The Charlotte Mint was the first United States branch mint. It was located in North Carolina and specialized in gold coinage. Following the first documented discovery of gold in the United States, the country's first gold mine was established in North Carolina at the Reed Gold Mine; as no mints existed in the Charlotte area, miners had to send their gold dust to Philadelphia to be melted and coined The transportation process was difficult, slow and dangerous, frustration with this system led to the creation of private gold coining operations in the Charlotte area. However, making gold into local money had its own inherent problems, such as accurate weighing and determining fineness. In the spring of 1831, North Carolina merchants and miners petitioned Congress for a branch mint in the Charlotte region to reduce the risk of transporting gold, they received no response until three years when the United States Treasury began to investigate private coining operations and recognized North Carolina's need for more federal coinage.
On March 3, 1835, the United States Congress approved an Act 115 to 60 to establish several branch mints. And for the purpose of purchasing sites, erecting suitable buildings, completing the necessary combinations of machinery...for the branch at Charlotte, fifty thousand dollars". This Act authorized mints at Dahlonega and New Orleans, after President Andrew Jackson signed it into law. In November, 1835, Levi Woodbury, Secretary of the Treasury, was notified by Samuel MeComb that he had purchased from William Carson and F. L. Smith a full square containing 4 acres of land for $1,500.00, now the 400 block of West Trade Street. Proposals for erection of the building were advertised and the contract was awarded to Perry & Ligon, of Raleigh, NC on October 15, 1835 at a price of $29,800.00. In 1836, construction on the Charlotte Mint began, it opened for business on July 27, 1837. Only raw gold was processed and refined until March 28, 1838, when the first $5 gold half eagle was struck in Charlotte.
That year, $2½ quarter eagles were minted, 1849 production started on a small gold dollar. All gold coinage coming from this mint has a "C" mint mark to distinguish it from other sister mints in operation; the Charlotte Mint issued over $5 million in gold coins over the course of nine years – 1849-55, 1857, 1859. Coins produced in 1850,'52,'55, and'59 are considered rare or rare, 1854 coins are nearly unattainable as only four pieces were coined. In May 1861, North Carolina seceded from the Union; the Confederacy seized the Charlotte Mint along with those at New Dahlonega. The Confederate government continued coining operations until October when it became clear it was a futile effort; the mint was converted into a hospital and military office space for the remainder of the Civil War. Federal troops used the offices for the first few years of Reconstruction. In 1867, the U. S. government downgraded it to an assay office due to a shortage of gold dust. In 1873, the General Assembly of North Carolina petitioned Congress to reopen the mint at Charlotte.
This request was denied. The Assay office operated until 1913. From 1917 to 1919, the Charlotte Women's Club met in the building, it served as a Red Cross station during World War I. In 1931, the building was to be demolished to make room for the post office expansion next door. A coalition of private citizens acquired the structure from the U. S. Treasury Department in 1933, they relocated the structure a few miles south of downtown Charlotte, to the historic neighborhood of Eastover on a plot of land donated by E. C. Griffith. In 1936, it was dedicated as the Mint Museum of the first art museum in North Carolina. On display are thousands of items, along with a complete collection of all gold coins minted at the Charlotte Mint; the museum includes a reference library with over 15,000 volumes and a theater featuring lectures and performances. Charlotte Mint gold coins range from scarce to rare, they are some of the most desired items in numismatics today. D. Winter, Charlotte Mint Gold Coins and Merena Galleries, 1987.
An illustrated catalog of all gold coins produced at the Charlotte Mint. R. W. Burdette, From Mine to Mint: American Coinage Operations and Technology, 1833 to 1937, Seneca Mills Press, March 20, 2013. Text detailing the technology and operations of the United States Mints from 1833 to 1937. Historical United States mints California gold coinage U. S. Mint
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; the Denver Mint is the single largest producer of coins in the world.. The predecessors of the Denver Mint were the men of Clark 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 and 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.
Under its base is the word'Denver', beneath it'Ten D.'. On the reverse is the American Eagle encircled by the name of the firm'Clark, Gruber & Co.', beneath the date,'1860'."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."In the 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, shipped "large amounts of dust" to the Philadelphia Mint; the building 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. 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 and Company, located at 16th and Market Streets and acquired by the government for $25,000, which it was able to print off at the location. Unlike Clark and Company, the Denver plant performed no coinage of gold as first intended. 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 and bad white men." Gold and nuggets brought there by miners from the surrounding area were accepted by the Assay Office for melting and stamping of cast gold bars. The bars were 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, 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 assayed 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 $60,000. Construction began in 1897. Appropriations to complete and equip the plant were insufficient, the transfer of assay operations to the new building were delayed until September 1, 1904.
Coinage operations 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 coins, $10 gold coins, $5 gold coins, assorted denominations of silver coins; the Denver Mint is mentioned in The Andy Griffith Show episode "A Black Day for Mayberry". The Denver Mint is featured in the 1993 Sylvester Stallone film Cliffhanger, as the production point of the money stolen in the film, the departure point for the plane; the Mint is mentioned in both the title and lyrics of the Jimmy Eat World song "Lucky Denver Mint". The Denver Mint appears anachronistically in the 1870s in the 1967 The Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Circus of Death". To above, The Mint is anachronistically set in the 1870s in the 1960 Shotgun Slade episode "The Missing Train".
The 1960 episode "Cold Hard Cash" of The Rifleman, set a few ye
The Sesqui-Centennial International Exposition of 1926 was a world's fair in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its purpose was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence, the 50th anniversary of the 1876 Centennial Exposition. In 1916, the idea for a Sesquicentennial Exposition stemmed from the mind of John Wanamaker, the only living member of the Centennial Exposition’s Finance Committee. At the time Philadelphia was a booming city, in terms of opportunity. Wanamaker was well aware of the city's corruption, believed a fair could redeem Philadelphia's reputation, he believed by hosting another world’s fair, the restoration of the city’s integrity and industry would emerge. By the end of August 1916, Wanamaker received the support of Howard French, the president of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. In October, plans were underway, French assigned a committee responsible for planning the “Great International Exposition of Philadelphia in 1926.”
The Fairmount Parkway, under construction, would be the official site of the exposition. In 1917 the United States found itself involved in World War I, which caused the planning for the Sesquicentennial Exposition to be placed on hold. After World War I, Philadelphia suffered because of losses in the war, the spread of Spanish Influenza, the hardships of Prohibition; these circumstances combined made the city’s atmosphere bleak with the election of the new mayor J. Hampton Moore. Through these hardships, Wanamaker's hope and vision for a celebration of Philadelphia continued. Wanamaker took advantage of an interview on July 11, 1919, by using the opportunity to discuss his ideas for a 1926 world’s fair. From this interview, he received the support of other notable Philadelphians as well as The Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, who encouraged Mayor Moore to participate in immediate planning. By November of 1920, Moore hosted an event to discuss and develop plans for the Sesquicentennial Exposition, resulting in the establishment of the Committee of 100.
The committee's first meeting was held on January 24, 1921, renaming itself the Sesqui-Centennial Exhibition Association. Mayor Moore had been elected as the SCEA's president, while Wanamaker was appointed honorary chairman to its board; the honor of hosting this celebration was awarded to Philadelphia in 1921. Initial grand plans were scaled down tremendously by the time; the original director of the exposition, Colonel David C. Collier, resigned in protest over these budget cuts, his replacement, Captain Asher C. Baker, retired due to illness days before the festival opened, leaving things in the hands of E. L. Austin. Baker died less than two weeks later; the fair opened on May 31, 1926, ran through November on grounds bounded by 10th Street, Packer Avenue, 23rd Street, the U. S. Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. Known as League Island Park, these grounds are now occupied by FDR Park, Marconi Plaza, Packer Park Residential Neighborhood, the three stadiums of Philadelphia's massive South Philadelphia Sports Complex, the Philadelphia Eagles training complex which now occupy that portion of the grounds which from 1933 to 1993 were the site of Philadelphia Naval Hospital.
The senior draftsman for the design of the exposition buildings was a young Louis Kahn a world-renowned architect working under City Architect John Molitor. Sculptor Charles Tefft as chosen as the director of sculpture for the fair while noted Philadelphia sculptor and artist Albert Laessle created the fair's Medals of Award. Organizers constructed an 80-foot replica of the Exposition's symbol, the Liberty Bell, covered in 26,000 light bulbs, at the gateway to the festival. Sesqui-Centennial Stadium was built in conjunction with the fair; the stadium had been a significant aspect of the fair, due to several events being held there. These events include religious ceremonies, the patriotic pageant known as "Freedom," and numerous sporting events. One of the most infamous events was the September 23rd championship boxing match between Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey, which drew a crowd of 125,000 people standing in the rain to witness the occasion. On display at the exposition was the Curtis Organ, still one of the largest pipe organs in the world.
