Famous Government Mints: The U.S. Mint (2022)

Famous Government Mints: The U.S. Mint (1)

The U.S. Mint Building in Philadelphia, , PA, one of 6 Mint locations throughout the U.S.A.

Earlier this month we posted an article that provides an overview of government mints around the world, including their history, main functions, and the gold coins, silver coins and bullion they produce. As an extension of this article, we will be taking a more in-depth look at each of the main government mints highlighted, starting with this overview of the U.S. Mint. The United States Mint is the largest operating mint in the world today and it produces gold and silver coins that are highly sought after by coin collectors and investors. The U.S. Mint has been in operation since 1792 and currently operates across six different sites throughout the country, with its headquarters located in Washington, D.C.

(Video) Yellow Fever & the US Mint

In this overview, we will cover the history of the U.S. mint, its functions, facilities, and the types of gold and silver coins and bullion it produces. If you are looking for gold or silver commemorative coins from the U.S. Mint to add to your collection, such as the gold or silver American Eagle and the America the Beautiful series, visit one of our PGS Store locations to view our inventory.

Our numismatic professionals can help you find the U.S. Mint coins you are looking for and we can also offer fair and accurate appraisals for any coins you wish to sell.

History of the U.S. Mint

The U.S. Mint was established in 1792 when Congress passed the Coinage Act which created the mint, set the U.S. dollar as the main currency, and regulated the minting of U.S. currency. The first facility in Philadelphia was the first building officially erected in the United Sates as an act of Congress. The Philadelphia location is currently the largest facility of the U.S. Mint. The headquarters in Washington D.C. does not produce coins or currency.

Upon its creation, the U.S. Mint was part of the State Department but became an independent agency in 1799. The first function of the U.S. Mint was to convert precious metals like gold and silver into standard coins. At this point, anyone could have the U.S. Mint convert their gold and silver bullion into standard coins with very little charge other than the refining costs. The Coinage Act of 1873 ended this practice and put the U.S. strictly on the gold standard. It also made the U.S. Mint part of the Department of the Treasury instead of an independent agency. The U.S. Mint has been under the control of the Treasurer of the United States since 1981 and the currency it produces is strictly for the Treasury.

(Video) The Silver American Eagle

The main mint facility has been the Philadelphia Mint since it opened in 1792, and the first branch mints were established in 1838 in Charlotte, NC; Dahlonega, GA; and New Orleans, LA. The Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints, which minted only gold coins from local gold deposits, were closed at the start of the Civil War. The New Orleans Mint was temporarily closed between 1861 and 1879, and then was closed for good in 1909. The New Orleans Mint produces gold and silver coinage including gold dollars and quarter eagles.

The Manila Mint in the Philippines is the only U.S. Mint facility that has operated outside of the continental United States. This mint was established when the Philippines was a colony of the U.S. in 1920. The Manila Mint operated until 1941 with a three-year hiatus between 1922 and 1925. The Manila Mint produced coins used by residents of the colony.

U.S. Mint Facilities

The U.S. Mint consists of six different facilities including coin producing facilities in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point, as well as non-producing facilities in Washington, D.C. and Fort Knox. The following is an overview of each facility:

  • Philadelphia: This facility is the largest of the U.S. Mint and has been in operation since the establishment of the U.S. Mint in 1792. The current facility is the fourth building for the Philadelphia Mint which began operation in 1969. Almost all official proof coinage was produced at the Philadelphia Mint before 1968. Most coins produced there did not have a mint mark until 1980. The Philadelphia Mint houses the engraving and design departments of the U.S. Mint, as well as the production of the master dies used for producing U.S. coins. The mint mark of the Philadelphia Mint is a “P”.
  • Denver: The Denver Mint was established in 1863 shortly after the discovery of gold in the Denver area. By the start of the 20th century, this mint had annual gold and silver deposits worth more than $5 million. The current Denver facility opened in 1906 and has since been responsible for producing coinage meant for circulation. Working dies for producing coinage are also made at this mint which are used at the Denver facility and at other U.S. Mint locations. The mint mark of the Denver Mint is a “D” which is the same as the Dahlonega Mint, but because the Dahlonega Mint was closed before the Denver Mint began operation, coinage with the “D” mint mark can be distinguished by the year.
  • San Francisco: The San Francisco Mint was established in 1854 during the California Gold Rush. It moved into a new building in 1874 because it grew quickly and could no longer be accommodated in the original building. This second San Francisco Mint facility survived the 1906 earthquake and operated until 1937. The current coin facility has operated ever since, except for a 10-year period between 1955 and 1965. It was reopened in the mid-1960s due to a coin shortage in the U.S. Since 1975, this facility has been used almost exclusively for proof coinage. Coins produced in San Francisco have the mint mark “S”.
  • West Point: The West Point Mint became an official branch of the U.S. Mint in 1988. This facility was preceded by the West Point Bullion Depository that operated from 1937 through 1986. The purpose of the original facility was to store bullion reserves for the U.S. government and it also produced pennies starting in 1973. The current West Point facility still provides storage for bullion reserves and produces mostly proof coinage and commemorative coins including the American Eagle coins in gold, silver, and platinum. The mint mark for West Point is a “W”.
  • Fort Knox: The U.S. Bullion Depository located in Fort Knox, KY is used to store gold and silver bullion reserves for the U.S. and other countries. This facility is considered a branch of the U.S. Mint even though it does not produce any coinage.

