The Philadelphia Mint.
Philadelphia Mint (1792 to date): In 1792 the government acquired a plot of land and several buildings in Philadelphia and set up the first federal facility for the production of coins. The Philadelphia Mint has been in operation continuously since then, although in different buildings, with moves to new and larger premises being made in 1830, 1901, and 1967. At present the Philadelphia Mint is located on Independence Square not far from Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and is a modern facility employing hundreds of people who engage in all aspects of coinage production. A warm welcome is extended to visitors, who are able to see coins being made and to view many interesting exhibits.
Most coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint bear no distinguishing mint letter. However, on Jefferson nickels minted with a special silver alloy from 1942 through 1945 only, the mintmark P appears on the reverse over the dome of Monticello. In recent years the mintmark P has been used again and can be found on various coinage.
The Philadelphia Mint is the “mother mint” and is where dies for all branch mints are made. From the early 19th century until the mid-1960s Proof coins and sets were produced there; after that time Proof production was transferred to San Francisco.
Over the years the Philadelphia Mint has produced many rarities, among the best known of which are the 1793, 1799, and 1804 cents, the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the 1802 half dime, the 1827 quarter dollar, the 1794 and 1804 silver dollars, the trade dollars of 1884 and 1885, the 1841 and 1863 quarter eagles, the 1875 and 1876 $3 gold pieces, the 1879 and 1880 pattern $4 stellas, the 1822 $5, the $20 pieces of 1883, 1884, and 1933, as well as numerous patterns, prominent among which are the 1849 and Extremely High Relief $20 pieces and two varieties of $50 pieces dated 1877.
The New Orleans Mint.
New Orleans Mint (1838-1909): In 1838, due to increasing commerce on the Mississippi River and in the Gulf of Mexico, a mint was opened at the foremost trading center in the area, New Orleans, Louisiana. Coins were produced at this facility from 1838 until the Civil War in 1861, and again from 1879 through 1909. In 1861 the mint was seized by the State of Louisiana and was later operated for a short time under the auspices of the Confederate States of America.
The mintmark O appears on coins struck there. Pieces produced at New Orleans were in silver and gold metals; no copper coins were struck. A coin struck at the New Orleans Mint is described as follows, for example: 1879-O.
Among rarities struck at New Orleans are the 1861 Confederate States of America pattern half dollar and the $20 pieces of 1854-O, 1856-O, and 1879-O.
The Charlotte Mint.
Charlotte Mint (1838-1861): In 1838 a branch mint was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina for the purpose of producing gold coins from metals extracted from mines and streams of the area. $1, $2.50, and $5 pieces were produced there from 1838 until the Civil War in 1861, at which time the mint closed. Charlotte coins are identified by the mintmark C, as, for example, 1843-C.
All coins struck at Charlotte are either scarce or rare today. Heading the list is the 1849-C gold dollar with open wreath on the reverse, of which fewer than a half dozen specimens are known.
The Dahlonega Mint.
Dahlonega Mint (1838-1861): The history of the Dahlonega Mint is similar to that of Charlotte. Gold produced in the Dahlonega area of Georgia was converted into $1, $2.50, $3, and $5 pieces from the period 1838 through 1861. The mint closed at the advent of the Civil War. Dahlonega coins have the mintmark D, not to be confused with the same mintmark later used for Denver coins, for the Dahlonega Mint operated 1838-1861, decades before the Denver Mint did. All Dahlonega gold coins are either scarce or rare and as a class are more elusive than their Charlotte Mint counterparts.
The San Francisco Mint.
San Francisco Mint (1854 to date): During the gold rush era in California many banks and private individuals produced coins. In 1854 the federal government opened a mint there using a building and equipment purchased from a private firm. Known as the San Francisco Mint, the facility used the S mintmark on its pieces. Coins were produced at San Francisco from 1854 until 1955, and again from the late 1960s until the present time. Over a period of years the San Francisco Mint has produced pieces in all metals. From 1968 onward, Proof sets for collectors have been produced there.
Among rarities struck at the San Francisco Mint are such issues as the 1870-S half dime, 1894-S dime, 1870-S silver dollar, 1854-S $2.50, 1870-S $3, and 1854-S $5.
|Morgan Silver 1$||131,188,373 coins minted|
The Carson City Mint.
Carson City Mint (1870-1893): In 1870 a mint was opened in Carson City, Nevada to take advantage of silver (and to a lesser extent gold) found in the Comstock Lode in Nevada. Bearing CC mintmarks (the only mintmark with more than one letter), Carson City coins were produced from 1870 through 1885 and again from 1889 until 1893. Today the mint building serves as the Nevada State Museum. Carson City coins were produced in silver and gold.
Among the rarities produced at this mint are the 1873-CC dime without arrows (which is unique), the 1873-CC quarter without arrows (only three or four are known), the 1876-CC twenty-cent piece, and the 1870-CC $20.
|Morgan Silver 1$||13,766,041 coins minted|
The Denver Mint.
Denver Mint (1906 to date): The Denver Mint opened in 1906 and has continued in operation until the present day. The distinguishing mintmark D characterizes the coinage, which has been accomplished in all metals. A modern facility, the Denver Mint produces coins in large quantities and is second only to the Philadelphia Mint in terms of production capabilities today.
While only a few landmark rarities were produced at the Denver Mint, a number of issues are scarce today, especially in higher grades. Among these are to be found such varieties as the 1914-D cent, 1916-D dime, and 1921-D half dollar. Perhaps the key Denver Mint rarity is the 1927-D $20 piece, of which only about a dozen are known to exist.
|Morgan Silver 1$||20,345,000 coins produced|
West Point Mint .
West Point Mint (1984 to date): Beginning in 1984 a special minting facility at West Point, New York (home of the Military Academy), has been used to produce certain gold commemorative coins and some other issues, including a variety of the 1990 Eisenhower commemorative silver dollar. The distinguishing mintmark W characterizes these pieces. In the 1960s Lincoln cents without mintmarks were made there, to help ease a nationwide coin shortage.