and commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

. The Mint was created by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. Per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States; it was the first building of the Republic raised under the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. Today, the Mint's headquarters is in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 It operates mint facilities in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce in the United States. This led the Founding Fathers of the United States to make an establishment of a continental national mint a main priority after the ratification of the Constitution of...

, Denver
Denver Mint
The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The mint is still operating and producing coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark...

, San Francisco
San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint, and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874. This building, the Old United States Mint, also known affectionately as The Granite Lady,...

, and West Point
West Point Mint
The West Point Mint Facility was erected in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Originally it was called the West Point Bullion Depository. At one point it had the highest concentration of silver of any U.S. mint facility, and for 35 years produced circulating pennies...

 and a bullion depository at Fort Knox
Fort Knox
Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. The base covers parts of Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade counties. It currently holds the Army Human Resources Center of Excellence to include the Army Human Resources Command, United States Army Cadet...

.

The Mint was made an independent agency in 1799.
Encyclopedia
The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

 for the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 to conduct its trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

 and commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

. The Mint was created by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. Per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States; it was the first building of the Republic raised under the Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. Today, the Mint's headquarters is in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 It operates mint facilities in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce in the United States. This led the Founding Fathers of the United States to make an establishment of a continental national mint a main priority after the ratification of the Constitution of...

, Denver
Denver Mint
The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The mint is still operating and producing coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark...

, San Francisco
San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint, and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874. This building, the Old United States Mint, also known affectionately as The Granite Lady,...

, and West Point
West Point Mint
The West Point Mint Facility was erected in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Originally it was called the West Point Bullion Depository. At one point it had the highest concentration of silver of any U.S. mint facility, and for 35 years produced circulating pennies...

 and a bullion depository at Fort Knox
Fort Knox
Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. The base covers parts of Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade counties. It currently holds the Army Human Resources Center of Excellence to include the Army Human Resources Command, United States Army Cadet...

.

The Mint was made an independent agency in 1799. It converted precious metals into standard coin for anyone's account with no seigniorage
Seigniorage
Seigniorage can have the following two meanings:* Seigniorage derived from specie—metal coins, is a tax, added to the total price of a coin , that a customer of the mint had to pay to the mint, and that was sent to the sovereign of the political area.* Seigniorage derived from notes is more...

 charge beyond the refining
Refining
Refining is the process of purification of a substance or a form. The term is usually used of a natural resource that is almost in a usable form, but which is more useful in its pure form. For instance, most types of natural petroleum will burn straight from the ground, but it will burn poorly...

 costs. Under the Coinage Act of 1873, the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury
United States Department of the Treasury
The Department of the Treasury is an executive department and the treasury of the United States federal government. It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue...

. It was placed under the auspices of the Treasurer of the United States
Treasurer of the United States
The Treasurer of the United States is an official in the United States Department of the Treasury that was originally charged with the receipt and custody of government funds, though many of these functions have been taken over by different bureaus of the Department of the Treasury...

 in 1981. Legal tender
Legal tender
Legal tender is a medium of payment allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency is a common form of legal tender in many countries....

 coins of today are minted solely for the Treasury's account.

History

The first Director of the United States Mint
Director of the United States Mint
The Director of the United States Mint is the head of the United States Mint. The position is currently vacant following the resignation of Edmund C. Moy in January 2011....

 was renowned scientist David Rittenhouse
David Rittenhouse
David Rittenhouse was a renowned American astronomer, inventor, clockmaker, mathematician, surveyor, scientific instrument craftsman and public official...

. The position was held most recently by Edmund C. Moy
Edmund C. Moy
Edmund C. Moy is an American businessman and former government official. From 2006 to 2011 he served as the 38th Director of the United States Mint.-Early life and education:...

 until his resignation effective January 9, 2011. Henry Voigt was the first Superintendent and Chief Coiner, and is credited with some of the first U.S. coin designs. Another important position at the Mint is that of Chief Engraver
Chief Engraver of the United States Mint
The Chief Engraver of the United States Mint is the person who is in charge of coin design and engraving of dies at the United States Mint, the U.S. agency created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and placed within the Department of State that produces circulating coinage for the United...

