Exchange Currency

United States Mint

The United States Mint is the Central Bank of Unites States. The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. The Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, and originally placed within the Department of State. 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. Today, the Mint's headquarters are in Philadelphia It operates mint facilities in Denver, San Francisco, and West Point and a bullion depository at Fort Knox. There used to be mints in Carson City and Washington DC.

The Mint was made an independent agency in 1799. It converted precious metals into standard coin for anyone's account with no seigniorage charge beyond the refining costs. Under the Coinage Act of 1873, the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury. It was placed under the auspices of the Treasurer of the United States in 1981. Legal tender coins of today are minted solely for the Treasury's account.


The first Director of the United States Mint was renowned scientist David Rittenhouse. The position was held most recently by Edmund C. Moy 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, which has been held by such men as Frank Gasparro, William Barber, Charles E. Barber, James B. Longacre, and Christian Gobrecht.

The Mint has operated several branch facilities throughout the United States since the Philadelphia Mint opened in 1792, in a building known as "Ye Olde Mint". With the opening of branch mints came the need for mint marks, an identifying feature on the coin to show its facility of origin. The first of these branch mints were the Charlotte, North Carolina (1838–1861), Dahlonega, Georgia (1838–1861), and New Orleans, Louisiana (1838–1909) branches. Both the Charlotte (C mint mark) and Dahlonega (D mint mark) Mints were opened to facilitate the conversion of local gold deposits into coinage, and minted only gold coins. The Civil War closed both these facilities permanently.

The New Orleans Mint (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 dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and gold dollars, Quarter Eagles, half eagles, eagles, and double eagles).

A new branch facility was opened in Carson City, Nevada, 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 (CC mint mark) was opened to take advantage of local precious metal deposits, in this case, a large vein of silver. Though gold coins were also produced there, no base metal coins were. In 1911 the Mint had a female acting director, Margaret Kelly, 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) was established in 1920 in Manila in the Philippines, 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 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, was commissioned in 1864. Construction was halted in 1870, and the facility never produced any coins, although the building still stands.


The primary mission of the United States Mint is to manufacture and distribute circulating coins, precious metals and collectible coins and national medals to meet the needs of the United States. In addition to producing coins and medals, the United States Mint also maintains physical custody and protection of the Nation's gold and silver assets.


The United States Mint operates six facilities across the United States with each facility performing unique functions. Current facilities include the Headquarters in Washington, DC; production facilities in Philadelphia, PA; West Point, NY; Denver, CO; and San Francisco, CA and the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, KY.


The stories behind each of the United States Mint facilities are fascinating, too. Following is a list of the activities and responsibilities for each current United States Mint facility:

Headquarters, Washington, D.C.:

  • Policy formulation and central agency administration;
  • Program management;
  • Research and development;
  • Marketing operations;
  • Customer services and order processing;
  • Business unit management.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

    Sculpting-engraving of U.S. coins and medals;
  • Production of medal and coin dies;
  • Production of coins of all denominations for general circulation;
  • Production of regular uncirculated coin sets;
  • Production of commemorative coins as authorized by Congress;
  • Production of medals;
  • Conducting of public tours.

Denver, Colorado:

  • Production of coins of all denominations for general circulation;
  • Production of coin dies;
  • Production of regular uncirculated coin sets;
  • Production of commemorative coins as authorized by Congress;
  • Conducting of public tours;
  • Storage of gold and silver bullion.

San Francisco, California:

  • Production of regular proof coin sets in clad and silver;
  • Production of commemorative coins as authorized by Congress.

West Point, New York:

  • Production of all uncirculated and proof one-ounce silver bullion coins, and all sizes of the uncirculated and proof American Eagle gold bullion and platinum coins and the 24-karat one ounce American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coin;
  • Production of commemorative coins as authorized by Congress; storage of silver, gold, and platinum bullion.

Fort Knox, Kentucky:

  • Storage of U.S. gold bullion.

The Mint manages extensive commercial marketing programs. The product line includes special coin sets for collectors, national medals, American Eagle gold, silver and platinum bullion coins, and commemorative coins 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.

In 2000, the Mint was responsible for the production of 28 billion coins. See United States Mint coin production for annual production values of each coin.

The United States Mint Police, a federal law enforcement agency, is responsible for protection of Mint facilities, employees and reserves.

Useful links

Currency of United States:
United States dollar
List of Central Banks:
Central Banks
Official website of United States Mint:
Minister of Finance of the United States of America:
U.S. Department of Commerce: