Old United States Mint (San Francisco)
California Historical Landmark No. 875
The old San Francisco Mint building, built in 1874
|Location||Fifth and Mission Streets, San Francisco, California|
|Architect||Alfred B. Mullett|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP reference No.||66000231|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||July 4, 1961|
The San Francisco Mint is a branch of the United States Mint and was opened in 1854 to serve the gold mines of the California Gold Rush. It quickly outgrew its first building and moved into a new one in 1874. This building, the Old United States Mint, also known affectionately as The Granite Lady, is one of the few that survived the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It served until 1937, when the present facility was opened.
Within the first year of its operation, the San Francisco mint turned $4 million in gold bullion into coins. The second building, completed in 1874, was designed by Alfred B. Mullett in a conservative Greek Revival style with a sober Doric order. The building had a central pedimented portico flanked by projecting wings in an E-shape; it was built around a completely enclosed central courtyard that contained a well—the features that saved it during the fire of 1906, when the heat melted the plate glass windows and exploded sandstone and granite blocks with which it was faced. The building sat on a concrete and granite foundation, designed to thwart tunneling into its vaults, which at the time of the 1906 fire held $300 million, fully a third of the United States' gold reserves. Efforts by Superintendent of the Mint, Frank A. Leach, and his men preserved the building and the bullion that then backed the nation's currency. The mint resumed operation soon thereafter, continuing until 1937.
In 1961 the Old Mint, as it had become known, was designated a National Historic Landmark.It also became a California Historical Landmark in 1974.
The given name of "The Granite Lady" is somewhat of a misnomer as most of the building is made from sandstone. While the base/basement of the building is made of granite, the entire external and upper stories are made of sandstone. The Granite Lady was a marketing term given in the 1970s that stuck.
The Old Mint was open to visitors until 1993. In 2003 the federal government sold the structure to the City of San Francisco for one dollar—an 1879 silver dollar struck at the mint— for use as a historical museum to be called the San Francisco Museum at the Mint.
In the fall of 2005, ground was broken for renovations that would turn the central court into a glass-enclosed galleria. In 2006 Congress created the San Francisco Old Mint Commemorative Coin, the first coin to honor a United States mint (Pub.L. 109–230 (text) (pdf)). The first phase of renovations were completed in 2011.
In 2014, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society began raising money for the second phase, which would have included permanent exhibitions. In 2015, the City of San Francisco looked for a new tenant to renovate and program the space with Activate San Francisco Events being selected as an interim tenant.As the City's 2016 public re-opening event, continuing the tradition of a similar event from past years, on the first weekend in March, the Old Mint hosted a "San Francisco History Days" event with over sixty participating historic organizations. Until a new tenant is found, the Old Mint will continue to be used for special events, some open to the public. In April 2016, the California Historical Society agreed to undertake the restoration of the building and its preservation as a public space.
The new Mint was opened in 1937. Beginning in 1955, circulating coinage from San Francisco was suspended for 13 years. In 1968, it took over most proof coinage production from the Philadelphia Mint, but continued striking a supplemental circulating coinage from 1968 through 1974. Since 1975, the San Francisco Mint has been used almost exclusively for proof coinage, with the exception of the Susan B. Anthony dollar from 1979–81, a portion of the mintage of cents in the early 1980s, and circulation-strike America the Beautiful quarters marked with an "S" mintmark and only issued for collectors since 2012. The dollars and quarters bear a mintmark of an "S", but the cents are otherwise indistinguishable from those minted at Philadelphia (which bear no mintmarks, unlike those years' proof cents from San Francisco and circulation cents from Denver).
From 1962 to 1988, the San Francisco Mint was officially an assay office; the San Francisco Assay Office was granted mint status again on March 31, 1988 (Pub.L. 100–274). The San Francisco Mint is located at 155 Hermann Street, but only admits visitors on rare exception. On May 15, 1987, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Mint, a limited number of people were allowed to tour the facility. This tour was advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, with a phone number to call to reserve a spot.
|Value||5 U.S. Dollar|
|Diameter||.850 Inches mm|
|Years of minting||2006|
|Design||The "Granite Lady" San Francisco Old Mint. Inscriptions: '1906-2006', 'Liberty', E Pluribus Unum' & 'San Francisco Earthquake and Fire Centennial'|
|Designer||Charles L. Vickers|
|Design||A replica of the 1906 Half-Eagle Coronet Liberty eagle reverse. Inscriptions: 'United States of America', 'In God We Trust', & 'Five D.'|
|Value||1 U.S. Dollar|
|Years of minting||2006|
|Design||Old Mint "The Granite Lady", Instrumental in San Francisco's Recovery, 1906-2006, E Pluribus Unum, Liberty|
|Designer||Sherl J. Winter|
|Design||Replica of the Morgan Silver Dollar Rev; United States of America, One Dollar, In God We Trust|
|Designer||George T. Morgan|
In 2006, the United States Mint released a gold five dollar commemorative coin which commemorates the 100th year after the old San Francisco mint survived an earthquake. The mint also played a part in the city's recovery after the earthquake, providing shelter for many as it was one of the few buildings left standing.