, which has been held by such men as Frank Gasparro
Frank Gasparro
Frank Gasparro was the tenth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, holding this position from February 23, 1965 to January 16, 1981. Before that, he was Assistant Engraver. He designed both sides of the Susan B...

, William Barber, Charles E. Barber
Charles E. Barber
Charles Edward Barber was the sixth Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1879 until his death in 1917. He succeeded his father, William Barber, in the position...

, James B. Longacre, and Christian Gobrecht
Christian Gobrecht
Christian Gobrecht was the third Chief Engraver of the United States Mint from 1835 until his death in 1844. He was responsible for designing the famous "Seated Liberty" designs, which were in turn the direct inspiration for the design of the Trade Dollar...

.

The Mint has operated several branch facilities
Branch mint
-United States:The original and main Mint of the United States Mint, has been located in Philadelphia , since 1793. Its current facility, Philadelphia's fourth, opened in 1969.U.S...

 throughout the United States since the Philadelphia Mint
Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce in the United States. This led the Founding Fathers of the United States to make an establishment of a continental national mint a main priority after the ratification of the Constitution of...

 opened in 1792, in a building known as "Ye Olde Mint". With the opening of branch mints came the need for mint mark
Mint mark
A mint mark is an inscription on a coin indicating the mint where the coin was produced.-History:Mint marks were first developed to locate a problem. If a coin was underweight, or overweight, the mint mark would immediately tell where the coin was minted, and the problem could be located and fixed...

s, an identifying feature on the coin to show its facility of origin. The first of these branch mints were the Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the largest city in the U.S. state of North Carolina and the seat of Mecklenburg County. In 2010, Charlotte's population according to the US Census Bureau was 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States based on population. The Charlotte metropolitan area had a 2009...

, North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 (1838–1861), Dahlonega
Dahlonega, Georgia
Dahlonega is a city in Lumpkin County, Georgia, United States, and is its county seat. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,242....

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

 (1838–1861), and New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

, Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 (1838–1909) branches. Both the Charlotte
Charlotte Mint
The Charlotte Mint was a branch of the United States Mint that came into existence on March 3, 1835 during the Carolina Gold Rush. The first gold mine in the United States was established in North Carolina at the Reed Gold Mine...

 (C mint mark) and Dahlonega
Dahlonega Mint
The Dahlonega Mint was a branch of the United States Mint. It was located at 34°31.8′N 83°59.2′W at Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia. Coins produced at the Dahlonega Mint bear the "D" mint mark. That mint mark is used today by the Denver Mint, which opened many years after the Dahlonega Mint...

 (D mint mark) Mints were opened to facilitate the conversion of local gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 deposits into coinage, and minted only gold coins. The Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 closed both these facilities permanently. The New Orleans Mint
New Orleans Mint
The New Orleans Mint operated in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a branch mint of the United States Mint from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. During its years of operation, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination, with a total face value of over...

 (O mint mark) closed at the beginning of the Civil War (1861) and did not re-open until the end of Reconstruction in 1879. During its two stints as a minting facility, it produced both gold and silver coinage in eleven different denominations, though only ten denominations were ever minted there at one time (in 1851 silver three-cent pieces, half dime
Half dime
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.Some numismatists consider the denomination to be the first coin minted by the United States Mint under the Coinage Act of 1792, with production beginning on or about July 1792...

s, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and gold dollars
United States dollar coin
Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver, and base metal versions. The term silver dollar is often used for any large white metal coin issued by the United States with a face value of one dollar, although purists insist that a dollar is not silver unless it contains some...

, Quarter Eagle
Quarter Eagle
The quarter eagle was a coin issued by the United States with a denomination of two hundred and fifty cents, or two dollars and fifty cents. It was given its name in the Coinage Act of 1792, as a derivation from the US ten-dollar eagle coin...

s, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles).

