Beginner’s Corner: The History and Use of Mint Marks – ModernCoinMart

Updated 12/28/2020

history of Mint Marks in the United States

The first mint in the United States, the Philadelphia Mint, was established in 1792 ; apt as Philadelphia was the United States ‘ capital at the clock time. This batch struck all United States neologism until 1835. According to the United States Mint, the Act of March 3, 1835, established the first branch mints in Dahlonega, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Act besides provided that the Director of the Mint would decide on the regulations for identifying coins stamped at each institution to ensure the cardinal control of all neologism .

What is a Mint Mark?

The planning of the Act to include such marks on coins was so that production from different outgrowth mints of the institution could be standardized. Mint chump usage besides ensured easy identification of the Mint of issue should a given mint be received in circulation or returned to the Mint. Have you always noticed a minor letter on a mint near the date ? This letter is the mint stigmatize of the coin. A mint mark is defined as a minor letter on a coin identifying which of the United States Mint ‘s facilities struck the mint. other world mints besides employ mint marks for much the like argue. Collectors around the world will recognize the Perth Mint ‘s “ P ” mint tag.

historic Branches of the United States Mint

Charlotte and Dahlonega Mint Marks Charlotte (“C” mint mark) and Dahlonega (“D” mint mark) were the beginning two outgrowth mints, and they were established because of the discovery of gold nearby .
The Dahlonega Mint was opened in 1838 and coined more than $ 100,000 deserving of amber in its foremost year and produced about 1.5 million gold coins. The Charlotte Mint opened for business in 1837, and naked gold would be processed and refined until 1838 when the first $ 5 gold half eagle was struck. Both mints were closed in 1861 because of the Civil War and never re-opened .
San Francisco Mint MarkSan Francisco (“S” mint mark ) opened a mint in 1854 to handle the discovery of gold in nearby Sutter ‘s Mill and to make circulate currentness for the late inflow of people to the area hunt that gold. It is the only mint in this section of this article, which however operates today by minting proof coins, commemorative coins, and bullion coins ( see below for more information ) .
New Orleans Mint MarkNew Orleans was a major worldwide port, and it was here that a raw mint would be opened in 1854 ( under the like Act as the San Francisco Mint ) to refine extraneous silver entering the port .
The New Orleans Mint (“O” mint mark) closed after minting its final coins in 1904 because of its limited capacity and a lessened necessitate for its universe .
Carson City Mint Mark The Carson City Mint (“CC” mint mark) was opened in 1870 for ash grey neologism production because of the discovery of bombastic nodes of silver nearby but was closed in 1893 due to a lack of volume in mining new silver .

current Branches of the United States Mint

San Francisco Mint (“S” Mint Mark)

San Francisco Mint Mark The “S” mint mark was used on all coins minted in San Francisco from the begin of production in 1854 until 1955, when production at the mint was suspended. In 1965, output resumed but on a more limited basis. supplementary neologism was produced at the San Francisco mint from 1968 to 1974 and once again displayed the ‘S ‘ mint marker .
In October of 2020, the United States Mint confirmed that all 1986 and 1987 bullion American Silver Eagles were, in fact, struck at the San Francisco Mint ( even though they do not carry a mint grade ). For more information, read this Info-Vault article !

The Denver Mint (second use of the “D” mint mark)

Denver Mint Mark The Denver mint began mathematical process in 1906, re-using the ‘D ‘ batch scratch that Dahlonega had used from 1838 through 1861. There was a point in time, though, that the batch marker was removed.The Coinage Act of 1965 was established, in small separate, to prohibit the use of mint marks for five years ( along with its chief purpose of removing silver from circulating coinage ). While coins date 1965, 1966, and 1967 do n’t have any mint marks, using mint marks was resumed in 1968. This year was besides when mint marks were permanently relocated from the turn back of coins to the obverse side .

The West Point Mint ( “ W ” mint scar )

West Point Mint Mark The West Point Mint was initially built to store flatware in 1938 and was known as the West Point Bullion Depository at the meter. The branch ‘s primary purpose changed in the 1970s. In 1973, the West Point Mint produced some of the United States ‘ cents. In 1980 it began to strike gold medallions and storing gold in vaults. In 1983, the West Point Mint began minting gold coins. now, the West Point Mint is strictly a specialization denounce and assistant to the other branch mints. The West Point Mint produces chiefly commemorative coins and collector bullion issues. Read this Info-Vault article for more data about the West Point Mint and its “ W ” mint crisscross !

First W Pennies and Nickels

In late years, the United States Mint has started including special West Point Mint first-evers in their annual Proof and Mint Sets. In 2019, the Mint issued the first-ever Lincoln cents that were both struck at the West Point Mint and bore its “ tungsten ” outhouse mark with the Proof, Uncirculated, and Silver Proof sets that class. In 2020, the Mint continued this tradition by including West Point Mint struck Jefferson Nickels. The bonus coins included with each set featured a different finish, allowing collectors to appreciate the iconic designs for the first time with a “ W ” mint target. It remains unclear if this custom will continue into 2021 and beyond .

The Philadelphia Mint (“P” mint mark, selectively)

Philadelphia Mint Mark In the early years of coin product, the alone Mint in operation was located in Philadelphia, so identifying where a coin was minted was n’t necessary. And even after the other outgrowth mints were established, the Philadelphia mint – because they were the ‘main ‘ mint – continued to mint coins without a mint punctuate. Due to rationing and metallic element dearth during WWII, in 1942, the five-cent coin ‘s typography was changed to 35 % silver, 56 % copper, and 9 % manganese. To distinguish these special coins from those that had already been minted, a ‘ P ‘ mint score was added to the reverse side of the coin above the Monticello dome. After the war, the United States Mint returned to the even alloy composition, and the ‘ P ‘ mint scar on Philadelphia coinage was largely discontinued. The batch mark on Philadelphia coins once again began reappearing in 1979, and today all coins minted in Philadelphia bear the ‘ P ‘ mint punctuate except the cent .

“Struck at” American Silver Eagles

While bullion american Silver Eagles do not bear a physical mint target, it is sometimes possible to discover where a given coin was strike thanks to both identifying marks on varnish monster boxes and data released by the United States Mint in a Freedom of Information Act ( FOIA ) Request filed by Coin World back in 2017. nowadays grading companies can sometimes identify which bullion issues were struck at the assorted branch mints, which is indicated on their certificate labels with a digression around the mint chump. For model, if you see a 2020 ( W ) Silver Eagle for sale, that shows that the mint does not carry a mint mark but that whatever grading serve authenticated and certified it, was able to verify that it originated from a respective mint .
For more information about the initial discovery of these “ hidden batch marks, ” read this Info-Vault article here :

What is the Difference Between a Privy Mark and a Mint Mark

V75 Privy West Point Mint Quarters You have probably heard the term “ toilet grade ” in your coin collecting journeys ampere well. A toilet chump is very like to a mint scar. Privy marks have been used for centuries to identify the mint or issuing soundbox of neologism, the artist who created its design, or some early component of the coin ‘s origin. today, privy marks are most frequently used to mark especial releases of coins, major populace events, or even designers .
A coin can bear both a outhouse sign and a mint mark ! For exemplar, the United States Mint introduced a V75 privy set in 2020 to honor the 75th anniversary of the end of allied involvement in World War II. Some issues, like circulating 2020-W quarters, which were struck at the West Point Mint, actually carried both the “ W ” batch scratch and a V75 toilet. The W- batch chump, denoting that it was struck at the West Point Mint, while the “ V75 ” outhouse denotes its inclusion in the Mint ‘s end of world war II anniversary issues .

Inside the West Point Mint
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