DEFINITION of 'The Coinage Act Of 1792'

Regulation passed by Congress on April 2, 1792 that established the U.S. Mint. The law also established the U.S. coinage system and placed the mint at the seat of the U.S. government. The law created U.S. eagles, dollars, dismes and cents, and half-denominations of each unit; the value of each of these coins was dependent on the type (gold, silver, copper) and amount of material used to make them.

BREAKING DOWN 'The Coinage Act Of 1792'

The Coinage Act of 1792 was more commonly known as the Mint Act. This act also created five officers of the mint, including a director, an assayer, a chief coiner, an engraver and a treasurer (not to be confused with the Secretary of the Treasury, a wholly separate entity). This act laid the foundation for the modern U.S. currency and is still in effect today, albeit with many modifications over the past two-plus centuries.

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