A new branch facility was opened in Carson City, Nevada
Carson City, Nevada
The Consolidated Municipality of Carson City is the capital of the state of Nevada. The words Consolidated Municipality refer to a series of changes in 1969 which abolished Ormsby County and merged all the settlements contained within its borders into Carson City. Since that time Carson City has...

, in 1870; it operated until 1893, with a three-year hiatus from 1886 to 1888. Like the Charlotte and Dahlonega branches, the Carson City Mint
Carson City Mint
The Carson City Mint was a branch of the United States Mint in Carson City, Nevada. Built at the peak of the silver boom, 50 issues of silver coins and 57 issues of gold coins minted here between 1870 and 1893 bore the "CC" mint mark...

 (CC mint mark) was opened to take advantage of local precious metal deposits, in this case, a large vein of silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

. Though gold coins were also produced there, no base metal coins were.

In 1911 the Mint had a female acting director, Margaret Kelly
Margaret Kelly (civil servant)
Margaret Kelly was an American civil servant, notable for being the first female Assistant Director of the United States Mint, at that time the highest official position held by a woman....

, at that point the highest paid woman on the government's payroll. She stated that women were paid equally within the bureau.

A branch of the U.S. mint (Manila Mint
Manila Mint
The Manila Mint was a branch of the United States Mint, located in Manila, now the capital city of the Philippines.Originally constructed from 1857 through 1861 under the auspices of the Spanish government, the "Casa de Moneda" began issuing gold coinage in the denominations of one, two, and four...

) was established in 1920 in Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, which was then a U.S. colony. To date, the Manila Mint is the only U.S. mint established outside the continental U.S. and was responsible for producing coins for the colony (one, five, ten, twenty and fifty centavo
Centavo
Centavo is a Spanish and Portuguese word, derived from the Latin centum, meaning "one hundred", and the suffix -avo, meaning "portion" or "fraction"...

 denominations). This branch was in production from 1920 to 1922, and then again from 1925 through 1941. Coins struck by this mint bear either the M mintmark (for Manila) or none at all, similar to the Philadelphia mint at the time.

A branch mint in The Dalles, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, was commissioned in 1864. Construction was halted in 1870, and the facility never produced any coins, although the building still stands.

Philadelphia

The Mint's largest facility is the Philadelphia Mint
Philadelphia Mint
The Philadelphia Mint was created from the need to establish a national identity and the needs of commerce in the United States. This led the Founding Fathers of the United States to make an establishment of a continental national mint a main priority after the ratification of the Constitution of...

, one of four active coin-producing mints. The current facility at Philadelphia, which opened in 1969, is the fourth Philadelphia Mint. The first was built in 1792, when Philadelphia was still the U.S. capital, and began operation in 1793. Until 1980, coins minted at Philadelphia bore no mint mark, with the exceptions of the Susan B. Anthony dollar
Susan B. Anthony dollar
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States coin minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999. It depicts women's suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony on a dollar coin. It was the first circulating U.S. coin with the portrait of an actual woman rather than an allegorical female figure such as...

 and the wartime Jefferson nickel. In 1980, the P mint mark was added to all U.S. coinage except the cent
Cent (United States coin)
The United States one-cent coin, commonly known as a penny, is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. The cent's symbol is ¢. Its obverse has featured the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth. From 1959 to 2008, the reverse...

. Until 1968, the Philadelphia Mint was responsible for nearly all official proof coinage. Philadelphia is also the site of master die production for U.S. coinage, and the engraving and design departments of the Mint are also located there.

Denver

The Denver branch
Denver Mint
The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The mint is still operating and producing coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark...

 began life in 1863 as the local assay office
Assay office
Assay offices are institutions set up to assay precious metals, in order to protect consumers. Upon successful completion of an assay, Assay offices are institutions set up to assay (test the purity of) precious metals, in order to protect consumers. Upon successful completion of an assay, Assay...

, just five years after gold was discovered in the area. By the turn of the century, the office was bringing in over $5 million in annual gold and silver deposits, and in 1906, the Mint opened its new Denver branch
Denver Mint
The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906. The mint is still operating and producing coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark...

