Coins of the United States dollar (aside from those of the earlier Continental currency) were first minted in 1792. New coins have been produced annually and they make up a valuable aspect of the United States currency system. Today, circulating coins exist in denominations of 1¢ (i.e. 1 cent or $0.01), 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion (including gold, silver and platinum) and commemorative coins. All of these are produced by the United States Mint. The coins are then sold to Federal Reserve Banks which in turn are responsible for putting coins into circulation and withdrawing them as demanded by the country's economy.
Today, four mints operate in the United States producing billions of coins each year. The main mint is the Philadelphia Mint,which produces circulating coinage, mint sets and some commemorative coins. The Denver Mint also produces circulating coinage, mint sets and commemoratives. The San Francisco Mint produces regular and silver proof coinage, and produced circulating coinage until the 1970s. The West Point Mint produces bullion coinage (including proofs). Philadelphia and Denver produce the dies used at all of the mints. The proof and mint sets are manufactured each year and contain examples of all of the year's circulating coins.
The producing mint of each coin may be easily identified, as most coins bear a mint mark. The identifying letter of the mint can be found on the front side of most coins, and is often placed near the year. Unmarked coins are issued by the Philadelphia mint. Among marked coins, Philadelphia coins bear a letter P. Denver coins bear a letter D, San Francisco coins bear a letter S, and West Point coins bear a letter W. S and W coins are rarely, if ever, found in general circulation, although S coins bearing dates prior to the mid-1970s are in circulation. The CC, O, C, and D mint marks were used on gold and silver coins for various periods from the mid-19th century until the early 20th century by temporary mints in Carson City, Nevada; New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Dahlonega, Georgia. Most such coins that still exist are now in the hands of collectors and museums.
|1¢||19.05 mm (0.750 in)||1.52 mm (0.060 in)||1909–1942|
3.11 g (48.0 gr)
| copper 95%|
|plain||Abraham Lincoln||Wheat||1909–1958||wide 2||wheat cent, wheat penny, wheatie|
|1943: ?||steel/zinc 1||rare 2|
|1944–1946: ?||salvaged brass composition 1||wide 2|
3.11 g (48.0 gr)
| copper 95%|
|Lincoln Memorial||1959–2008||wide||cent, penny|
2.50 g (38 gr)
copper 2.5% 1
|see article: 2009 redesign||Lincoln bicentennial designs||2009|
|5¢||21.21 mm (0.835 in)||1.95 mm (0.077 in)||5.000 g (77.16 gr)|| copper 75%|
nickel 25% 3
|plain||Thomas Jefferson (profile)||Monticello||1938–2003||wide||nickel|
|see article: Westward Journey nickel||Lewis & Clark bicentennial designs||2004–2005|
|Thomas Jefferson (portrait)||Monticello||2006–present|
|10¢||17.91 mm (0.705 in)||1.35 mm (0.053 in)||2.268 g (35.00 gr)|| copper 91.67%|
nickel 8.33% 4
|118 reeds||Franklin D. Roosevelt||torch, oak branch, olive branch||1946–present||wide||dime|
|25¢||24.26 mm (0.955 in)||1.75 mm (0.069 in)||5.670 g (87.50 gr)||119 reeds||George Washington||Bald eagle||1932–1974, 1977–1998 5||wide||quarter, quarter dollar|
|Bicentennial colonial military drummer||(1975) 1976 5|
|see article: 50 State quarters||State Quarter Series||1999–2008|
|see article: D.C. and U.S. Territories quarters||D.C. and U. S. Territories Quarters||2009|
