US Coins

US money producers unaffected by shutdown

The Philadelphia Mint and other Mint facilities have not shut down.

Images from Coin World files.

The federal government’s presses should keep striking coins and printing Federal Reserve notes during the partial government shutdown that began before the long Christmas holiday weekend.

That’s because the U.S. Mint, the nation’s coinage producer, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which prints U.S. paper money, get no appropriations from taxpayer money but instead are funded by selling the products they make.

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Mint officials confirmed that operations will continue as normal despite the shutdown.

“The United States Mint is funded by its own Public Enterprise Fund, not by annual appropriations,” U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said Dec. 21. “As a result, the Mint will be open for business and operate normally throughout any lapse in funding.”

Circulating coinage production will stay on track at the Philadelphia and Denver Mints, as will striking of coins for annual coin sets and commemorative coinage, Proof coins for numismatic products at the San Francisco Mint, and gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins of all finishes at the West Point Mint.

Public tours will continue as usual without interruption at the Philadelphia and Denver facilities.

BEP to reopen Jan. 2

The BEP’s two production facilities, both the Washington, D.C., plant and the facility outside Fort Worth, Texas, were closed starting Dec. 22 and were to reopen Jan. 1. However, the closure is an annual tradition — the BEP halts note production and closes its public tours during the Christmas to New Year’s holidays every year.

A BEP officials confirmed Dec. 27 that the bureau was closed because of the annual closure, but would resume normal operations on Jan. 2 despite the shutdown. The BEP gets its funding in the same manner as the U.S. Mint.

This is what Coin World reported in October 2013: “Production of Federal Reserve notes is unaffected at the bureau’s two production facilities. The BEP does not rely on budget appropriations for its operating funding. The BEP sells Federal Reserve notes to the Federal Reserve at face value, which is well above each note’s production costs.”

Mint funding

Up until the establishment of the Public Enterprise Fund under Public Law 104-52, enacted Nov. 19, 1995, the U.S. Mint had to go before Congress annually to plead for federal appropriations to financially support its operations.

The PEF holds revenue generated from the sales of circulating coinage to the Federal Reserve, sales of numismatic products to collectors and the general public, and sales of bullion coinage to the bureau’s 12 authorized purchasers. The PEF finances production of coinage, medals and other numismatic items, as well as protection of the bureau’s physical assets.

The Mint provides Congress with quarterly reports detailing activities involving the PEF. 

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