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The Philadelphia Mint of the United States
Philadelphia Mint - "Ye, Olde Mint"
Congress enacted legislation in 1792 that authorized the newly formed United States of America to mint its own currency in Philadelphia.
The Philadelphia Mint of the United States was the third building erected by the newly formed government whose Declaration of Independence was signed only a few blocks down the street. It has since moved three times. The last move being in 1969.
Production and Steam Operated Presses
The first U.S. Coins minted at the Philadelphia Mint were copper cents and half cents of 1793 solely for local commerce in the Colonies. In the early days all minting was done by hand or with the use of horsepower. Later other coins like the $10, $5, $2.50, half dime were made of Gold and Silver.
In 1836, the first steam operated coin press arrived at the Philadelphia Mint. Soon the mint was able to produce 100 coins per minute.
Over the years, the mint expanded it's facilities and capacity. Large metal bricks of Silver and Gold were used to produce Silver Dollars and U.S. Gold, legal tender coins.
Coins Minted In Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Mint is known as the "mother mint" and for decades was the only U.S. Mint facility. For that reason, the coins minted there exhibited no "mint mark." In 1838 the New Orleans Mint was opened to serve the Southern States and began the tradition of branch mints putting their own unique "mint mark" on each of their coins.
Sadly, very few of the earliest dated Philadelphia Mint coins exist to this day. The reason for that was simple. The hobby of coin collecting simply didn't exist at a time when saving a $20 Liberty Gold piece was the equivalent of putting away a month's salary. Many of the late 1700's and early 1800's dates are extremely rare and highly prized examples struck at the first United States Mint in Philadelphia.
Currently the Philadelphia Mint coins all denominations of circulating coins, commemorative coins authorized by Congress, makes the dies for medals, and engraves the designs of the U.S. Coins and Medals.
Modern Mints Today
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|This site is a "Guide to United States Mint History"
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