|see article: America the Beautiful quarters||America the Beautiful Quarters||2010–2021|
| 50¢ ||30.61 mm (1.205 in)||2.15 mm (0.085 in)||11.34 g (175.0 gr)||150 reeds||John F. Kennedy||Seal of the President of the United States surrounded by 50 stars||1964–1974, 1977–present 5||limited 6||half, half dollar, 50-cent piece|
|Independence Hall||(1975) 1976 5|
| $1 ||38.1 mm (1.500 in)||2.58 mm (0.102 in)||22.68 g|
|reeded||Dwight D. Eisenhower||Apollo 11 mission insignia||1971–1974, 1977-1978||limited 6||large dollar, Ike dollar|
|Liberty Bell superimposed over the Moon||1975-1976|
|26.50 mm (1.043 in)||2.00 mm (0.079 in)||8.10 g|
|reeded||Susan B. Anthony||Apollo 11 mission insignia||1979–1981, 1999 8||limited 6||SBA, Suzie B.|
| $1 ||26.49 mm (1.043 in)||2.00 mm (0.079 in)||8.10 g|
Cladding: 77% Cu,
Overall: 88.5% Cu,
|plain||Sacagawea||Bald eagle in flight||2000–2008||limited 7||dollar coin, gold(en) dollar, Sacagawea|
|see article: Native American $1 Coin Act||incused inscriptions||Native American Themes||2009–present|
|see article: Presidential dollar coins 7||Each deceased president||Statue of Liberty||2007–2016, 2020 (after 2012 not for circulation)||dollar coin, gold(en) dollar|
|see article: American Innovation dollars 9||Statue of Liberty||Various designs, honoring an innovation or innovator from each state||2018–2032 (not currently circulated)|
|These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.|
Non-circulating bullion coins have been produced each year since 1986. They can be found in gold, silver, platinum (since 1997), and palladium (since 2017). The face value of these coins is legal as tender, but does not actually reflect the value of the precious metal contained therein. On May 11, 2011, Utah became the first state to accept these coins as the value of the precious metal in common transactions. The Utah State Treasurer assigns a numerical precious metal value to these coins each week based on the spot metal prices. The bullion coin types include "S" (San Francisco, 1986-1992), "P" (Philadelphia, 1993 - 2000), and "W" (West Point, New York, 2001–present).
|Silver||America the Beautiful silver bullion coins||25¢||see article: America the Beautiful quarters||76.2 mm||999 fine||5.00 ozt (155.52 g)||2010 – 2021|
|American Silver Eagle||$1||40.6 mm||1.00 ozt (31.10 g)||1986 – present|
|Gold||American Gold Eagle||$5||16.5 mm||916 fine (22 karat)||0.10 ozt (3.11 g)||1986 – present|
|$10||22.0 mm||0.25 ozt (7.78 g)||1986 – present|
|$25||27.0 mm||0.50 ozt (15.55 g)||1986 – present|
|$50||32.7 mm||1.00 ozt (31.10 g)||1986 – present|
|American Buffalo||$5||16.5 mm||999.9 fine (24 karat)||0.10 ozt (3.11 g)||2008|
|$10||22.0 mm||0.25 ozt (7.78 g)||2008|
|$25||27.0 mm||0.50 ozt (15.55 g)||2008|
|$50||32.7 mm||1.00 ozt (31.10 g)||2006 – present|
|American Liberty high relief gold coin||$100||see article: American Liberty high relief gold coin||30.61 mm||1.00 ozt (31.10 g)||2015 – present|
|Platinum||American Platinum Eagle||$10||16.5 mm||999.5 fine||0.10 ozt (3.11 g)||1997 – 2008|
|$25||22.0 mm||0.25 ozt (7.78 g)||1997 – 2008|
|$50||27.0 mm||0.50 ozt (15.55 g)||1997 – 2008|
|$100||32.7 mm||1.00 ozt (31.10 g)||1997 – present|
|Palladium||American Palladium Eagle||$25||32.7 mm||999.5 fine||1.00 ozt (31.10 g)||2017 – present|
|These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.|
Modern commemoratives have been minted since 1982. A list is available here.