In 1926 the first bridge spanning the Delaware River between center city Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey, was built in anticipation of the attending crowds. Key speakers at the opening ceremonies were Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg, Secretary of Commerce and future President Herbert Hoover, Philadelphia Mayor W. Freeland Kendrick. At the center of the exposition along the main thoroughfare on a segment of south Broad Street known as the Southern Boulevard Parkway was the Forum of Founders consisting of the Court of Honor, the Liberal Arts and Agriculture Buildings, a group of sculptures and the Stairway of Nations facing on the opposing side the spectacular Tower of Light. Another highlight for fair goers, revolved around the recreation of Philadelphia's High Street during the city's colonial period; this area consisted of over twenty buildings, along with guides dressed in period clothing to interact with people. The Exposition included an amusement area, located within League Island Park.
The area was designated as “Treasure Island.” It was referred to as a children's paradise. A variety of amusements and e
Indian Head gold pieces
The Indian Head gold pieces or Pratt-Bigelow gold coins were two separate coin series, identical in design, struck by the United States Mint: a two-and-a-half-dollar piece, or quarter eagle, a five-dollar coin, or half eagle. The quarter eagle was struck from 1908 to 1915 and from 1925–1929; the half eagle was struck from 1908 to 1916, in 1929. The pieces remain the only US circulating coins with recessed designs; these coins were the last of their denominations to be struck for circulation, ending series that began in the 1790s. President Theodore Roosevelt, from 1904, vigorously advocated new designs for United States coins, had the Mint engage his friend, the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, to design five coins that could be changed without congressional authorization. Before his death in August 1907, Saint-Gaudens completed designs for the eagle and double eagle, although both required subsequent work to make them suitable for coining. With the eagle and double eagle released into circulation by the end of 1907, the Mint turned its attention to the half eagle and quarter eagle planning to duplicate the double eagle's design.
The Mint had difficulty fitting the required inscriptions on the small gold coins. President Roosevelt, in April 1908, convinced Mint Director Frank Leach that it would be a better idea to strike a design similar to that of the eagle, but below the background, to secure a high-relief effect; such coins were designed by Boston sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt at the request of the President's friend, William Sturgis Bigelow. After some difficulty, the Mint was successful in this work, though Pratt was unhappy at modifications made by the Mint's engravers, headed by longtime Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber; the two pieces were struck until World War I caused gold to vanish from circulation, again in the late 1920s. Neither coin circulated much. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt stopped the issuance of gold in coin form, recalled many pieces which were in private or bank hands. In 1904, US President Theodore Roosevelt complained about the artistic quality of American coinage to his Secretary of the Treasury, Leslie Mortier Shaw, asked if it were possible to hire a private sculptor such as the President's friend Augustus Saint-Gaudens to give modern, artistic designs to US coins.
At Roosevelt's instigation, Shaw had the Mint hire Saint-Gaudens to redesign five denominations of US coinage that could be changed without an Act of Congress: the cent and the four gold pieces. By the Mint Act of 1792, an "eagle" was made equivalent to ten dollars. Mint officials assumed that whatever design was selected for the double eagle would be scaled down for the three lower denominations. In May 1907, President Roosevelt decided that the eagle and double eagle would bear different designs, a departure from past practice. In August, outgoing Mint Director George E. Roberts wrote, "no instructions have been received from the President as to the half and quarter eagle, but I expected that the eagle design would be used upon them". After considerable difficulties, the Mint issued the eagle and double eagle based on Saint-Gaudens' designs that year; the eagle featured Liberty wearing an Indian headdress on the obverse and a perched bald eagle on the reverse. Due to the difficulties with the two larger coins, little attention was given to the half eagle and quarter eagle until late 1907.
On November 28, 1907, Treasury Secretary George Cortelyou wrote in a letter that the double eagle design was to be used for the two small gold pieces. On December 2, Mint Director Frank Leach instructed the Philadelphia Mint to prepare coinage dies for the small pieces, using the double eagle design. Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber replied a week that it would be difficult to put all the legends that were required by law on the new pieces, such as the name of the country. On the double eagle, "E Pluribus Unum" is placed on the edge, an impractical setting on pieces about the size of the nickel and dime. Philadelphia Mint Superintendent John Landis forwarded Barber's letter to Leach with his own note, stating, "I know it will be difficult to put the inscription'E Pluribus Unum' on the periphery of a quarter eagle, but I do not see where else it can and we must try to do it". Barber was assigned the task of solving these difficulties, he planned to use his low-relief version of Saint-Gaudens' double eagle design, but he made slow progress on the assignment.
