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Fact Sheets

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  1. David Rittenhouse was appointed by George Washington as the first Director of the Mint.
  2. The first Mint building was the first Federal building erected by the U.S. Government under the Constitution.
  3. Past Mints have included Dahlonega, GA; Charlotte, NC; New Orleans, LA; and Carson City, NV.
  4. The first Philadelphia Mint used harnessed horses to drive the machinery that produced coinage.
  5. A two-cent coin was minted between 1864 and 1873 and was the first coin to bear the motto "In God We Trust".
  6. Legend holds that George Washington donated some of his personal silver to the Mint for manufacturing early coinage.
  7. The Mint's first delivery of coins occurred in 1793 and consisted of 11,178 copper cents.
  8. Mint marks, "S", "D", "P", or "W" designate the Mint facility,which produced the coin.
  9. Thomas Jefferson first proposed the decimal currency system,which we use today.
  10. By provision of the Coinage Act of 1965, Mint marks were not carried on coins made in 1965, 1966, or 1967.
  11. The first U.S. commemorative coin was produced in 1892 and featured Christopher Columbus.
  12. The Mint's original coins were made of gold, silver, and copper.
  13. In 1943, the content of the cent coins was changed to zinc-coated steel due to copper shortage during World War II.
  14. According to the artist, the Indian head on the buffalo nickel (1913-1938) is a composite picture.
  15. The Philadelphia Mint mark appears on each of its coins except the Lincoln cent.
  16. Sacagawea, Susan B. Anthony, and Helen Keller are the only women honored on a circulating coin. Sacagawea appeared on the obverse of the golden Dollar, Susan B. Anthony appeared on the obverse of the dollar coin, and Helen Keller appeared on the reverse of the Alabama quarter.
  17. The Philadelphia Mint covers five acres of land.
  18. The first coin to feature an African-American was the Booker T. Washington Memorial Half Dollar.
  19. Calvin Coolidge was the first President to have his portrait appear on a coin struck during his lifetime.
  20. George Washington first appeared on a commemorative dollar, with the Marquis de Lafayette, in 1899.
  21. In 1893, Queen Isabella of Spain became the first woman to be featured on a U.S. commemorative coin.
  22. All commemorative coins legislated by the U.S. Mint are legal tender.
  23. Original gold coinage included $10, $5, and $2.50 denominations.
  24. The Act of April 2, 1792, which created the Mint, required coins to have "...an impression emblematic of liberty."
  25. The Roosevelt dime torch, olive branch, and oak branch portray liberty, peace, and strength and independence.
  26. The donation of $508,316 in gold to create the Smithsonian Institution was assayed in the [Philadelphia] U.S. Mint.
  27. The first Lincoln cent was produced in 1909 and carried wheat ears patterns on the reverse side.
  28. From 1799 to 1873, the Mint was an independent agency reporting directly to the President.
  29. The Lincoln cent is the only circulating coin currently produced in which the portrait faces to the right.
  30. The United States has two mottos that appear on each circulating coin, "In God We Trust" and "E Pluribus Unum."
  31. Designers' initials can be found on each circulating coin.
  32. The design on the back of the Kennedy Half Dollar is the presidential coat of arms.
  33. The San Francisco Mint, established in 1854, survived the great earthquake of April 18, 1906.
  34. Before creation of a national Mint, "currency" included foreign and colonial currency, livestock, produce, and wampum.
  35. The Denver Mint opened in 1863 as a U.S. Assay Office.
  36. The present Philadelphia Mint opened in 1969 and is the fourth facility which has been located in that city.
The Department of the Treasury Seal
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