DEFINITION of 'Mint'

A mint is a primary producer of a country's coin currency, and it has the consent of the government to manufacture coins to be used as legal tender. Along with production, the mint is also responsible for the distribution of the currency, protection of the mint's assets and overseeing its various production facilities. The U.S. Mint was created in 1792 and is a self-funded agency. A country's mint is not always located or even owned by the home country, such as when the San Francisco Mint produced 50-centavo silver coins for Mexico in 1906.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mint'

The U.S. Mint has six main facilities that help produce coins for the United States. The headquarters building is in Washington, D.C., and staffers there perform administrative functions. Fort Knox, in Kentucky, serves as a storage facility for gold bullion. The mint operates a major facility in Philadelphia that produces coins for circulation, creates engravings used for coins and makes the dies that stamp images onto metal. The mint in Denver also produces coins for circulation, except these coins typically have a "D" stamped near the date to indicate "Denver." The San Francisco facility focuses on creating special, high-quality proof sets of coins. The small facility at West Point, New York, creates special coins from silver, gold and platinum. Some coins are commemorative, which means they do not go into general circulation as normal currency.

Statistics

Because the United States has a lot of people and a large economy, the U.S. Mint produces billions of coins every year. In 2015 alone, the U.S. Mint produced more than 17 billion coins for circulation at facilities in Philadelphia and Denver. More than 9.3 billion of these coins were cents, which totals $93 million in pennies. By comparison, nearly 3 billion quarters were struck for a value of $750 million.

Fun Facts

The most popular commemorative coin, based on number of coins sold from 1982 to 2013, was the Statue of Liberty coin set from 1986 that celebrated the monument's centennial. Consumers bought nearly 15.5 million coins out of those sets. The next most popular coin over that span was the 1982 half dollar commemorating the 250th anniversary of George Washington's birth. All commemorative coins are legal tender for the face value, although the precious metals and collectible value of these coins usually keep prices well above face value.

David Rittenhouse, appointed by Washington, was the nation's first director of the U.S. Mint. Throughout its history, mints also existed in Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada and Louisiana. Until 1873, the U.S. Mint reported directly to the president of the United States. As of 2016, the mint operates under the auspices of the Department of the Treasury.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Trillion Dollar Coin

    A gimmick or good idea? The trillion dollar coin is a theoretical ...
  2. The Coinage Act Of 1792

    Regulation passed by Congress on April 2, 1792 that established ...
  3. MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, ...

    Investopedia explains: An acronym coined by major investment ...
  4. Mint Ratio

    1. The price of an ounce of gold divided by the price of an ounce ...
  5. Gresham's Law

    Gresham's law is a monetary principle stating that "bad money ...
  6. Debasement

    Debasement refers to lowering the value of a currency, particularly ...
Related Articles
  1. Insights

    Giant Gold Coin Stolen From German Museum

    The 221-pound coin would be worth close to $4.5 million at current gold prices.
  2. Insights

    How Mint.com Makes Money

    Mint.com has greatly benefited from the 2009 acquisition by Intuit and has built out multiple revenue streams from its free personal financial data-gathering tool.
  3. Tech

    New Counterfeit-Proof £1 introduced by the British Royal Mint

    Dubbed "the most secure coin in the world", the new British £1 coin entered circulation March 28.
  4. Investing

    10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Money In Your Wallet

    Here are some fun and interesting facts about the money that you use on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Investing

    Why Are People Hoarding Coins?

    Meet the new class of investor: the coin hoarder.
  6. Managing Wealth

    JetBlue's Lower-Priced First-Class Airline Seats

    JetBlue is expanding its Mint service to provide more relatively low-cost first class seats. Just how comfortable are they?
  7. Tech

    Britain's Royal Mint to Test Gold Trading via Blockchain

    The UK's Royal Mint is in talks to build a blockchain-based market to trade gold bullion.
  8. Trading

    7 Currency Blunders You Could Cash In On

    The government has made its share of mistakes when it comes to printing money, and the results are collector's items.
  9. Tech

    How Did Bitcoin Gold Prices Perform in 2017?

    Bitcoin gold hasn't been in existence for two full months yet, but it has already drawn attention.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Who decides when to print money in India?

    Find out the role of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the amount of authority given to the government to issue currency ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Ethereum

    Ethereum is a decentralized software platform that enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built ...
  2. Cryptocurrency

    A digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of ...
  3. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority - FINRA

    A regulatory body created after the merger of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange's ...
  4. Initial Public Offering - IPO

    The first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs are often issued by companies seeking the capital to expand ...
  5. Cost of Goods Sold - COGS

    Cost of goods sold (COGS) is the direct costs attributable to the production of the goods sold in a company.
  6. Profit and Loss Statement (P&L)

    A financial statement that summarizes the revenues, costs and expenses incurred during a specified period of time, usually ...
Trading Center