Tag Archive: Philadelphia


The Philadelphia US Coin Mint

Philadelphia US Coin Mint

The Philadelphia mint was the first official mint in the United States of America. It was also where the first US coin was ever struck as well. The creation of the mint in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was largely due to a need to create a national identity and to create a form of commerce in the newly formed country. In fact, the founding fathers of the US thought this was one of the higher priorities after the Constitution was ratified.

On April 2, 1972, the Coinage Act was made into the law and established the US Mint. Many people wonder why they chose Philadelphia of all places to build the first mint. The reason this city was chosen was because it was the national capital during that time period. They also decided what composition the coins would be, how much they would weight and what denominations would be created. They also agreed that the coins would have to have a “liberty” type theme or “an impression emblematic of liberty”.

“Ye Olde Mint” – First US Coin Mint in Philadelphia

The Coinage Act was created April 2nd of 1792 and it was a few months before the mint was built. A scientist by the name of David Rittenhouse was appointed by President George Washington to become the very first Director of the Mint. Rittenhouse bought two lots for $4,266.67 on July 18th of that same year. The location was at Seventh Street and 631 Filbert Street where an old abandoned whiskey distillery was located. Work began the next day when they immediately started to demolish the abandoned building.

Construction of the foundation started on July 31st and the building itself was completed by September 7th of that same year. All they had to do then was start installing equipment and a smelting furnace. In fact, the smelt house became the first public building built by the US government, which was three stories tall and was constructed with brick. During that time, it was one of the most prominent and tallest buildings in the city. They painted the words “Ye Olde Mint” and that was the first mint in the United States.

Original "Ye Olde Mint" PhiladelphiaThere was a lot of gold and silver that needed to be used to mint coins so they stored it in the basement of the mint in vaults. The coins were struck and minted on the first floor where the press was. They also weighted the coins here as well. The second floor of the Philadelphia mint housed the official offices and the third floor housed the assay office. They also had horses in the basement of a mill house that powered the rolling mill on the first floor.

Unfortunately, the smelt house and mill were destroyed by a fire in 1816. They had to do smelting in other locations because the smelt house since there was never a repair of the smelt house. They did build a brick building in place of the mill but this time the put a steam engine in place to power the machines instead of the horses. The first mint successfully minted until 1833 until they moved to a second mint located in Philadelphia. The original mint and land was sold off to Frank Steward who wanted to preserve the buildings and its history. Unfortunately, no one helped out and the buildings were destroyed around 1910 with nothing remaining except a small plaque.

The Second Mint of Philadelphia

Work on the second mint started on July 4th of 1829 when the cornerstone was laid down at a location where Chestnut and Juniper intersected. The nickname was “Grecian Temple” because the building was built with white marble and had columns that looked like the old Greek style. William Strickland designed the building and it measured 150 feet by 204 feet, which was much larger than the original. The second mint actually opened in 1833 and used some of the salvaged equipment from the first mint. The equipment was outdated so a man named Franklin Peale was sent out with a goal to learn about advanced minting techniques and machines in Europe. He then returned and improved the production of the mint ever since.

Second Philadelphia MintThe second mint existed through many great events in American history including the Civil War and the expansion of the nation from both coasts and a population growth from 13 million to 76 million. By the turn of the century, the demand for coinage became too great for the mint in Philadelphia, so they had to start thinking about an expansion. So in 1901, a third mint was created and the second one was destroyed in 1902. Interestingly enough, they dug up the original cornerstone and put it in a candy jar along with some coins, newspapers and a historical document about the mint and the new one that was about to be built.

The Third Mint of Philadelphia

The designer of the third mint was James Knox Taylor. They decided to build it at the address of 1700 Spring Garden Street, which was a block away from the US Smelting Company. The purpose of this mint was to expand production since demand was so high. In a single year, they were able to mint 501 million US coins and 90 million coins that were for the foreign countries.

Third Philadelphia US Mint - Community CollegeAlso, the design of the mint had a Roman temple style as opposed to the earlier Greek style of the second mint. Again, it was a very large and landmark-worthy building that was as large as an entire city block. To this day, this building still exists but it became part of the Community College of Philadelphia, who acquired it sometime in 1973.

The Current and Modern Philadelphia Coin Mint

The fourth and current modern mint that is in use today was built in 1969 only two blocks away from the original “Ye Olde Mint”. Vincent G. Kling designed this mint, which became the largest mint in the world until January 2009. The coin production here is amazing due to modern technology. In fact, one million coins can be minted in just half an hour, which would have taken 3 years to do at the original mint.

