The Denver Mint
|Location||West Colfax Avenue and Delaware Street, Denver, Colorado|
|Architect||James Knox Taylor|
|Architectural style||Late 19th and 20th century revivals|
|NRHP reference No.||72000270|
|Added to NRHP||February 1, 1972|
The Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint that struck its first coins on February 1, 1906.The mint is still operating and producing coins for circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D mint mark (not to be confused with the mark of the Dahlonega Mint). The Denver Mint is the single largest producer of coins in the world.
The predecessors of the Denver Mint were the men of Clark, Gruber and Company. During the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, they coined gold dust brought from the gold fields by the miners. In 1858, Austin M. Clark, Milton E. Clark and Emanuel Henry Gruber founded a brokerage firm in Leavenworth, Kansas, and then established an office in Denver at the beginning of the Colorado Gold Rush. Desiring to save on shipping and insurance costs associated with shipping gold back east, the firm opened a private mint. On 25 July 1860, the mint opened in a two-story brick building on the corner of Market and 16th Streets, minting $10 gold pieces at the rate of "fifteen or twenty coins a minute". "On the face is a representation of the peak, its base surrounded by a forest of timber and 'Pikes Peak Gold' encircling the summit. Immediately under its base is the word 'Denver', and beneath it 'Ten D.'. On the reverse is the American Eagle encircled by the name of the firm 'Clark, Gruber & Co.', and beneath the date, '1860'." 26–27:
A $20 gold coin was added, "the weight will be greater, but the value the same as the United States coin of like denomination". A $5 and a $2.5 gold coin were added, with production reaching $18,000 per week. On the front was the "head of the Goddess of Liberty surrounded by thirteen stars, with "Clark & Company" in the tiara. "Pikes's Peak Gold, Denver" was on the other side, with "5D." or "2 1/2 D." 27:
In the almost three years of operation, they minted $594,305 worth of Pike's Peak Gold in the form of gold coins. Additionally, they purchased 77,000 troy ounces of raw gold, and shipped "large amounts of dust" to the Philadelphia Mint. The building, assaying and minting equipment was formally bought by the US Treasury in April 1863. Clark, Gruber & Co. remained a bank until bought by the First National Bank of Denver in 1865. 27:
Established by an Act of Congress on April 21, 1862, the United States Mint at Denver opened for business in late 1863 as a United States Assay Office. Operations began in the facilities of Clark, Gruber and Company, located at 16th and Market Streets and acquired by the government for $25,000, which it was simply able to print off at the location.
Unlike Clark, Gruber and Company, though, the Denver plant performed no coinage of gold as first intended. 77 One reason given by the Director of the Mint for the lack of coinage at Denver was, "…the hostility of the Indian tribes along the routes, doubtless instigated by rebel emissaries (there being a Civil War) and bad white men.":
Gold and nuggets brought there by miners from the surrounding area were accepted by the Assay Office for melting, assaying, and stamping of cast gold bars. The bars were then returned to the depositors as imparted bars stamped with the weight and fineness of the gold. Most of the gold came from the rich beds of placer gold found in the streams and first discovered in 1858, the same year Denver was founded.
When the supply of gold was exhausted from the streams, the emphasis turned to lode mining, uncovering veins of ore with a high percentage of gold and silver. By 1859, the yearly value of the gold and silver deposited at the Assay Office was over $5.6 million. During its early years as an Assay Office, the Denver plant was the city's most substantial structure.
The United States Treasury did not expand its smelting and refining operations at the same rate as the discovery and production of gold. In 1872 a group of businessmen led by Judge Hiram Bond (formerly one of the largest brokers on the New York Gold Exchange), Joseph Miner and Denver Mayor Joseph E. Bates set up a firm Denver Smelting and Refining Works which built an independent complementary plant which processed ore into ingots which were then assayed, weighed and stamped by the Denver Mint.
There was new hope for branch mint status when Congress provided for the establishment of a mint at Denver for gold and silver coin production. The site for the new mint at West Colfax and Delaware streets was purchased on April 22, 1896, for approximately $60,000. Construction began in 1897.
Appropriations to complete and equip the plant were insufficient, and the transfer of assay operations to the new building were delayed until September 1, 1904. Coinage operations finally began on February 1, 1906, advancing the status of the Denver facility to Branch Mint. In addition, before the new machinery to be used at the Mint was installed for use, it was first sent to the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 for display. Silver coins were minted in Denver for the first time in 1906. During the first year, 167 million coins were produced, including $20 gold (double eagle) coins, $10 gold (eagle) coins, $5 gold (half eagle) coins, and assorted denominations of silver coins.
Coins of the United States dollar 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¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, and $1.00. Also minted are bullion 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.
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".
The Dahlonega Mint was a former branch of the United States Mint built during the Georgia Gold Rush to help the miners get their gold assayed and minted, without having to travel to the Philadelphia Mint. It was located at in Dahlonega, Lumpkin County, Georgia. Coins produced at the Dahlonega Mint bear the "D" mint mark. That mint mark is used today by the Denver Mint, which opened many years after the Dahlonega Mint closed. All coins from the Dahlonega Mint are gold, in the $1, $2.50, $3, and $5 denominations, and bear dates in the range 1838–1861.
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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.
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.
Assay offices are institutions set up to assay precious metals. This is often done to protect consumers from buying fake items. Upon successful completion of an assay, the assay offices typically stamp a hallmark, or poinçon on the item to certify its metallurgical content. Hallmarking first appeared in France, with the Goldsmiths' Statute of 1260 promulgated under Etienne Boileau, Provost of Paris, for King Louis IX.
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The Susan B. Anthony dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1979 to 1981, when production was suspended due to poor public acceptance, and then again in 1999. Intended as a replacement for the larger Eisenhower dollar, the new smaller one-dollar coin went through testing of several shapes and compositions, but all were opposed by the vending machine industry, a powerful lobby affecting coin legislation. Finally, a round planchet with an eleven-sided inner border was chosen for the smaller dollar.
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