. Denver uses a D mint mark and strikes coinage only for circulation, although it did strike, along with three other mints, the $10 gold 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Commemorative. It also produces its own working dies, as well as working dies for the other mints. Although the Denver and Dahlonega mints used the same mint mark D, they were never in operation at the same time, so this is not a source of ambiguity.

San Francisco

The San Francisco branch
San Francisco Mint
The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint, and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874. This building, the Old United States Mint, also known affectionately as The Granite Lady,...

, opened in 1854 to serve the goldfields of the California Gold Rush
California Gold Rush
The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The first to hear confirmed information of the gold rush were the people in Oregon, the Sandwich Islands , and Latin America, who were the first to start flocking to...

, uses an S mint mark. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new facility in 1874. This building, one of the few that survived the great earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other...

 of 1906, served until 1937, when the present facility was opened. It was closed in 1955, then reopened a decade later during the coin shortage of the mid-60s. In 1968, it took over most proof-coinage production from Philadelphia, and since 1975, it has been used solely for proof coinage, with the exception of the Anthony dollar
Susan B. Anthony dollar
The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States coin minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999. It depicts women's suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony on a dollar coin. It was the first circulating U.S. coin with the portrait of an actual woman rather than an allegorical female figure such as...

 and a portion of the mintage of cents in the early 1980s. (These cents are indistinguishable from those minted at Philadelphia.)

West Point

The West Point branch
West Point Mint
The West Point Mint Facility was erected in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York. Originally it was called the West Point Bullion Depository. At one point it had the highest concentration of silver of any U.S. mint facility, and for 35 years produced circulating pennies...

 is the newest mint facility, gaining official status as a branch mint in 1988. Its predecessor, the West Point Bullion Depository, was opened in 1937, and cents were produced there from 1973 to 1986. Along with these, which were identical to those produced at Philadelphia, West Point has struck a great deal of commemorative and proof coinage bearing the W mint mark. In 1996, West Point produced clad dimes, but for collectors, not for circulation. The West Point facility is still used for storage of part of the United States' gold bullion reserves, and West Point is now the United States' only production facility for gold, silver and platinum American Eagle coins
American Eagle bullion coins
American Eagle bullion coins are produced by the United States Mint.* American Silver Eagle* American Gold Eagle* American Platinum Eagle...

.

Fort Knox

While not a coin production facility, the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox
Fort Knox
Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. The base covers parts of Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade counties. It currently holds the Army Human Resources Center of Excellence to include the Army Human Resources Command, United States Army Cadet...

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, is another facility of the Mint. Its primary purpose is for storage of the United States and other countries' gold and silver bullion reserves.

Functions

The Mint manages extensive commercial marketing programs. The product line includes special coin sets for collectors, national medals, American Eagle
American Eagle bullion coins
American Eagle bullion coins are produced by the United States Mint.* American Silver Eagle* American Gold Eagle* American Platinum Eagle...

 gold, silver and platinum bullion coins, and commemorative coin
Commemorative coin
Commemorative coins are coins that were issued to commemorate some particular event or issue. Most world commemorative coins were issued from the 1960s onward, although there are numerous examples of commemorative coins of earlier date. Such coins have a distinct design with reference to the...

s marking national events such as the Bicentennial of the Constitution. The Mint's functions include:
  • Producing domestic, bullion and foreign coins;
  • Manufacturing and selling national commemorative medals;
  • Designing and producing the congressional gold medals;
  • Designing, producing, and marketing special coinage;
  • Safeguarding and controlling the movement of bullion;
  • Disbursing gold and silver for authorized purposes;
  • Distributing coins from the various mints to Federal Reserve Banks.


Note that the Mint is not responsible for the production of paper money; that is the responsibility of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of which is paper currency for the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve itself is...

.

