illustration of the first
United States Mint building.
People have been making coins for thousands of years. Long ago the
very first mint was founded during the 600s AD in what is now a part
of Turkey. Early Greek and Roman
people, used coins in exchange for products such as food and clothing.
The first mint in the United States
was located in Boston, Massachusetts in 1652. According to the
Articles of Confederation of 1781, the
U.S. Congress and each state had the rights and powers to mint money
and control its value. This did not work because the value of money
was different in each state. Therefore, the United
States Congress established the United States Mint on April 2,
1792 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This was the first federal
building constructed after the Constitution was signed by the 13 colonies.
The location of the mint was very convenient since Philadelphia was
our nation's capital at that time (1790 to 1800).
Originally coins were made from gold, silver, and copper at the mint.
Our first president, George Washington, is believed to have given
his own silver to the mint for coin production. We hope his
wife, Martha, did not lose her favorite silver candlesticks!