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Historic Highlights Timeline

United States Flag and Declaration of Independence

It's the 18th century, and the colonies are breaking free from England. A new country! But what about money? How can they pay for their war against England?

In 1775, John Hancock suggests that Congress issue bills of credit. People could exchange these paper notes for silver Spanish milled dollars after the war.

Colonists already used lots of currencies. But if the colonies win, should they use British pounds after the war? Spanish milled dollars?…Or invent a whole new currency?

Congress set the other coins' values to the Spanish milled dollar. Jefferson says that should be our new nation's money, but divided into 100 parts. In 1785, Congress invents a new dollar currency and decides which metals the coins will be made from. Now they just need someone to make them!

Select any of the date ranges or individual years below to learn about the Mint's history, or jump to one of these eras:


1792: United States Mint created
1792: Coins made, facility built
1793: Building opens for business
1799: Mint becomes independent agency


1801: Peace medals made
1816: Steam engine installed
1828: First gold rush begins
1829: Second building built
1836: Steam coin press installed
1838: Three branches open
1848: California gold rush begins


1854: San Francisco assay office opens
1854: New York assay office opens
1858: More gold and silver found
1861: Private mint in Denver opens
1861: Confederacy controls branches
1863: Government remodels Denver mint
1870: Carson City building opens
1872: Boise assay office opens
1873: Headquarters moves
1874: New San Francisco Building opens
1876: Foreign coins made
1876: New Orleans reopens
1877: Helena assay office opens
1878: Dahlonega building burns
1879: New Orleans resumes coining
1881: St. Louis assay office opens
1892: First US commemorative coin struck
1892: United States Mint centennial
1893: Carson City stops coining
1898: Deadwood assay office opens
1898: Seattle assay office opens
1898: Spanish-American War ends
1899: Washington appears on coin


1900: United States on gold standard
1901: Third Philadelphia building opens
1904: Denver office becomes mint
1906: Denver begins coining
1906: Earthquakes hit San Francisco
1909: Lincoln appears on penny
1909: Salt Lake City assay office opens
1909: Mint at New Orleans closes
1911: St. Louis assay office closes
1913: No more bills for gold coins
1918: Camp Knox bought
1920: Manila Mint opens
1921: Bills for bullion
1921: Peace Dollar issued
1927: Deadwood assay office closes
1932: Camp Knox becomes Fort Knox
1932: Washington on Quarter
1933: Silver becomes US standard
1933: Three assay offices close
1935: New San Francisco building built
1936: Depository built at Fort Knox
1937: USBD opens
1937: Depository at West Point opens
1938: Jefferson appears on nickel
1941: Mint in Manila closes
1941: Carson City reopens as museum
1942: Documents stored at Fort Knox
1943: Cents made of steel
1944: Dollar becomes international standard
1944: Denver expands
1946: Roosevelt appears on dime


1955: Coinage stops at San Francisco
1955: Seattle assay office closes
1959: Penny shows Lincoln Memorial
1960: Gold reserves dwindle
1960: New Orleans building becomes museum
1962: San Francisco becomes assay office
1964: Kennedy appears on half dollar
1964: Silver shortage affects bills
1965: Silver removed from coins
1965: San Francisco resumes coining
1968: Bills not exchangeable for bullion
1969: Fourth building built in Philadelphia
1969: Denver breaks records
1970: Silver removed from dollar coin
1971: Clad dollar made
1971: Gold standard rejected
1972: San Francisco building becomes museum
1974: Gold ownership allowed
1974: San Francisco makes only dollars
1975: Bicentennial coins released
1979: Susan B. Anthony dollar released
1982: Copper reduced in penny
1982: New York assay office closes
1984: Gold coin struck
1984: Mint name changed
1988: New and old mints created
1992: 200th Anniversary celebrated
1997: First platinum coin made
1997: Sacagawea law passed
1998: Web site is created
1998: Coin design gets online votes
1999: Quarters and dollars blast off
1999: Kids’ site launched
1999: West Point building expanded


2000: Golden Dollar released
2001: Kids’ site redesigned
2002: 210th anniversary celebrated
2003: West Point expansion ends
2003: Artistic Infusion Program begins
2004: Nickels redesigned
2007: Dollar coins redesigned
2008: 50 State Quarters® Program ends
2009: Penny reverse redesigned
2009: New quarters created
2009: New dollar series begins
2010: America the Beautiful Quarters® Program
2010: Shield penny reverse
2012: 220th anniversary celebrated
2013: Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin design contest
2013: Kids baseball coin design challenge
2013: Code Talkers Recognition Congressional Medals Program
2014: First curved coin issued

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