In 2000, the Mint was responsible for the production of 28 billion coins
United States coinage
United States coinage was first minted by the new republic in 1792. New coins have been produced every year since then and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today circulating coins exist in denominations: $0.01, $0.05, $0.10, $0.25, $0.50, and $1.00. Also minted...

. See United States Mint coin production
United States Mint coin production
* In 1916, both the Mercury and Barber designs were used for the 10¢ coins.* In 1916, both the Standing Liberty and Barber designs were used for the 25¢ coins.* In 1921, both the Peace and Morgan designs were used for the $1 coins....

 for annual production values of each coin.

Responsible for protection of Mint facilities, employees and reserves is the United States Mint Police
United States Mint Police
The United States Mint Police is one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It is responsible for the protection of the United States Treasury and the United States Mint.-Official duties:...

, a federal law enforcement agency.

Mintmarks

With the exception of a brief period in 1838 and 1839, all coins minted at U.S. branch mints prior to 1909 displayed that branch's mintmark
Mint mark
A mint mark is an inscription on a coin indicating the mint where the coin was produced.-History:Mint marks were first developed to locate a problem. If a coin was underweight, or overweight, the mint mark would immediately tell where the coin was minted, and the problem could be located and fixed...

 on their reverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

. Larger denominations of gold and silver coins were labeled with the Dahlonega, Charlotte, and New Orleans mintmarks (D, C, and O, respectively) on the obverse (just above the dates) in those two years. Carson City
Carson City Mint
The Carson City Mint was a branch of the United States Mint in Carson City, Nevada. Built at the peak of the silver boom, 50 issues of silver coins and 57 issues of gold coins minted here between 1870 and 1893 bore the "CC" mint mark...

, which served as a U.S. branch mint from 1870 to 1893, produced coins with a CC mintmark. The Manila Mint
Manila Mint
The Manila Mint was a branch of the United States Mint, located in Manila, now the capital city of the Philippines.Originally constructed from 1857 through 1861 under the auspices of the Spanish government, the "Casa de Moneda" began issuing gold coinage in the denominations of one, two, and four...

 (the only overseas U.S. mint, which produced U.S. Territorial and U.S. Commonwealth coinage) used the M mintmark from 1920-1941.

Between 1965 and 1967, as the Mint labored to replace the silver coinage with base metal coins, mintmarks were temporarily dispensed with (including on the penny and nickel) in order to discourage the hoarding of coins by numismatists
Numismatics
Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the...

. Mintmarks were moved to the obverse of the nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar in 1968, and have appeared on the obverse of the dollar coin since its re-introduction in 1971.
  • Cent
    Cent (United States coin)
    The United States one-cent coin, commonly known as a penny, is a unit of currency equaling one one-hundredth of a United States dollar. The cent's symbol is ¢. Its obverse has featured the profile of President Abraham Lincoln since 1909, the centennial of his birth. From 1959 to 2008, the reverse...

    : Unlike all other coins, which had their mintmarks on the reverse until 1964, the Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln
    Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

     cent has always had its mintmark on the obverse below the date to the right of Lincoln's bust since its 1909 introduction.

  • Nickel
    Nickel (United States coin)
    The nickel is a five-cent coin, representing a unit of currency equaling five hundredths of one United States dollar. A later-produced Canadian nickel five-cent coin was also called by the same name....

    : The mintmark was located near the rim of the obverse side, clockwise from the date from 1968 to 2005, to the right of Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

    's bust. The redesigned obverse of the nickel which appeared starting in 2006 has its mintmark below the date on the lower right. Many earlier nickels from 1938 to 1964 are still in circulation, and their mintmarks can be found on the reverse to the right of Monticello
    Monticello
    Monticello is a National Historic Landmark just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia; it is...

    , with the exception of the 1942-1945 war nickels cited elsewhere in this article.

  • Dime
    Dime (United States coin)
    The dime is a coin 10 cents, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. The dime is the smallest in diameter and is the thinnest of all U.S...

    : The mintmark is above the date on the obverse side to the right of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's bust.