Functions of the U.S. Mint

The main responsibility of the U.S. Mint is to produce coinage for circulation. It also produces national medals, collectible coin sets, bullion coins such as the American Eagle, and commemorative coins for national figures and events. The U.S. Mint produces coinage only; the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is responsible for producing paper currency in the United States.

(Video) Government Minted Bullion

The major functions of the U.S. Mint include the following:

  • Production of domestic and foreign coins as well as bullion coins
  • Production of commemorative medals
  • Design and production of congressional gold medals
  • Design, production, and marketing of special coins including commemorative coins and proof coins for collectors
  • Protection and movement of bullion reserves
  • Authorized disbursement of gold and silver
  • Distribution of coins to Federal Reserve Banks

Coins Produced by the U.S. Mint

Famous Government Mints: The U.S. Mint (2)

Silver & Gold American Eagle Bullion Coins are one example of coins produced by the U.S. Mint

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The U.S. Mint produces a number of bullion coins of different designs and denominations, as well as commemorative coins and proof sets that are sought after by coin collectors. The following are some of the coins that collectors can find from the U.S. Mint:

  • Gold Coins: The U.S. Mint produces a number of gold coins that are made and sold to coin collectors. These gold coins range in composition from one-tenth of an ounce to one full ounce and consist of either 22 or 24 karat gold. These coins are also available in proof and uncirculated finishes. The U.S. Mint does not sell gold coins directly to the public. To purchase gold bullion coins, you must go through a certified coin dealer. Gold coins are produced at the West Point Mint and include the American Buffalo, American Eagle, and American Liberty coins.
  • Silver Coins: The silver coins produced by the U.S. Mint are produced for collectors and are available in proof and uncirculated finishes. These coins are produced in three denominations, including quarters, half dollars, and dollars. Their composition ranges from 1 to 5 ounces of silver. Most of these silver coins contain 99% pure silver except for the commemorative silver dollars that typically consist of 90% silver and 10% copper. Silver coins from the U.S. Mint include the America the Beautiful series quarters and commemorative silver dollars that are produced in Philadelphia and silver American Eagles that are produced at West Point.
  • Palladium Coins: The U.S. Mint recently added the 2018 American Eagle One Ounce Palladium Proof Coin produced at West Point to their catalog. Currently, this is the only palladium coin offered by the U.S. Mint and it must be purchased through a coin dealer.
  • Platinum Coins: The U.S. Mint offers two platinum coins, the platinum American Eagle and the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence 2018 Platinum Proof Coin, both of which are produced at West Point. These coins are 99.9% platinum and must be purchased through a reputable coin dealer.
  • Commemorative Coins: The commemorative coins offered by the U.S. Mint are authorized by Congress to honor important American events, people, institutions, and places. These coins are the only coins produced by the U.S. Mint that raise money for important causes. The money raised from commemorative coins has been invested into museums, preservation of historical sites, maintenance of national monuments, and other important programs. Commemorative coins are typically produced in gold and silver and are only available for a limited time in limited quantity. The commemorative coins for 2018 include the Breast Cancer Awareness gold and silver dollars and the World War I Centennial silver dollar.

The U.S. Mint has a rich history and produces some of the most popular gold and silver coins sought after by collectors. As the largest mint in the world, it produces tens of billions of coins each year including coins for circulation, commemorative coins and bullion coins. Understanding the functions of the U.S. Mint will give you some further insight into the collectible coins produced by the mint.

If you are looking to add American commemorative or bullion coins to your collection, make sure you visit a certified coin dealer like PGS Gold & Coin. We have a large inventory of gold and silver bullion coins as well as commemorative coins from the U.S. Mint. Our numismatic professionals are happy to assist you in locating a specific coin for your collection. We offer fair and accurate appraisals for those looking to sell their coin collections. Visit one of our three to view our inventory or get an appraisal.

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What is the most famous mint? ›

Today the United States Mint is largest mint manufacturer in the world, operating across six sites and producing as many as 28 billion coins in a single year. Its largest site is the Philadelphia Mint which covers 650,000 square feet and can produce 32 million coins per day.

What is the oldest U.S. Mint? ›

On April 2, 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, establishing the first national mint in the United States. Congress chose Philadelphia, what was then the nation's capital, as the site of our first Mint.

Where are the 4 U.S. mints located city and state? ›

San Francisco, CA – Production Facility. Denver, CO – Production Facility. West Point, NY – Production Facility. Fort Knox, KY – Bullion Depository.

What are the 3 mints in the US? ›

There are today four United States mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point. The bullion depository at Fort Knox is also part of the Mint system. On October 19, 1995 — a typical day — the mint produced 30 million coins worth about one million dollars.

How many US mints have there been? ›

There are currently four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point.
United States Mint.
Agency overview
FormedApril 2, 1792
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
Headquarters38°54′01″N 77°01′25″W Washington, D.C., U.S.
6 more rows

What is the rarest U.S. minted coin? ›

The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar

The 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar may sit atop the rankings of the most expensive coin ever sold, at least for now. Some experts believe that it was the first silver dollar struck by the U.S. Mint.

What is the most valuable U.S. minted coin? ›

What American coins are the most valuable? The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is the most valuable American coin at $20,165,100. The second-place spot goes to 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar worth $13,280,850. And third place goes to the 1787 Brasher Doubloon at $9,986,500.

How much is a 1964 Mint worth? ›

USA Coin Book Estimated Value of 1964-PD Uncirculated Mint Set is Worth $67 or more in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Click here to Learn How to use Coin Price Charts.

What does the O mint mark stand for? ›

The 8 mint marks used to distinguish coins not minted in Philadelphia (in the chronological order of their first coinage) are: D for the Dahlonega Mint (production of coins started on February 12, 1838), C for the Charlotte Mint (March 27, 1838), O for the New Orleans Mint (May 8, 1838), S for the San Francisco Mint ( ...

Are all S mint mark coins proofs? ›

All Proof coins since 1968 have been struck at the San Francisco Mint and feature the coveted “S” mint mark. Proofs are the highest quality coins struck by the U.S. Mint.

What was the first coin minted in the United States? ›

The Fugio cent, also known as the Franklin cent, is the first official circulation coin of the United States. Consisting of 0.36 oz (10 g) of copper, it was designed by Benjamin Franklin and minted only in 1787.

What mints are native to North America? ›

Mentha canadensis is a species of mint native to North America (from the Northwest Territories to central Mexico) and the eastern part of Asia (from Siberia to Java).

What are the white mints called? ›

A "scotch mint", "pan drop", granny sooker or "mint imperial" is a white round candy with a hard shell but fairly soft middle, popular in Great Britain and other Commonwealth nations and in Europe. Scotch mints were traditionally spheroids, more recently moving toward a larger, discoid shape.

How many Federal Reserve mints are there? ›

Mint (Off-site) operates four minting facilities; however, only two - Denver, Colorado and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - create circulating coins that are distributed by the Federal Reserve System. The two remaining minting facilities include the San Francisco Mint in California and the West Point Mint in New York.

What is the most popular mint brand? ›

This statistic shows the brands of breath mints / strips / sprays used most often in the United States in 2020. The data has been calculated by Statista based on the U.S. Census data and Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS). According to this statistic, 35.75 million Americans used Altoids in 2020.

Which mint has best taste? ›

Mentha spicata: Spearmint is the quintessential mint and can be found growing around the world. The leaf flavour is warm and sweet with light menthol notes. Great with potatoes and mint sauces.

Which type of mint has a strong menthol taste? ›

Peppermint. Intensely peppery, peppermint is loaded with menthol, which creates a bracingly cool sensation in the mouth. Used commonly in toothpaste and chewing gum, peppermint is sometimes used to flavor ice cream or to stand up to chocolate in baked goods. But it is not the most popular culinary mint.

What year of Dimes are worth money? ›

#1 — 1964 Copper-Nickel Clad Roosevelt Dime

The 1964 clad Roosevelt dime is a rare coin with only a handful of specimens, and these are worth four figures or more.

