Fun Facts

We used to trade gold, silver, and copper.... A 1792 law directed American money to be made of gold, silver and copper. Gold was used in the $10, $5, and $2.50 pieces. The dollar, half dollar, quarter, dime, and half dime were composed of silver. The cent and half cent were made of copper.
How can you tell where a coin came from?... Mint marks show what minting facility your coins came from—"P" for Philadelphia, "D" for Denver, and "S" for San Francisco. This mark can be found to the right of the subject's face on the obverse side of each circulating coin—with the exception of the "Philadelphia" Lincoln cent, which has no mint mark.
Groove-y edges made them harder to copy.... The dollar, half-dollar, quarter, and 10-cent (dime) denominations were originally produced from precious metals (gold and silver). The reeded edges were created to make sure no one would alter the coins and try to file off the edges to retrieve some of the precious metals.
How much was in that first batch?... The Mint produced its first circulating coins—all $111.78 worth of them—in March 1793. That first batch consisted of 11,178 copper cents. Soon after, the Mint began issuing gold and silver coins as well.
They felt “safe as Fort Knox.”... Citizens of Denver took refuge in the old Denver Mint building in 1864 when they heard rumors of possible Indian attacks.
Transporting coins can turn into a real cliffhanger.... Legend has it that a shipment of dimes en route to the San Francisco Mint was attacked in southern Utah in the early 1900s. The shipment of dimes supposedly fell over a cliff. Though many people have tried to find the money, no evidence of this shipment has ever been found.
He couldn’t make light of his crime.... In 1864, James Clarke, an employee of the Denver Mint, stole cash, certificates, and a 10-pound brick of gold. He tried to escape on horseback, but the horse ran away. After getting only a few miles out of Denver, Clarke found his loot too heavy to carry and threw the 10-pound gold brick away. Clarke was caught and ordered to leave the territory.
A President had coins as a pet.... President Teddy Roosevelt said that the redesign of American coins was his "pet baby." He even personally commissioned the world-renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create new designs.
We almost ‘bet dollars to doughnuts!’... The Mint once considered producing doughnut-shaped coins. Obviously, this idea was viewed as being half-baked.
$10 billion goes a long way.... If you were lucky enough to have 10 billion Sacagawea golden dollars and you spent one every second of every day, guess how long they would last? In exactly 317 years, you would go broke!