Saturday, August 16, 2008

US Mint

This write up of the US Mint explains exactly who the USD Mint are and what they deal in and is well worth reading before you decide to buy any gold or silver coins from the US Mint.

As always, it is prudent to always do one’s own due diligence before buying gold from any gold dealer or mint.

Who are the US Mint
The US Congress created the United States Mint on April 2, 1792. The Mint is responsible for creating the nationals coinage as well as providing precious metal coins for numismatic and other collectors for some years.

The US Mint creates revenue from manufacturing coins (in more way than one of course) but primarily from the precious metal coins from which it generates something on the order of 860 million dollars a year and a total of more than $1 billion in total annual revenues.

The primary mission of the United States Mint is given on the website.
To produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. In recent history circulating coin production has varied between 11 billion and 20 billion coins annually. In addition to producing coins, the United States Mint has other responsibilities, including the following:

Distributing U.S. coins to the Federal Reserve banks and branches.

Maintaining physical custody and protection of the Nation's $100 billion of U.S. gold and silver assets.

Producing proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins, and medals for sale to the general public.

Manufacturing and selling platinum, silver, and gold bullion coins.
Overseeing of production facilities in Denver, Philadelphia, San Francisco and West Point, as well as the U.S. Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The US Mint operates 6 facilities across the US with each facility performing various functions. Current facilities are located in:
Washington, DC
Philadelphia, PA
West Point, NY
Fort Knox, KY
Denver, CO, and
San Francisco, Cal.
When the US Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, it was placed within the Department of State. As per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was located in Philadelphia, the then U.S. capital. It was the first building of the Republic raised under the Constitution.

The Mint's first director was renowned scientist David Rittenhouse. The position is currently held by Edmund C. Moy. Henry Voigt was the first Superintendent and Chief Coiner. He is credited with some of the first U.S. coin designs. Another important position at the Mint is that of Chief Engraver, which has been held by such men as Frank Gasparro, William Barber, Charles E. Barber, James B. Longacre, Christian Gobrecht and Anthony C. Paquet, among others.

The Mint was made an independent agency in 1799 and, under the Coinage Act of 1873, became part of the Department of the Treasury. It was placed under the auspices of the Treasurer of the United States in 1981.

Edmund C. Moy, the current Director, was sworn in as the 38th Director of the United States Mint on September 5, 2006.

In the financial year 2007 the United States Mint manufactured over 15 billion circulating coins, generated a revenue of $2.63 billion, and contributed $825 million in earnings to the United States Treasury.

About the US Mint
The number of coins minted today is astounding. Denver and Philadelphia alone produce 65 million to 80 million coins a day. The stories behind each of the mint locations are very interesting to read about.

The first United States Mint branch, established in 1792, was located in the Nation’s capital at that time, Philadelphia. These days, the US Mint at Philadelphia makes all the circulating and uncirculated coin denominations, as well as a variety of medals, and commemorative coins as authorized by Congress. In addition, the United States Mint Sculpting/Engraving Department, responsible for engraving all coin and medal designs, is housed at the United States Mint at Philadelphia.

Of course everyone will have heard of Fort Knox. although manufacturing is not conducted at the United States Bullion Depository in Kentucky, to give it its official name, it is still a vital part of the organization. Protected by the United States Mint Police, one of the Nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agencies, virtually all of the United States Treasury’s gold and silver reserves are held by the United States Mint.

The United States Mint manufactures proof coins mainly for collectors. The term "proof" refers to the manufacturing processes used to create a special coin finish that is distinguished by a high-relief image and a brilliant mirror-like background. The coins that compose both the United States Mint Proof Set(R) and the United States Mint Silver Proof Set(TM) are so beautiful that many people think of them as miniature works of art.

The US Mint produced its first “proof set” in 1936. That set consisted of 5 coins, including the one cent (penny), five cents (nickel), ten cents (dime), twenty-five cents (quarter-dollar) and fifty cents (half-dollar). Today’s sets also include the dollar coin featuring Sacagawea - the Golden Dollar. Since 1999, this set has also contained all five coins issued as part of the 50 State Quarters(R) Program

US Mint Products
As well as the national coinage, the US mint produces various single and collective groups of precious metal coins. Here is a short list of some of them.
50 State Quarters® Program
D. & U.S. Territories
Presidential $1 Coins
First Spouse Gold Coins
Native American $1 Coins
Lincoln One-Cent Redesign
American Gold Buffalo - 24K
American Gold Eagles
It should be noted that such coins are really suitable more for numismatic and hobby collection purposes rather than investment. Mainly due to the high cost of the coins. The manufacturing process and other associated costs and profit margins means that one will pay many times the value of the gold or silver contained within the coins in order to obtain them.

Many people like to collect them however, for their intrinsic beauty and as a hobby. Any investment qualities are going to be extremely long term.

Investment in gold or silver should really be in the form of bullion such as rounds or bars.

US Mint Payment Options
If you want to buy gold coins, gold bullion, commemoratives, silver coins or silver bullion from the US Mint, they will accept all major credit cards online. You will need to open an account first and then select what you want from the product pages to be placed in the shopping cart. Then you simply order what is in the shopping cart and they will be delivered to the address you provided (which should be the same address as is on the credit card)

The Last Word on the US Mint
If you are interested in collecting US gold and silver coins purely for collecting sake then the US Mint is worth considering. Naturally all the dealers will buy from them and resell and so it is really a question of price as the coins, being hermetically sealed at the manufacturing stage, are going to be the same regardless of whom you buy them.

Of course, such coins are more suitable for collectors than for investment. Investment in gold and silver is best done using gold or silver rounds and bullion bars. in addition one can invest in gold and silver by owning it and not having the hassle of storage and transport issues, by going to and opening an account there.

If you have bought any gold coins, silver coins, gold bullion or silver bullion from the, please feel free to leave feedback on the quality of service and products you found, including any online complaints and special attention or service given by online

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