  • Quarter dollar
    Quarter (United States coin)
    A quarter dollar, commonly shortened to quarter, is a coin worth ¼ of a United States dollar, or 25 cents. The quarter has been produced since 1796. The choice of 25¢ as a denomination, as opposed to 20¢ which is more common in other parts of the world, originated with the practice of dividing...

    : The mintmark is to the right of George Washington
    George Washington
    George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

    's bust.

  • Half dollar
    Half dollar (United States coin)
    Half dollar coins have been produced nearly every year since the inception of the United States Mint in 1794. Sometimes referred to as the fifty-cent piece, the only U.S. coin that has been minted more consistently is the cent.-Circulation:...

    : The mintmark is below the center of John F. Kennedy
    John F. Kennedy
    John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

    's bust, above the date.

  • Eisenhower Dollar
    Eisenhower Dollar
    The Eisenhower dollar is a $1 coin issued by the United States government from 1971–1978...

    (1971-1978): The mintmark is below the center of Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Dwight D. Eisenhower
    Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

    's bust, above the date.

  • Susan B. Anthony dollar
    Susan B. Anthony dollar
    The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States coin minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999. It depicts women's suffrage campaigner Susan B. Anthony on a dollar coin. It was the first circulating U.S. coin with the portrait of an actual woman rather than an allegorical female figure such as...

    (1979-1981, 1999): The mintmark is found to the left of Susan B. Anthony
    Susan B. Anthony
    Susan Brownell Anthony was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women's rights movement to introduce women's suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women's Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President...

    's bust.

  • Sacagawea dollar
    Sacagawea dollar
    The Sacagawea dollar is a United States dollar coin that has been minted every year since 2000. These coins have a copper core clad by manganese brass, giving them a distinctive golden color. The coin features an obverse by Glenna Goodacre. The reverse design has varied, from 2000 to 2008...

    (2000-2008): The mintmark is just below the date. In 2009 the date, mintmark and E pluribus unum were moved to the rim of the coin.

  • Presidential dollar, first issued in 2007: The mintmark and date are found on the rim of the coin.

Due to a shortage of nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the composition of the five-cent coin was changed to include silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

. To mark this change, nickels minted in Philadelphia (which had featured no mintmarks until then) displayed a P in the field above the dome of Monticello
Monticello
Monticello is a National Historic Landmark just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia; it is...

. Nickels from San Francisco were minted in the same fashion, and Denver nickels reflected the change in 1943. This new mintmark location continued until 1946, when the nickel returned to its pre-war composition.

The P mintmark, discontinued after the war, reappeared in 1979 on the Anthony dollar. By 1982, it had appeared on every other regular-issue coin except the cent, which still bears no P mintmark. The circulating cents struck in the 1980s at San Francisco (except proofs) and West Point also bear no mintmark, as their facilities were used to supplement Philadelphia's production.
Given the limited numbers produced at each facility, they might have been hoarded as collectibles.

See also

  • Coins of the United States dollar
  • United States commemorative coin
    United States commemorative coin
    Commemorative coinage of the United States consists of coins that have been minted to commemorate a particular person, place, event, or institution. They are legal tender but are not intended for general circulation....

  • Early United States commemorative coins
    Early United States commemorative coins
    The Early United States commemorative coins traditionally begins with the 1892 Colombian Half dollar and extends through the 1954 Booker T. Washington issue. The profits from the sale of commemorative coins was often used to fund a specific project...

  • Modern United States commemorative coins
    Modern United States commemorative coins
    The United States resumed minting commemorative coins in 1982 for the 250th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. Modern commemoratives tend to be restricted to events, buildings and personalities of national or international importance...

  • American Arts Commemorative Series medallion
  • United States Mint coin sets
    United States Mint coin sets
    The United States Mint has released annual collections of coins most years since 1936.-United States Mint 50 State Quarters Proof Set:With the launch of the 50 State Quarters Program in 1999, the Mint began marketing proof sets of just the five quarters released in the given year...

  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing
    Bureau of Engraving and Printing
    The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of which is paper currency for the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve itself is...


External links

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