The Mints

It’s amazing what you find on the web when you’re not really looking for it.

Did you know the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Curator maintains web pages for the buildings of the US Mint?

They include pictures and historical information for the buildings associated with the currently operating mints of Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco. They have not added pictures and building information for the newest operating mint at West Point, New York yet.

They also include details about mints no longer in operation: Carson City, Nevada and New Orleans, Louisiana. Missing from their web pages are the pictures and details for the Dahlonega, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina mints.

The southern mints began for two primary reasons. First, the Philadelphia mint had difficulty keeping up with the needs at the time especially the influx of gold. Second, carrying gold from the south to Philadelphia became very hazardous to the men transporting the raw material.

The southern mints were initiated by the Act of 1835 approved by Andrew Jackson. The three mints began coin output by late 1838. Both Dahlonega and Charlotte only minted gold coins. New Orleans minted both gold and silver coinage.

The three mints were seized by the Confederacy in 1861 and with only sporadic operation afterwards they were eventually shut down.

After the Civil War, only the New Orleans mint resumed minting coins. The Charlotte mint became an Assay Office but was never again a working mint. The Dahlonega location was not reopened as a Department of Treasury location.

The Office of the Curator may find it difficult to obtain details for the Dahlonega and Charlotte mints. However, the State of Georgia archives contain some early Dahlonega mint photographs as we showed in an earlier blog post. But, since the original Dahlonega mint building burned, the historical architectural information may be lost.

Regardless, enjoy a brief historical trip through the mints  which is both educational and interesting. And, for obvious security reasons, the building information does not provide any significant details about the current buildings.