San Francisco Old Mint Commemorative Coin Program
For the second commemorative coin program of 2006, the United States Mint is paying tribute to the San Francisco Old Mint, celebrating the instrumental role it played in the recovery and rebuilding of a great American city.
Public Law 109-230, approved by President George W. Bush on June 15, 2006, calls for the production and release of two commemorative coins to honor the history and legacy of the building that became known as the "Granite Lady," in this, the 100th anniversary of the terrible tragedy which befell San Francisco in the spring of 1906.
In 1852 President Millard Fillmore approved an Act of Congress establishing a branch of the United States Mint in San Francisco to convert miners’ gold from the California gold rush into coins. The San Francisco Old Mint building, the second building in San Francisco to house the United States Mint there, was designed by architect A.B. Mullett who also designed the United States Department of the Treasury building and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The solid construction of the "Granite Lady" enabled it to survive the 1906 earthquake and fire, making it the only financial institution able to operate immediately after the earthquake as the Treasury for disaster relief funds for the city of San Francisco.
The obverse design of the $5 gold coin is a rendition of the Old Mint modeled on the original 1869 construction drawing by A.B. Mullett. The reverse design is a replica of the 1906 Half-Eagle Coronet Liberty eagle reverse, designed by Christian Gobrecht.
The obverse design of the silver dollar is a rendition of the San Francisco Old Mint, originally prepared for the San Francisco Mint Medal by Sherl J. Winter. The reverse design is a replica of the 1904 Morgan Silver Dollar eagle reverse, designed by George T. Morgan.
Both coins will be struck at the current United States Mint at San Francisco and carry the distinctive "S" mint mark of that facility.
Both coins are available with proof and uncirculated finishes. A proof coin has a brilliant mirror-like finish. The term "proof" refers to a specialized minting process, which begins by manually feeding burnished coin planchets into presses fitted with specially polished dies. An uncirculated coin has a high quality, satin finish and is produced with special care.
Surcharges collected through the sale of these commemorative coins are authorized to be paid to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society for the purposes of rehabilitating the Historic Old Mint in San Francisco as a city museum and an American coin and gold rush museum.
The five-dollar gold coin is limited to 100,000 and the one-dollar silver coin has a mintage limit of up to 500,000 across all product options.