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United States Mint at San Francisco

The United States Mint at San Francisco
The United States Mint at San Francisco
The United States Mint at San Francisco plays an important role in our nation's coinage. Although it does not currently produce circulating coins, it is the exclusive manufacturer of regular proof and silver proof coin sets that set the standard for numismatic excellence with their brilliant artistry, fine craftsmanship and enduring quality.


Historical Background:  The Gold Rush and Great Earthquake

With the California Gold Rush underway in 1849, the United States Mint was overwhelmed with the task of turning all that gold into coins. Also, transporting it all to Philadelphia for coining was both time-consuming and hazardous. So in 1850, President Millard Fillmore recommended that a branch of the United States Mint be established in California. Congress approved the plan in 1852, and the San Francisco Mint was born.

The United States Mint survives devastating 1906 earthquake and fire.
The United States Mint survives devastating 1906 earthquake and fire.
In 1854, the San Francisco Mint opened its doors and began converting miners' gold into coins, producing $4,084,207 in gold pieces by December of that first year alone. The new mint soon outgrew the small brick building in which it was housed. In 1874 it moved to an imposing new facility, with walls of stone, resembling an ancient Greek temple.

The Mint's production of coins was uninterrupted for 32 years, until the disastrous earthquake of 1906. Because the gas works were partially destroyed, operations stopped temporarily. But the beautiful, solidly constructed Mint building survived both the earthquake and the ensuing firestorm. In fact, the Mint was the only financial institution capable of operating immediately after the disaster and became the treasury for disaster relief funds, performing other emergency banking services as well. Coining operations resumed soon afterward and continued in this building until 1937, when Mint workers moved to a larger, more modern facility, the present United States Mint at San Francisco.

Annual Proof Coin Sets.
Annual Proof
coin sets
Today, the United States Mint at San Francisco does not accommodate visitors, as all space is needed for personnel and machinery.

Other Mint Facilities

Denver  ||  Philadelphia  ||  West Point


The Department of the Treasury Seal
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