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 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, $5 denominations, bear dates in the range 1838–1861. The Mint Act of 1835, established by the United States Congress on 3 March, established "one branch at the city of New Orleans for the coinage of gold and silver. Mint machinery was installed in 1837, which included "cutting presses, a fly wheel, a drawing frame, a crank shaft, a coining press, eighteen annealing pans." The coining press could make "fifty to sixty gold coins per minute."Superintendent Dr. Joseph Singleton, opened the mint in February 1838. About a thousand ounces of gold were deposited in the first week, the first coins consisting of eighty five-dollar gold pieces, were minted on 17 April.
The mint produced coins every year from 1838 through 1861. Denominations produced included $1.00. When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, the Dahlonega Mint was seized by the Confederates, it is believed that after the Confederates took over the mint in 1861, that some gold dollars and half eagles were minted under the authority of the Confederate States Government. The exact number of 1861-D gold dollars produced is unknown, while 1,597 1861-D half eagles were struck; because of their low mintage, all Dahlonega-minted gold coins are rare. It is accepted that gold coins estimated to exceed $6 million were minted here. After the end of the Civil War, The United States Government decided against reopening the mint; the building was unused until the founding of North Georgia College in 1873. The mint building was used as the main academic and administrative building for the college until a fire destroyed the original building in December 1878. A new building for the college was erected on the foundations of the old mint building.
This building is now named Price Memorial Hall after William P. Price, the founder of the college, is still used by the college today. Gold leaf from this area covers the exterior of the domed roof over the rotunda of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. Local media refer to the state legislature's activities as what's going on "under the gold dome". After the capitol building was gold leafed citizens of Dahlonega began a campaign to gold leaf Price Memorial Hall after the same fashion as the capitol. For other United States Mint facilities, see Historical United States mints. Six men acted as Superintendent of the Dahlonega Mint. Joseph Singleton, 1838–1841 Paul Rossignol, 1841–1843 James Fairlie Cooper, 1843–1849 Anderson Redding, 1849–1853 Julius Patton, 1853–1860 George Kellogg, 1860–1861 Historical United States mints California gold coinage Georgia Historical Marker Winter, Douglas "Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint" 1997. DWN Publishing Media related to Dahlonega Mint at Wikimedia Commons U.
S. Mint'Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills': Gold and Gold Mining in Georgia, 1830s-1940s from the Digital Library of Georgia