This was the first United States Mint, established by the Act of April 2, 1792.
This first United States Mint facility was built in Philadelphia, (the Nation's
capital in 1792). The land was purchased on July 18, 1792 and the Mint opened
its doors within a few months, initially producing 11,178 copper coins. Over the
next two hundred years the United States Mint at Philadelphia would move three
more times to help meet the ever growing demand for coinage.
President Andrew Jackson authorized by The Act of 1835, created three additional
United States Mint production facilities. In 1838, the first of the three new
United States Mint branch facility opened in New Orleans, Louisiana. The facilities
in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dahlonega, Georgia opened a short while after.
All three of the newly established United States Mint facilities were producing
coins by 1838. Since all three were operating at the same time, a need for
"mint-marks" to identify which facility was producing which coins was evident.
Those minted at the New Orleans facility were marked with a distinct "O" mint mark,
while the Charlotte mint used a "C" and Dahlonega coins used a "D" as a mint-marks.
New Orleans mint produced gold and silver coins, but, Charlotte and Dahlonega
minted only gold coins.
When the Civil War started, all three of these facilities was seized and used to
produce confederate money. After the civil war ended, Charlotte and Dahlonega were
closed for good. New Orleans did briefly produced confederate money until the Act
of January 27, 1862, changed its functions to that of an assay office. It later
reverted back to the control of the federal government on May 16, 1862, but,
coining operations were suspended from 1861 to 1879. Coining operations at the
New Orleans facility resumed in 1879 and continued until 1909.
President Millard Fillmore authorized the United States Mint at San Francisco
Mint with the Act of July 3, 1852. The demand for coins quickly outpaced this
facility's ability to produce them and in September, 1866 funds were requested
to build another mint. In 1869, Congress appropriated $300,000 to purchase and
construct a new United States Mint facility in San Francisco. The cornerstone
for the building that would become known as the "Granite Lady" was laid on May
26, 1870, and the building opened on November 5, 1874.
The Carson City Mint was authorized by the Act of March 3, 1863. This facility
was opened to serve the coining needs brought about by the discovery of the
"Comstock Lode", the largest silver strike in U.S. history. Construction on the
Carson City facility began September 18, 1866, and it officially opened for
operations January 8, 1870. The coins produced at this facility carried the "CC"
mint-mark. Production was halted between 1885 to 1889, and finally discontinued in 1893.
The Denver Mint was established on April 21, 1862, by Act of Congress after the
Treasury Department proposed that a Branch Mint be established for the coinage
of gold. The new facility was needed because of the discovery of gold near Denver.
The Mint in Denver opened for business in September 1863. In 1874, Congress gave
the United States Mint at Denver the authority to produce coins for the United
States and some foreign countries.
Erected in 1937 as a Bullion Depository, West Point was originally a silver bullion
storage facility and was nicknamed "The Fort Knox of Silver."
From 1973 to 1986, it produced cents, and in 1980 began making gold
medallions. Soon afterward, gold was stored in its vaults, making it second only
to Fort Knox in gold storage. Today, it produces a large amount of gold coins.
On March 31, 1988, West Point gained official status as a Mint. It still doubles as
a storage facility, but also manufactures, packages and ships commemorative coins,
and proof and uncirculated Eagle Bullion coins. Platinum Eagles were first issued
in 1997. In 2000, West Point struck the first U.S. Gold and Platinum Bi-Metallic Coin.
The United States Mint was first authorized to manufacture coins for foreign
government in 1874 (Act of January 29, 1874), as long as the function did not
interfere with coinage production for the United States. From that time through
the early 1980's, foreign coins were struck for more than forty governments -
including Hawaii (1883-1884).