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The History and Locations of the United States Mints
by D. L. Crane

The United States mints were created by congress in 1792 and its main function is to produce coinages for circulation in the United States. It is responsible for the design and development of coinages and bank notes mainly for the use of the people in the United States of America. There are currently five minting facilities in the United States involved in producing all circulating coins and currency in the country, from gold and silver coins to commemorative coins.

Philadelphia Mint – it is the first minting facility created, during the American Revolution, the newly formed congress decided to create a minting facility to produce the currency for the new nation. The Philadelphia Minting facility was first located at 7th and Arch streets and was called “Ye old mint”. The first currencies made were coins in denominations of 10, 5, 2.50, half dime and half cents. Coins minted from this facility have a “P” mint mark for Philadelphia to indicate where it was minted.

Denver Mint – this minting facility started as an Assay office in Denver Colorado in 1863 after gold was discovered five years earlier. An Assay office is where precious metals are tested for purity; this was its sole function. It was not until 1903, when the Assay office in Denver was converted into a minting facility. Its current location is in West Colfax Avenue and Delaware street, and is currently producing 50 million coins a day. “D” is the minting facility’s mint mark.

San Francisco Mint – During the gold rush in California during the late 1840’s, the San Francisco Mint was created to speedily use the gold mined in the area to produce coins. The minting facility outgrew its small brick house and relocated in fifth and Mission streets, San Francisco. Production continued until it was temporarily halted due to the great earthquake of 1906, its sturdy design saved it from destruction. After which the San Francisco mint facility again relocated to its current location at 155 Herman Street.

West Point Mint – This minting facility was erected in 1937 inside the US Military facility. It was formerly a storage vault for silver bullions. After which it was converted into a minting facility that produces gold and silver commemorative coins. This minting facility was also the first to strike the first bi-metallic gold and platinum coin in 2000.

There are other minting facilities that were erected like the minting facility at Carson City Nevada, Dahlonega, New Orleans and the Manila mint, the only overseas US minting facility erected. Though these are now closed, most of the memorable coins were minted in these facilities; one example is the famous Morgan Silver dollar.

Currency is the nation’s lifeblood and all economic transactions are made through currency. Every country has its ways and means in creating currency; the United States mints are responsible for the production of all circulating coins in the country. Each coin is painstakingly designed by artisans that focus in creating memorable coins that will embody the American Nation.

Mint Marks

United States Proof Sets

United States Mint Sets

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