What year nickels are worth money? ›

What years of nickels are worth money? Many years of nickels are worth money, but the 1913 Liberty Head V is the most valuable nickel. You can find a range of nickels worth money in many years, including 1880, 1885, 1919, 1920, 1926, 1927, 1936, 1937, 1942, and 1964.

How much is a Susan B Anthony dollar coin worth 1979? ›

1979 D Susan B Anthony Coin Value

According to the NGC Price Guide, as of November 2022, a Susan B Anthony Coin from 1979 in circulated condition is worth between $1.05 and $1.35. However, on the open market 1979 D Silver Dollars in pristine, uncirculated condition sell for as much as $1950.

Which U.S. Mint burned down? ›

This is the story of how the United States Mint building at Fifth and Market streets was saved by its employees during the Great Earthquake and Fire.

Are pennies with no mint mark valuable? ›

The short answer is sometimes. Certain coins without mint marks are extremely valuable, but it's essential to watch out for the coins that were altered or damaged by someone outside the mint. Here are several rare coins without mint marks that hold a much higher value than the original minted face value.

When did the U.S. stop making mints? ›

The United States Mint (Mint) today announced it will forgo the production and sales of Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars in 2022. This calculated pause is directly related to the global pandemic's impact upon the availability of silver blanks from the Mint's suppliers.

How much is the 2022 Maya Angelou quarter worth? ›

USA Coin Book Estimated Value of 2022-D Maya Angelou American Women Quarter is Worth $0.56 to $1.14 or more in Uncirculated (MS+) Mint Condition. Click here to Learn How to use Coin Price Charts. Also, click here to Learn About Grading Coins.

Is it illegal to own a 1933 Double Eagle coin? ›

Currently, with the exception of the one sold on July 30, 2002, 1933 double eagle coins cannot be the legal possession of any member of the public, as they were never issued and hence remain the property of the United States government.

What coins are in high demand? ›

Now any collector can sell coins online. The most sought-after coins, based on demand and value, are 1822 Half Eagle, 1796 Liberty Cap Cent, 1838- O Half Dollar, 1344 Edward III Gold “Double Leopard” Florin, 1829 Capped Head Left Half Eagle, and 1794 Liberty Cap Half Cent.

What is the most popular US coins to collect? ›

Top Coins to Collect
  • Walking Liberty Half Dollar. ...
  • 50 State Quarters. ...
  • Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle. ...
  • Two-Cent Coin. ...
  • Silver Peace Dollar. ...
  • Rare, Key Date Coins. ...
  • High-Grade Coins. ...
  • Bullion Coins. Another coin that could be a great investment is a bullion coin.
28 Oct 2020

What makes a 1972 Kennedy Half Dollar rare? ›

The FG refers to the initials of designer Frank Gasparro, normally found on the reverse below the right leg of the eagle. On some 1972-D half dollars, these initials are missing. The design element is likely missing because the dies were ground down at the U.S. Mint to remove clash marks.

What is a 1776 to 1976 Bicentennial half dollar worth? ›

According to the NGC Price Guide, as of November 2022, a Kennedy Half Dollar from 1776-1976 S in circulated condition is worth between $3.25 and $3.65.

Are any Kennedy half dollars worth anything? ›

Kennedy half-dollar coins are not very rare and most of them are worth only their face value of 50 cents. However, some are more valuable, depending on the year they were minted and their condition. For example, a Kennedy half-dollar coin minted in 1970 and in uncirculated condition is worth about $8.

What does the D on a penny mean? ›

Pennies were, confusingly, abbreviated to 'd'. This is because the Latin word for this coin was 'denarius'.

What is the D mint mark on a penny? ›

A mint mark is a letter or other symbol that identifies the mint at which a given coin was made. On most U.S. coins, the mint mark will be a D (for the Denver or Dahlonega mint), an S (for San Francisco), P was used (for Philadelphia), CC (for Carson City.) or a W (for West Point).

What is a 1943 zinc penny worth? ›

They are worth about 10 to 13 cents each in circulated condition and as much as 50 cents or more if uncirculated.

How much is a wheat penny worth? ›

Most wheat pennies in good condition will be worth about $10 on average and are fairly easy to find and purchase. Of course, the rarest wheat pennies carry higher premiums and will cost you, well, a pretty penny. Here are some of the most valuable wheat pennies updated as of July 2022.

What's special about the 2009 penny? ›

In 2009, the U.S. Mint made four special penny designs to celebrate Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday. It was also the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln penny, which the Mint first made in 1909. The image of Lincoln remained on the obverse (heads) of all four cents in the new program.

