"The Congress shall have the Power . . . To coin Money."
— Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8
When the framers of the U.S. Constitution created a new government for their untried Republic, they realized the critical need for a respected monetary system. Soon after the Constitution's ratification, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton personally prepared plans for a national Mint. On April 2, 1792, Congress passed The Coinage Act, which created the Mint and authorized construction of a Mint building in the nation's capitol, Philadelphia. This was the first federal building erected under the Constitution.
Since our institution’s founding in 1792, the men and women of the United States Mint have taken great pride in rendering the story of our nation in enduring examples of numismatic art. To hold a coin or medal produced by the U.S. Mint is to connect to the founding principles of our nation and the makings of our economy.
Here and abroad, people cherish our products because they are stores of value as well as exquisite encapsulations of America's ideals. In forms designed to be passed from hand to hand and saved from generation to generation, the coins we mint reflect our shared history and traditions. Whether it is learning to count with pennies, understanding the value of saving through the weight of a piggy bank or remembering the coin toss at your first football game, coins connect us to many of our fondest memories.
Perhaps most importantly, the United States Mint connects us with the core values of America. From the great promise of our "E Pluribus Unum" credo beneath the banner of Liberty, each coin is a small share in the ongoing American Experience, linking us in an unbroken line to our country's—and the Mint’s—origins in the Constitution.
Since Congress created the United States Mint on April 2, 1792, it has grown tremendously. In recent history, circulating coin production has varied between 4 billion and 10 billion coins annually. In Fiscal Year 2010, the United States Mint generated a record $3.89 billion in annual revenues. As a self-funded agency, the United States Mint turns revenues beyond its operating expenses over to the General Fund of the Treasury.
The primary mission of the United States Mint is to manufacture and distribute circulating coins, precious metals and collectible coins, and national medals to meet the needs of the United States. In addition to producing coins and medals, the United States Mint also maintains physical custody and protection of the Nation's gold and silver assets.
The United States Mint operates six facilities across the United States with each facility performing unique functions. Current facilities include the Headquarters in Washington, DC; production facilities in Philadelphia, PA; West Point, NY; Denver, CO; and San Francisco, CA; and the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, KY.
For information about U.S. paper currency, please contact the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.