|Type||Total Weight||Diameter||Composition||Face Value||Precious Metal Content|
|Half Dollar||11.34 g||30.61 mm (1.205 in)||Cu 92%, Ni 8%||50¢||none|
|12.50 g||Ag 90%, Cu 10%||silver 10.25374 g (~0.36169 ozt)|
|Dollar||26.73 g||38.1 mm (1.500 in)||Ag 90%, Cu 10%||$1||silver 24.057 g (~0.773 ozt)|
|Half Eagle||8.539 g||21.59 mm (0.850 in)||Au 90%, Ag 6%, Cu 4%||$5||gold 7.523 g (~0.2418 ozt)|
|Eagle||16.718 g||26.92 mm (1.060 in)||Au 90%, Ag 6%, Cu 4%||$10||gold 15.05 g (~0.484 ozt)|
|Bi-metallic Eagle||16.259 g||26.92 mm (1.060 in)||Au 48%, Pt 48%, alloy 4%||gold, platinum|
|First Spouse Gold Bullion||14.175 g||26.49 mm (1.043 in)||Au 99.99%||gold 14.175 g (~0.456 ozt)|
Note: It is a common misconception that "eagle"-based nomenclature for gold U.S. coinage was merely slang. The "eagle," "half-eagle" and "quarter-eagle" were specifically given these names in the Coinage Act of 1792. Likewise, the double eagle was specifically created as such by name ("An Act to authorize the Coinage of Gold Dollars and Double Eagles", title and section 1, March 3, 1849).
Some modern commemorative coins have been minted in the silver dollar, half-eagle and eagle denominations.
See also US coin sizes, showing all major U.S. coin series and scaled images in a single chart.
The law governing obsolete, mutilated, and worn coins and currency, including types which are no longer in production (e.g. Indian cents), can be found in 31 U.S.C. § 5120.
Although the term mill (also mil or mille) was defined in the eighteenth century as 1⁄1,000 of a dollar or 0.1¢, no coin smaller than 0.5¢ has ever been officially minted in the U.S. However, unofficial mill coins, also called "tenth cent" or "tax-help coins", made of diverse materials—plastic, wood, tin, and others—were produced as late as the 1960s by some states, localities, and private businesses for tax payments and to render change for small purchases.
The quarter, short for quarter dollar, is a United States coin worth 25 cents, one-quarter of a dollar. It has a diameter of .955 inch (24.26 mm) and a thickness of .069 inch (1.75 mm). The coin sports the profile of George Washington on its obverse, and its reverse design has changed frequently. It has been produced on and off since 1796 and consistently since 1831.
The Coinage Act of 1873 or Mint Act of 1873, 17 Stat. 424, was a general revision of the laws relating to the Mint of the United States. In abolishing the right of holders of silver bullion to have their metal struck into fully legal tender dollar coins, it ended bimetallism in the United States, placing the nation firmly on the gold standard. Because of this, the act became contentious in later years, and was denounced by some as the "Crime of '73".
A nickel is a five-cent coin struck by the United States Mint. Composed of 75% copper and 25% nickel, the piece has been issued since 1866. Its diameter is .835 inches (21.21 mm) and its thickness is .077 inches (1.95 mm). Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop, and currently the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2018, over 1.26 billion nickels were produced at the Philadelphia and Denver mints.
The United States Mint is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury responsible for producing coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, as well as controlling the movement of bullion. It does not produce paper money; that responsibility belongs to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, and soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are currently four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point.
The dime, in United States usage, is a ten-cent coin, one tenth of a United States dollar, labeled formally as "one dime". The denomination was first authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792. The dime is the smallest in diameter and is the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation, being 0.705 inches in diameter and 0.053 in (1.35 mm) in thickness. The obverse of the current dime depicts the profile of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the reverse boasts an olive branch, a torch, and an oak branch, from left to right respectively. As of 2011, the dime coin cost 5.65 cents to produce.
