Editor’s note: This is one in a series of Coin World Collector Basics posts on facilities under the U.S. Mint’s jurisdiction.
The Charlotte Mint was born out of the need of miners to get their newly discovered North Carolina gold minted into coins without having to make the laborious trek to the federal Mint in Philadelphia. The nation’s first gold rush occurred in the 1830s in North Carolina and Georgia as gold deposits were found in the region.
Until the Charlotte Mint’s authorization by Congress in 1835, coinage needs were being fulfilled by the Bechtler family with their private mint in Rutherfordton, N.C.
The Charlotte Mint opened in 1837 for the assaying and processing of mined gold, and coins began being struck there on March 27, 1838.
The Charlotte Mint did not receive much in the way of new minting equipment. Much of the hand-me-down production equipment used at Charlotte came from the Philadelphia Mint.
Like the Dahlonega Mint in Georgia, the Charlotte Mint only produced gold coins, with output limit to dollars, $2.50 quarter eagles and $5 half eagles. During the 1850s, limited gold supplies meant the most consistent output was the half eagle denomination. All of the coins struck at the facility bear a C Mint mark.
The Charlotte Mint struck 5,992 1861-C Coronet half eagles before the facility was seized by the Confederacy on April 20, 1861, and 887 coins afterward.
For the remainder of the Civil War, the Charlotte Mint served as office space for the Confederacy, and after the war Union troops occupied the structure. Eventually, the Charlotte Mint was restored to Assay Office status.
In 1935, the structure was taken down to make way for a new post office, but it was reconstructed at a new location at 2730 Randolph St. where it houses the Mint Museum Randolph.
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