Current Modern Philadelphia Mint TodayNowadays the mint creates more than just US currency, but also commemorative items such as government awards, medals and special coins. Philadelphia also engraves all of the dies here as well. One important thing to note for collectors is that any coin without a mint mark was minted in Philadelphia. The Uncirculated or special coins include a “P” mintmark as well as circulated coins from after 1980 except for the Lincoln cents. Otherwise the regular circulated coins coming out of Philadelphia had no mint market except for the wartime Jefferson nickels and the 1979 Susan B. Anthony Dollar.

Interesting Facts and Coin Statistics of the Philadelphia Mint

Total Number of US Coins Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 344,949,858,004
That’s right! Over 300 BILLION Coins were minted in Philadelphia and that only includes the official US currencies. These figures come from adding up all of the mintages in our database from this particular mint, which does not include the coins that had “N/A” or unknown mint figures or figures from the current year. So the number above is extremely conservative and the total number of coins ever minted in Philadelphia throughout the entire history of the United States of America is at least this much!

Total Number of Half Cents Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 8,092,399 face value worth $40,462

Total Number of Large Cents Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 155,626,453 face value worth $1,556,265

Total Number of Small Cents Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 224,734,003,784 face value worth $2,247,340,038

Total Number of Two Cent Pieces Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 45,601,600 face value worth $912,032

Total Number of Three Cent Pieces Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 73,387,556 face value worth $2,201,627

Total Number of Nickels Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 27,193,713,512 face value worth $1,359,685,676

Total Number of Half Dimes Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 80,897,258 face value worth $4,044,863

Total Number of Dimes Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 45,439,785,128 face value worth $4,543,978,513

Total Number of Twenty Cent Pieces Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 56,710 face value worth $11,342

Total Number of Quarters Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 41,022,963,485 face value worth $10,255,740,871

Total Number of Half Dollars Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 2,807,576,225 face value worth $1,403,788,113

Total Number of Dollars Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 3,071,598,773 face value worth $3,071,598,773

Total Number of Gold Dollars Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 18,258,798 face value worth $18,258,798

Total Number of $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagles Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 16,761,812 face value worth $41,904,530

Total Number of $3 Gold Coins Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 407,161 face value worth $1,221,483

Total Number of $4 Gold Coins Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 472 face value worth $1,888

Total Number of $5 Gold Half Eagles Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 41,914,850 face value worth $209,574,250

Total Number of $10 Gold Eagles Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 34,563,330 face value worth $345,633,300

Total Number of $20 Gold Double Eagles Ever Minted in Philadelphia = 71,180,180 face value worth $1,423,603,600

Article Taken from the USA Coin Book website URL http://www.usacoinbook.com/encyclopedia/coin-mints/philadelphia/