The dollar coin is a United States coin with a face value of one United States dollar. It is the second largest U.S. coin currently minted for circulation in terms of physical size, with a diameter of 1.043 inches and a thickness of 0.079 in (2.0 mm), coming second to the half dollar. Dollar coins have been minted in the United States in gold, silver, and base metal versions. Dollar coins were first minted in the United States in 1794. While true gold dollars are no longer minted, the Sacagawea, Presidential, and American Innovation dollars are sometimes referred to as golden dollars because of their color.
Proof coinage refers to special early samples of a coin issue, historically made for checking the dies and for archival purposes, but nowadays often struck in greater numbers specially for coin collectors (numismatists). Nearly all countries have issued proof coinage.
The eagle was a United States $10 gold coin issued by the United States Mint from 1792 to 1933.
The Coinage Act or the Mint Act, passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money, established the United States Mint, and regulated the coinage of the United States. The long title of the legislation is An act establishing a mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States. This act established the silver dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.
The half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The Canadian five-cent coin, commonly called a nickel, is a coin worth five cents or one-twentieth of a Canadian dollar. It was patterned on the corresponding coin in the neighbouring United States. It became the smallest-valued coin in the currency upon the discontinuation of the penny in 2013. Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop and currently the coin represents less than 0.5% of the country's lowest minimum hourly wage.
The West Point Mint Facility is a U.S. Mint production and depository facility erected in 1937 near the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, United States. Originally it was called the West Point Bullion Depository. At one point it had the highest concentration of silver of any U.S. mint facility, and for 12 years produced circulating pennies. It has since minted mostly commemorative coins and stored gold.
The Shield nickel was the first United States five-cent piece to be made out of copper-nickel, the same alloy of which American nickels are struck today. Designed by James B. Longacre, the coin was issued from 1866 until 1883, when it was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel. The coin takes its name from the motif on its obverse, and was the first five-cent coin referred to as a "nickel"—silver pieces of that denomination had been known as half dimes.
The Coinage Act of 1965, Pub.L. 89–81, 79 Stat. 254, enacted July 23, 1965, eliminated silver from the circulating United States dime and quarter dollar coins. It also reduced the silver content of the half dollar from 90 percent to 40 percent; silver in the half dollar was subsequently eliminated by a 1970 law.
Coin roll hunting is the hobby of searching and sorting coinage pulled from circulation for collectible coins. This is achieved through obtaining rolled coin, boxed coin, or bagged coin from banks and credit unions. A variant of this practice involves banknotes and is carried out in essentially the same fashion, normally to search for unusual serial numbers, star notes and misprints.
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the Coinage Act of 1792. One dollar is divided into 100 cents, or into 1000 mills for accounting and taxation purposes. The Coinage Act of 1792 created a decimal currency by creating the dime, nickel, and penny coins, as well as the dollar, half dollar, and quarter dollar coins, all of which are still minted in 2020.
The numismatic history of the United States began with Colonial coins such as the pine tree shilling and paper money; most notably the foreign but widely accepted Spanish piece of eight, ultimately descended from the Joachimsthaler and the direct ancestor of the U.S. Dollar.
The copper-nickel three-cent piece, often called a three-cent nickel piece or three-cent nickel, was designed by US Mint Chief Engraver James B. Longacre and struck by the United States Bureau of the Mint from 1865 to 1889. It was initially popular, but its place in commerce was supplanted by the five-cent piece, or nickel.
The three-cent silver, also known as the three-cent piece in silver or trime, was struck by the Mint of the United States for circulation from 1851 to 1872, and as a proof coin in 1873. Designed by the Mint's chief engraver, James B. Longacre, it circulated well while other silver coinage was being hoarded and melted, but once that problem was addressed, became less used. It was abolished by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1873.
The United States Mint Proof Set, commonly known as the Proof Set in the United States, is a set of proof coins sold by the United States Mint. The proof set is popular with coin collectors as it is an affordable way to collect examples of United States coinage in proof condition.