The US Mint
Founder: Pres. George Washington, Act of April 2, 1792, Philadelphia, PA
The US Mint is a federal agency that has a history that dates as far back as the 16th century, right when the Constitution of the United States was just being polished. The US Mint was established to address the critical need for a unified monetary system for the infant republic. George Washington himself and then Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton were the ones responsible for the planning of a national mint. It was the Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 that officially created the US Mint with the authority of producing and distributing the national coinage. The first US Mint building was built in Philadelphia, then the US capital. A Philadelphian scientist named David Rittenhouse was appointed the first Director of the Mint. In its first production, 11,178 copper cents circulated in 1793, it was said that George Washington himself donated some of his own silver during these first productions.
Aside from the actual minting, the Mint is also responsible for the designs engraved in the coinage. Through the years, US presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, JFK, Dwight Eisenhower and others have graced the minted coins. Also, personalities like Susan B. Anthony, the first woman to grace a coin; and Sacagawea, a Shoshone woman who assisted in the Lewis and Clark expedition; have graced commemorative coins through the years. The Mint is also responsible in producing medals used in special occasions such as the Indian Peace Medals, Congressional Gold Medals, and Military medals. It has been responsible also for minting foreign currency coins such as the Venezuelan centavo and Hawaiian coins, before the latter became part of the United States. In 1873, through the Coinage Act of 1873, the US Mint was officially incorporated to the US Department of Treasury.
Today, the Mint has facilities in Denver, San Francisco, West Point, Fort Knox and the original Mint in Philadelphia.
Edmund C. Moy, sworn in as Director by George W. Bush in 2006, currently heads the Mint. His term will end in 2011.
Timothy Geithner, Secretary, US department of Treasury
Edmund C. Moy, Director, US Mint
The first US Mint facility in Philadelphia, PA was also known as “Ye Olde Mint.”