West Point Mint – United States Mint.

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The West Point Mint, established in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, is a vital production and depository facility under the U.S. Mint. As of 2019, it safeguarded approximately 22% of the United States’ gold reserves, amounting to around 54,000,000 troy ounces (1,700,000 kg), which equated to over $100 billion USD in 2021. Only Fort Knox surpasses West Point in terms of gold reserves. Initially known as the West Point Bullion Depository, this mint had the highest concentration of silver among all U.S. mint facilities and even produced circulating Lincoln cents for 12 years. In recent years, it has primarily focused on minting commemorative coins and storing gold.

The West Point Mint officially became a branch of the United States Mint on March 31, 1988, and later in the same year, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The mint building, before its 2005 renovation, was a single-story reinforced concrete structure measuring 170 by 256 feet. It featured mostly plain walls with some recessed arches at the entrances, situated on a 4-acre parcel near the northern facilities of the United States Military Academy. Inside the building, there are minting presses and bullion storage compartments.

In 1937, the mint served as a storage facility for silver bullion, earning it the moniker “The Fort Knox of Silver.” Despite not having official U.S. Mint status, it produced U.S. coinage. Notably, between 1974 and 1986, the West Point Mint produced Lincoln cents with no mint mark, making them indistinguishable from those produced at the Philadelphia Mint. Washington quarters were also produced at this facility from 1977 to 1979. In the early 1980s, the mint held approximately $20 billion worth of gold, although this was still less than what was stored at Fort Knox.

In September 1983, the “W” mint mark appeared on a $10 gold coin commemorating the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, marking the first legal tender U.S. gold coin minted since 1933. In 1986, American Gold Eagle bullion coins were exclusively produced at West Point without a mint mark. The West Point Bullion Depository officially gained mint status on March 31, 1988.

Starting in 1999, American Silver Eagle bullion coins were also produced at the West Point Mint. In 2002, a bicentennial commemorative silver dollar was issued to honor the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Military Academy. In 2015, the mint struck Sacagawea Dollars for the first time as part of a special “Native American Coin and Currency Set.” In 2019, West Point Mint began producing Lincoln cents with the “W” mint mark in various finishes, which were included in traditional mint and proof sets.

In 2019, the United States Mint announced a program to release 10 million quarters with the “W” mint mark into circulation to promote coin collecting. These quarters are part of the “America the Beautiful” quarters program and continued in 2020 with the addition of a “V 75” privy mark commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In 2020, the U.S. Mint included “W”-mint-marked Jefferson nickels in its annual sets, similar to the previous year’s Lincoln cents.

Today, the West Point Mint is primarily known for producing American Eagle series proof and uncirculated bullion coins in various precious metals, along with gold and some silver commemorative coins. Since 2006, it has also been producing American Buffalo gold bullion coins.

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