By Office of Corporate Communications
October 26, 2016
Denver native Carissa Valdez always felt a calling to the United States Mint. Inspired by her grandfathers, both of whom served in the military and retired from the U.S. Mint in Denver in the 1980s, Carissa became an avid coin collector at the age of six years old.
“Every time I visited my grandfathers, I would ask them for a coin, not a piece of candy or a cookie,” Carissa recalls.
“Eventually, I just about took over their entire coin collections and developed a great appreciation for what they both did for a living and how they contributed to our country.”
After high school, Carissa applied to the Mint in Denver and officially began her career in the agency in 2007.
She has since worked in a variety of positions in Denver and San Francisco, including counting and bagging machine operator, coin assembly machine operator, material handler, press room metal forming machine operator, and die setter.
Today, she is an office automation assistant in Denver’s financial management office, where she provides clerical and administrative support.
“I love my job because, regardless of my position, I am a part of coin manufacturing for America, and that is extremely unique in itself and makes me very proud,” says Carissa.
“When people ask what I do for a living, I am always proud to say ‘I make money.’ Some get it, some don’t, but it is a fact, and I’m proud of it!”
In her spare time, Carissa enjoys singing, travel, outdoor activities, cooking, attending concerts with her husband, and being a new mother to her 12-month-old daughter.
Carissa has many fond memories of her time at the Mint over the past nine years, from learning proof coin production to being featured in a video tutorial for future die setters, but nothing can quite compare to her origins in numismatics.
Her grandfathers—her “heroes,” as she calls them—instilled in Carissa a love of coins that she has always carried with her.
“It is such a great feeling today,” says Carissa, “to know that I am still contributing to coin manufacturing.”
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