Back in the 18th century, the first colonies had begun to separate from England and were beginning to form their very own country. This country would eventually become the United States of America. To create a whole new country, the founding fathers had to come up with a lot of new ideas to make the country successful. Not only did they need to make laws and rules, but they realized that they needed their very own money, too, instead of using English or Spanish money. In the year 1775, a man by the name of John Hancock decided that people living in the colonies should use bills of credit as a type of money. This money was made of paper, and it could be traded for Spanish dollars. Eventually, Thomas Jefferson came up with a new type of money that was similar to the Spanish dollar, and in 1785, the people of the colonies decide that they should use this new type of money for their country.
History of the U.S. Mint
A few years later, the colonies were ready to make their new form of money. Congress decided that there should be a specific place and certain people that were in charge of making this money. This place would be called the U.S. Mint, and the people who worked there would make coins of silver, gold, and even copper. In the year 1792, the U.S. Mint was built and the very first coins were made. The very first coins were made of copper, with one type being worth one cent and the other worth half of a cent. These coins were released to the people of the United States, and by 1799, the U.S. Mint became its very own agency and was responsible for making a lot of coins. Eventually, more buildings needed to be built in order to keep making enough money for different areas. The second U.S. Mint building was built in 1829 and the third in 1838. From there, more and more locations were opened, and soon enough, there were U.S. Mint buildings all over the country. In the 1900s, a lot of changes were made to the coins and money that were made by the mint, especially after the California Gold Rush, when a lot of gold was found in the country. Quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies have all changed throughout the years, although one fact has remained the same: They were all made by the U.S. Mint!
The U.S. Mint Today
The U.S. Mint is still a very important part of the United States of America today, even though the mint does not have to figure out how to make all new types of coins as it did at first. There are buildings throughout the country where coins are made, but the biggest one in the whole country is in Philadelphia. All of the U.S. Mint locations, big or small, have a lot of important jobs to do. The U.S. Mint still makes coins such as quarters and pennies, and they also make coins such as gold and silver dollars. The U.S. Mint also makes coins for special occasions that coin collectors especially like, and they even design and produce certain medals, such as Baseball Hall of Fame and Congressional medals. In the early 2000s, a lot of coins were given new designs by the U.S. Mint, and they continue to come up with new designs and safety precautions for coins to help prevent criminals from being able to make fake coins. In 2014, the Mint even created the very first curved coin in the history of United State's currency. It is a very unique silver dollar coin that was designed for the 75th anniversary of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and it took a lot of work since there had never been a curved coin before. Even while the U.S. Mint is busy creating a lot of new designs, they also spend a lot of time educating people about coins, especially children. The U.S. Mint has a website just for children where they offer games and a lot of fun information about coins and the U.S. Mint itself. They also have a lot of workshops and programs for coin collectors and other people who are interested in learning about coins. Even though the U.S. Mint has been around for a long time, they still have a lot new coins to design and people to teach in the years to come.