Functions of The US Mint
In the early development of the US Constitution and the new government, it was determined that the Republic had a great need for a respected and organized money system. In April of 1792, The Coinage Act was passed by Congress. This allowed the construction of the first US Mint building in Philadelphia, PA. This made the US Mint the very first federal building to ever be erected under the new Constitution. The US Mint has been around since, and has developed quite a lot over the past 200 years. It is estimated that it receives about a billion dollars in annual revenues. The US Mint is a self supporting agency with no outside funding and whatever is left, after the basic operating expenses are covered, is turned over to the Treasury Dept’s General Fund.
US Mint Locations
After the first US Mint facility was built in Philadelphia, there were several other locations which opened and closed. Today, there are only six US Mint facilities in existence. Because the US capitol was Philadelphia at the time the first US Mint facility was created, this remains the main branch in many people’s eyes; however, the headquarters are located at the Washington DC facility which was opened much later as the fifth location. The second oldest is the San Francisco branch which was put in place by congress in 1852. About six years later, Denver was the site for a brand new US Mint as a result of the gold found in Colorado. The Denver Mint actually operated out of an assay office for about 46 years before receiving a brand new facility of its own. In 1904 the fourth US Mint location was born in West Point, NY. Finally, the US Bullion Depository was created in 1936 in Fort Knox, KY.
In addition to supplying the nation with coinage for trade and commerce, the US Mint also creates an abundance of gorgeous coins and medals that are designed specifically to commemorate certain events in history, as well as achievements. For example, the American Buffalo collection that is made from 24 karat gold has become a popular item as far as US Mint gold coins go. In addition, there have been a number of limited edition coins and medals created over the years, making US Mint coin collecting a favorite hobby among many. The First Spouse coins which have been issued to honor our countries first ladies, have also grown quite popular among coin collectors.
The US Mint also produces an array of medals designed to honor those who’s courageous and selfless deeds, as well as superior achievements have contributed to marking places in American history, or global history for that matter. A portion of the medals are made of bronze and are replicas of Congressional Gold Medals which have been endorsed by Congress and covered under individual public laws. Others are manufactured under the Sec. of the Treasury’s right to create national medals. Many of these medals have been made available to the general public and can be purchased by contacting the US Mint directly.
There are many more facts, as well as historical pictures of the US Mint facilities online. There are even virtual tours which allow a person to see the different facilities and how they each operate.