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United States Mint

History of the Unied States Mint

The United States Mint was created by the Coinage Act passed by Congress on April 2, 1792.


Coins Authorized by Legislation


The legislation authorized the US Mint to make gold coins and silver coins. The gold coins included Eagles, Half Eagles, and Quarter Eagles. This would have denominations of $10, $5, and $2.50. The silver coins included dollars, half dollars, quarter dollars, dimes, and half dimes. The legislation also provided for copper cents and half cents.


The President was authorized to construct a Mint building in Philadelphia. This became the Philadelphia Mint which is still minting coins today. Historically, it is the first federal building constructed under the Constitution.


Initial Appointments and Salaries


The initial annual salaries set by the legislation were $2,000 for the US Mint Director. And $1,500 for the assayer and chief coiner. And $1,200 for the engraver and treasurer. In addition, a salary of $500 was set for clerks.


The first appointed Mint Director was David Rittenhouse. This appointment was made by the first President of the United States George Washington. The first circulating coins produced by the US mint were 11,178 copper cents. These were delivered in March of 1793.


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