Fun Facts

Ben Franklin helped to stop counterfeiters... In the 1700s, it was pretty easy to print money that looked real. But it was Franklin who finally hit on a good idea in 1739: He cast real leaves in lead and called it the "nature print." He kept the process so secret that no one figured out how he did it until the 1960s.
Ben Franklin made lots of money…but whose?... The design for the Continental Dollar coin that came out during the Revolutionary War was based on a paper dollar designed by Benjamin Franklin. He also found a way to keep crooks from printing phony bills—but that's another Fun Fact.
So you think you know how much a Continental Dollar is worth?... The coins we call "Continental Dollars" are not marked as dollars. Since they were not all made of silver, we guess that the silver ones were worth a dollar, the brass ones worth one pence, and the pewter...who knows?
Two different dollars were both first... Was the first American dollar coin the Continental Dollar of 1776? In that year, we were still fighting a war for independence and had no national mint. The first dollar coin from the United States Mint was made in 1794, almost 20 years later.
Who arms the Armed Forces with medals?... The Mint once produced military decorations for the nation's armed forces, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Navy Cross. Currently, by order of Congress, the Mint produces gold Congressional Medals to be presented as a symbol of national appreciation for distinguished achievements. These commissioned medals can be presented to honor individuals, institutions or events of national significance.
George Washington was our first President – but not the first President on a circulating coin.... In 1909, President Lincoln appeared on a one-cent coin and became the first real person—as well as the first American president—to have his face appear on a regular-issue American coin.
Each president gets bronzed.... Though their importance as diplomatic symbols has faded, the Mint tradition of producing a medal for each president continues today as the "Presidential Medal" series. Bronze versions of all presidential medals are still available from the Mint.
For safe-keeping, you just can’t beat Fort Knox.... To protect them from any possible danger during World War II, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were secretly stored in protective vaults at the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Only when Allied victory was assured in 1944 were the historic documents returned to Washington, DC.
The Mint wasn’t always part of the Treasury.... From 1799 to 1873, the Mint was an independent agency reporting directly to the President. The Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury in 1873, and remains so today.
It was much too royal for George Washington’s taste.... President Washington, if here today, might be a bit surprised to find himself on the quarter. In considering designs for the first U.S. coins, he and Congress rejected designs picturing him. Why? Too much like monarchy, they said, the very thing from which the United States had rebelled. But in 1899, Washington's image was placed on a U.S. coin—the Lafayette dollar. In 1932, Washington appeared once again on a U.S. coin—the quarter—and still does today.