What is the oldest Mint in the United States? ›

On April 2, 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, establishing the first national mint in the United States. Congress chose Philadelphia, what was then the nation's capital, as the site of our first Mint.

What is the oldest minted coin? ›

According to different scholars, the Lydian stater is considered the world's oldest coin still around. Made of a mix of gold and silver called electrum, these early coins were minted around 600 BCE in the kingdom of Lydia in the modern country of Turkey. These coins often featured a lion with a sunburst.

What is the oldest coin still in circulation? ›

The oldest coin still in circulation is the 10-centimes coin, produced by Federal Mint Swissmint (Switzerland) since 1879. The 10 centimes coins minted from 1879 onwards have had the same composition, size, design and are still legal tender and found in circulation.

What is the best mint flavor? ›


Spearmint or Common mint is probably number one when it comes to culinary uses. It has narrow and green leaves with a pleasing scent, milder than peppermint. The herb is also known as Lamb mint because of its special uses in lamb and potato dishes.

What is the most common mint plant? ›

The most common and popular mints for commercial cultivation are peppermint (Mentha × piperita), native spearmint (Mentha spicata), Scotch spearmint (Mentha x gracilis), and cornmint (Mentha arvensis); also (more recently) apple mint (Mentha suaveolens).

Which mint candy is best? ›

  • ALTOIDS Arctic Peppermint Mints, 1.2-Ounce Tin (Pack of 8) ...
  • Altoids Classic Peppermint Breath Mints, 1.76-Ounce Tin (Pack of 12) ...
  • LIFE SAVERS Wint-O-Green Breath Mint Bulk Hard Candy, Party Size, 44.93 oz Bag (Pack of 2)

Why is the Perth Mint famous? ›

Designed by George Temple Poole, our original building is one of Perth's most impressive colonial-era monuments. In recognition of the quality of the architect's work, we possess the highest classification from the National Trust. The building was also the first to be entered on the State's heritage register.

What is the most Mintiest mint? ›

Red-Stemmed Doublemint also known as Mentha xgracilis 'Madalene Hill' is the mintiest-tasting mint in that it combines the flavors of both spearmint and peppermint.

What is the sweetest mint? ›

On the savory side, spearmint is usually the mint of choice, however when it comes to sweet, peppermint is the herb of choice as it pairs well with chocolate and citrus flavors.

What mint is native to North America? ›

Mentha canadensis is a species of mint native to North America (from the Northwest Territories to central Mexico) and the eastern part of Asia (from Siberia to Java).

What is the original mint plant? ›

Mentha spicata, (Granny's Original Mint) Herb Plant.

What type of mint is sold in supermarkets? ›

Spearmint and peppermint are the two most common and widely available of the many mint species. Of the two, spearmint is the one almost always sold in grocery stores and markets.

What is the number 1 candy sold? ›

Consumers are expected to spend $3.1 billion on Halloween candy this year, a new record. America's favorite Halloween candy is Reese's Cups, followed by Skittles and M&Ms. Those top three favorites remain unchanged from 2021.

Is eating mint candy good for you? ›

cautions not to eat too much of it. “Peppermint candies are a nutritionally poor food, containing high levels of sugar without any vitamins or minerals.

What is the most popular candy of all time? ›

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the No. 1 selling candy brand in the United States, consisting of white fudge, milk, or dark chocolate cups filled with peanut butter. They were invented by H.B. Reese after he founded the H.B. Reese Candy Company in 1923.

Does the Philadelphia mint still exist? ›

The United States Mint is located at 151 N. Independence Mall East, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (on 5th Street between Arch Street and Race Street).

How much is the great Aussie coin hunt worth? ›

The Great Aussie Coin Hunt 2022 $1 Unc Set is an astonishing $47. That's just $1.81c per coin!
Great Aussie Coin Hunt 2022 $1 26-Coin Set with Folder.
Country of IssueAustralia
MetalAluminium Bronze
1 more row

Why did the US Mint stop making a $0.20 coin? ›

The American twenty-cent piece is a coin struck from 1875 to 1878, but only for collectors in the final two years. Proposed by Nevada Senator John P. Jones, it proved a failure due to confusion with the quarter, to which it was close in both size and value.


1. History of American Coinage: Did You Know?
(U.S. Money Reserve)
2. US Quarter Minting Process
(Coin Community)
3. Minting Gold (6/5/13)
(Nightly Business Report)
5. Monty Python - The Black Knight - Tis But A Scratch
(el toro)
6. Field Trip to the Money Factory

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