Editor’s note: This is one in a series of Coin World Collector
Basics posts on facilities under the U.S. Mint’s jurisdiction.
Philadelphia Mint is the original federal Mint,
authorized by Congress through the Coinage Act of April 2, 1792. Since then, the
Philadelphia Mint has existed at four different locations.
the 1830s, the Philadelphia Mint was the nation’s sole federal Mint.
Starting in the mid-1830s, Branch Mints were opened in other cities,
with the Philadelphia Mint being the “main” or “mother” Mint and site
of the Mint director’s offices.
Branch Mint era ended with the Mint Act of 1873; Mint headquarters was moved to
Washington, D.C., and the Philadelphia Mint and the former Branch
Mints were placed on equal footing, though for most of its history,
the Philadelphia Mint was the sole facility with the capability of
making the hubs and dies for striking coins.
first U.S. Mint at Philadelphia was built on Seventh Street in 1792.
It was there in the facility’s several buildings that many of the
nation's first patterns and coins were struck, including 1792 silver half dismes, 1792
Birch cents and 1792
Silver Center cents; 1793
Flowing Hair, Chain and 1793
Flowing Hair, Wreath cents; and 1794 Flowing Hair dollars.
1792, the Philadelphia Mint has been the sole home to the U.S. Mint’s
engraving staff of sculptor-engravers and medallic sculptors. Today,
the Philadelphia facility, at Fifth and Arch streets, also houses all
of the technology and design development staff and produces most of
the tooling for the production of coins.