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Denomination –  1 Dime (0,10 Dollars)
Country –  United States Of America
Year –  1935
Head Of State – President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Mint – Philadelphia (No Mintmark)
Obverse – Image of Liberty wearing a Phrygian Cap, Date 1935, In God We Trust, Designer’s Monogram
Reverse – A Fasces juxtaposed with an olive branch (symbolizing America’s readiness for war, combines with its desire for peace. United States Of America – E Pluribus Unum
Metal – 90% Silver- 10% Copper
Condition – Almost Uncirculated
Creator –Adolph A. Weinmann
Catalogue – KM#140
Edge – Reeded
Mintage – 58,830,000
Collection – Giannis Koromilas
Diameter  – 17,90  mm
Weight – 2,50 gr
Interesting Facts – Although most commonly referred to as the “Mercury” dime, the coin does not depict the Greek messenger god. The obverse figure is a depiction of the mythological goddess Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap a classic Western symbol of liberty and freedom, with its wings intended to symbolize freedom of thought. It is considered one of the most beautiful coin designs ever produced. The fasces symbol on the reverse of the coin was adopted by the Italian National Fascist Party of Benito Mussolini.
Of particular interest is the condition of the horizontal bands tying together the bundle on the fasces, on the coin’s reverse. On well-struck examples, separation exists within the two sets of bands (known as Full Split Bands). Coins exhibiting this feature are typically valued higher than those without it
Rare Dates:1916-D; Scarce Dates:1921, 1921-D, 1926-S, 1931-D, 1931-S
Krause Value – 7.15$ (Unc)Melt Value (2,01$ – 03/01/2012)
Denomination –  1 Dime (0,10 Dollars)
Country –  United States Of America
Year –  1989
Head Of State – President George H.W. Bush
Mint – Philadelphia
Obverse – The portrait in left profile of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 to his death in 1945, accompanied with the motto: “IN GOD WE TRUST” and surrounded with the lettering “LIBERTY”. Philadelphia “P” 1980-date
Lettering: LIBERTY – IN GOD WE TRUST – 2005 P – JS
Reverse – Ahead the motto “E • PLU RIB US • U NUM”, an olive branch, a torch and an oak branch symbolize respectively peace, liberty and victory and are surrounded with the facial value and the lettering “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”
Lettering: E • PLU RIB US • U NUM – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA • ONE DIME •
Metal – Outer layers – 75% copper and 25% nickel bonded to an inner core of pure copper
Condition – Uncirculated
Creator – John R. Sinnock
Catalogue – http://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces53.html
Edge – Reeded (118 reeds)
Mintage – 1.298.400.000
Collection – Giannis Koromilas
Diameter  –  17,91 mm
Weight – 2,27 gr
Interesting Facts –  Early Roosevelt dimes were made of 90% silver and 10% copper (1946-1964). Dime pieces from 1964 forward are clad coinage consisting of copper sandwiched between two layers of an alloy that is 75% copper and 25% nickel.Beginning in 1992, silver coins were included in yearly collectors sets produced by the US Mint. These 90 percent silver proof coins include the Roosevelt Dime, Washington Quarter and Kennedy Half Dollar.
Image Taken from UCoins.net website
Denomination –  5 Cents (0,05 Dollars)
Country –  United States Of America
Year –  2005
Head Of State – President George W. Bush
Mint – Philadelphia
Obverse – Thomas Jefferson large profile, 3rd President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence. Mintmark “P” of Philadelphia Mint
Reverse – American Bison – E Pluribus Unum (One, out of many)
Metal – 75% Copper – 25% Nickel
Condition – Uncirculated
Creator – Obv. Designer: Joe Fitzgerald and Don Everhart II – Rev. Designer: Jamie Franki and Norman E. Nemeth
Catalogue – KM#368
Edge – Smooth
Mintage – 448.320.000
Collection – Giannis Katopodis
Diameter  – 21,21 mm
Weight – 5,00 gr
Interesting Facts – The 1938 through 1942 D versions of the nickel are also made of the same composition, but generally are sold for a premium over their melt value due to rarity. 0,05053606 was the melt value on December 18,2011.As of March 14, 2011, the value of the metal in a nickel is $0.0665396, 33.07% more than its face value. 
Krause Value – 1,00$ (MS-65)
Image taken from UCoins.net website
Denomination –  5 Cents (0,05 Dollars)
Country –  United States Of America
Year –  2005
Head Of State – President George W. Bush
Mint – Philadelphia
Obverse – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence.
Reverse –  Westward Journey Series including “American Bison” and “Ocean in view! O! The joy!”.
Metal – 75% Copper – 25% Nickel
Condition – Uncirculated
Creator – Obv. Designer: Joe Fitzgerald and Don Everhart – Rev. Designer: Joe Fitzgerald and Donna Weaver
Catalogue – KM#369
Edge – Radical
Mintage – 394,080,000
Collection – Giannis Koromilas
Diameter  – 21,2 mm
Weight – 5,00 gr
Interesting Facts – The 1938 through 1942 D versions of the nickel are also made of the same composition, but generally are sold for a premium over their melt value due to rarity. 0,05053606 was the melt value on December 18,2011.As of March 14, 2011, the value of the metal in a nickel is $0.0665396, 33.07% more than its face value. The final Westward Journey nickel reverse  depicts the Pacific Ocean and the words from William Clark’s diary upon reaching it. In a controversial move, the U.S. Mint decided to amend Clark’s actual words. He had originally written, “Ocian in view! O! The Joy!” but as the spelling “ocian” is nonstandard (and might have led to hoarding in the mistaken belief that the Mint had made an error that would soon be corrected), the U.S. Mint decided to modify it to “ocean”
Krause Value – 1,00$ (MS-65)
Denomination –  1 Cent (0,01 Dollars)
Country –  United States Of America
Year –  1957
Head Of State – President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Mint – Philadelphia
Obverse – Abraham Lincoln, In God We Trust, Liberty, 1957
Reverse – E Pluribus Unum, One Cent, Unites States Of America, Two Wheat Stalks
Metal – 95% Copper – 5% Zinc
Condition – Uncirculated
Creator – Victor David Brenner
Catalogue –  KM #132
Edge – Plain
Mintage – 282,540,000
Collection – Giannis Koromilas
Diameter  –  19.0 mm
Weight – 3.10 gr
Interesting Facts – Mint Mark Appears Only in Denver and San Francisco Issues. All other coins were minted in Philadelphia. The Lincoln cent coinage represented new directions the mint had begun taking. Of the most notable is that it was the first circulating coin to feature a portrait of an actual person and not that of lady liberty. This spelled the beginning of the end for lady liberty on other denominations in years to come.Being the first coin to depict a real person is not the only “first” status that the cent can claim to. The Lincoln cent was also the first to bear the term “IN GOD WE TRUST”, the first cent ever to be minted at the Denver Mint, and in WWII issue the first and only U.S. circulating coin made of steel.
Krause Value – 9,00 $ (MS-65)