United States Philadelphia Mint Facility
The nation's first mint provides a wide array of coins and manufacturing services. Like the Denver facility, Philadelphia makes circulating coins of all denominations, commemorative coins as authorized by Congress, and produces the dies for stamping coins and medals. Philadelphia manufactures the "P" mint mark portion of the uncirculated coin sets. In addition, the Philadelphia Mint employs the elite team of sculptor-engravers who are entrusted with creating designs and sculptural models for the production of all the Nation's coins and medals.
Historical Background: Half Cents and $5 Pieces
Every nation requires its own readily accepted currency. So, in 1792, Congress called for the establishment of a national mint. Because Philadelphia was then the nation's capital, it was built there. Congress' next decision concerned the money itself. They decided that American coins be made of gold, silver and copper, with $10, $5,$2.50, half dime and half cent pieces, in addition to the coin denominations we have now. Unlike today's five-cent pieces, the half dimes were made of silver.
The first mint was erected at 7th and Arch Streets and by March, 1793, it delivered its first circulating coins: 11,178 copper cents. Their production was overseen by David Rittenhouse, a leading American scientist and the first Director of the United States Mint.
As the United States and its economy grew, the nation required more coins and larger Mint facilities. The mint expanded accordingly and moved three times. Its current facility, Philadelphia's fourth, opened in 1969.
See for Yourself: Take one of the public tours
Would you like to actually watch money being made? See early coins and learn the story behind our nation's currency? Visit the Philadelphia Mint. Stroll through the visitor's gallery and view the modern coin-making process: huge machines that work 24 hours a day, five days a week. Then see the original coining press used in 1792. Coins were practically made by hand then. It took coiners three years to produce our nation's first million coins. To produce the same amount today takes 22.2 hours.
Please refer to the Mint Tours pages for details regarding tour information.
Other Mint Facilities