The coin was minted as both a proof coin and an uncirculated coin, and is no longer available directly from the United States Mint. On June 15, 2006, President George W. Bush signed Public Law 109-230, legislation authorizing the production of the 2006 San Francisco $5 commemorative gold coin as well as its $1 silver counterpart. The production of the $5 denomination was limited to a maximum mintage of 100,000 coins, but separate mintage figures for each of the proof and uncirculated coins have not yet been released. The $1 silver version was limited to only 500,000 coins, both in proof and uncirculated products, but distinct mintage figures for both products has not been officially stated.
The reverse was designed by Christian Gobrecht and sculpted by Joseph Menna.
In 2006, the United States Mint released a silver dollar commemorative coin which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the survival of the old San Francisco mint in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
The mint also played a part in the city's recovery after the earthquake.
The coin was sold as both as a proof coin and an uncirculated coin, with a maximum coinage of 500,000 coins.
This coin has a design of the old San Francisco mint on the obverse and a replica of the 1904 eagle design of Morgan silver dollars on the reverse.
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.
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 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 first United States 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 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 half dime, or half disme, was a silver coin, valued at five cents, formerly minted in the United States.
The United States Bicentennial coinage is a set of circulating commemorative coins, consisting of a quarter, half dollar and dollar struck by the United States Mint in 1975 and 1976. Regardless of when struck, each coin bears the double date 1776–1976 on the normal obverses for the Washington quarter, Kennedy half dollar and Eisenhower dollar. No coins dated 1975 of any of the three denominations were minted.
The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States.
The Morgan dollar was a United States dollar coin minted from 1878 to 1904, in 1921 and 2021. It was the first standard silver dollar minted since the passage of the Coinage Act of 1873, which ended the free coining of silver and the production of the previous design, the Seated Liberty dollar. The coin is named after its designer, United States Mint Assistant Engraver George T. Morgan. The obverse depicts a profile portrait representing Liberty, while the reverse depicts an eagle with wings outstretched. The mint mark, if present, appears on the reverse above the "o" in "Dollar".
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 Manila Mint was a coinage mint that briefly served as a branch of the United States Mint, located in Manila, now the capital city of the Philippines.
The quarter eagle was a gold coin issued by the United States with a denomination of two hundred and fifty cents, or two dollars and fifty cents. It was given its name in the Coinage Act of 1792, as a derivation from the US ten-dollar eagle coin. Its purchasing power in 1800 would be equivalent to $71.12 in 2015 dollars.
The Library of Congress bimetallic eagle is a modern U.S. commemorative coin issued in the ten dollar denomination. It is the first gold and platinum bimetallic coin to be issued by the United States Mint. It was issued in proof and business strike qualities.
In 2007, the United States Mint released a gold five-dollar commemorative coin which commemorates the 400th year after the founding of Jamestown. Surcharges from the sale of the Jamestown commemorative were donated to Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Secretary of the Interior and the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities to support programs that promote the understanding of the legacies of Jamestown.
In 2007, the United States Mint released a silver dollar commemorative coin which commemorates the 400th year after the founding of Jamestown. Surcharges from the sale of the Jamestown commemorative were donated to Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Secretary of the Interior and the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities to support programs that promote the understanding of the legacies of Jamestown.
The America the Beautiful quarters are a series of 56 25-cent pieces (quarters) issued by the United States Mint starting in 2010 and scheduled to continue until 2021. The obverse (front) of all the coins depicts George Washington in a modified version of the portrait used for the original 1932 Washington quarter. There will be five new reverse (back) designs each year, each commemorating a national park or national site – one from each state, the federal district, and each territory. The program is authorized by the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008.
These are the mintage quantities for strikings of the United States nickel
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.
The Leif Ericson Millennium commemorative coins are a series of coins issued by the United States Mint to commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of Leif Ericson's discovery of the Americas.
The United States Uncirculated Coin Set, known as the Uncirculated Set or Mint Set in the United States, is an annual coin set sold by the United States Mint. The set is marketed towards coin collectors as a way to obtain circulation coins in mint condition.
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