Leach wrote to Saint-Gaudens' attorney to ask if the sculptor's assistant Henry Hering could do the work. Hering was willing, asked for enlarged models of the double eagle designs. Barber opposed bringing in outsiders, citing delays in the preparation of the earlier gold coin designs which he attributed to the Saint-Gaudens studio: "it is unnecessary to trouble Mr. Hering any further, unless another year is to be wasted in vain endeavor". On January 3, 1908, Leach wrote to Hering to inform him; the President's friend, Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow, had been in Japan for most of 1907. Bigelow was one of a number of Roosevelt's friends given early specimens of the double eagle, he wrote to the President on January 8, 1908, praising the Saint-Gaudens coins and stating that he was working with a Boston sculptor, Bela Pratt, on an idea that would
Early United States commemorative coins
The early United States commemorative coins traditionally begins with the 1892 Columbian half dollar and extends through the 1954 Booker T. Washington issue, although the first commemorative coin of the United States was issued in 1848; the profits from the sale of commemorative coins was used to fund a specific project. Commemorative coins were a money raising mechanism. Modern United States commemorative coins 50 State Quarters District of Columbia and United States Territories Quarters America the Beautiful Quarters Presidential $1 Coin Program American Innovation $1 Coin Program ^α The 1848 CAL quarter eagle did not sell well with numismatists, all unsold coins were placed into circulation; because of this, some numismatists consider the 1848 CAL quarter eagle to be a circulation commemorative rather than a true commemorative. Duffield, Frank. "Another commemorative half dollar this year". The Numismatist. American Numismatic Association: 236–237
The Nova Constellatio coins are the first coins struck under the authority of the United States of America. These pattern coins were struck in early 1783, are known in three silver denominations, one copper denomination. All known examples bear the legend "NOVA CONSTELLATIO" with the exception of a unique silver 500-Unit piece; the Nova Constellatio patterns were the culmination of two years of work on the part of Robert Morris, the Founding Father credited with financing the Revolutionary War. Morris was unanimously elected the Nation’s first Superintendent of Finance in 1781; the financier’s plan, developed with his assistant, Gouverneur Morris, was ambitious: he hoped to unite the fledgling Nation with a monetary unit that would allow for easy conversion from British, Portuguese, or State currencies to U. S. funds. More Morris’s proposal would be the first system of coinage in Western Europe or the Americas to use decimal accounting – an innovation, adopted by every nation on earth in the last two centuries.
Due to the new government’s precarious financial situation, Congress did not put Morris’s plan into effect. S. Dollar. Both men became champions of the decimal concept after examining Morris’s coins. While Thomas Jefferson was in possession of the Nova Constellatio coins, he wrote a report entitled “Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit and of Coinage for the United States”. If we adopt the Dollar for our Unit, we should strike four coins, one of gold, two of silver, one of copper, viz.: 1. A golden piece, equal in value to ten dollars: 2; the Unit or Dollar itself, of silver: 3. The tenth of a Dollar, of silver also: 4; the hundredth of a Dollar, of copper. This is the first written description of the monetary system adopted by the United States illustrating the historical importance of Morris's patterns. There are records of seven coins associated with Morris's plan: 1. A single silver coin of indeterminate denomination delivered to Morris on April 2nd, 1783. Upon its receipt, Morris recorded in his diary: I sent for Mr. Dudley who delivered me a Piece of Silver Coin being the first, struck as an American Coin.2.
A set of silver coins comprising a 1,000-Unit piece, a 500-Unit piece, three 100-Unit pieces. These coins were struck after Alexander Hamilton visited the Treasury, initiating correspondence “On the Subject of the Coin” between Morris and Hamilton, culminating in the decision to strike a set of coins “to lay before Congress”; these coins were sent to Thomas Jefferson, who composed his “Notes on the Establishment of a Money Unit and of Coinage for the United States” while examining the set. Jefferson recorded the value of the set at $1.8, or 1,800-Units, indicating that its composition was one 1,000-Unit piece, one 500-Unit piece, three 100-Unit pieces. This is the precise composition of the known silver examples bearing the legend "Nova Constellatio".3. A 5-Unit copper piece bearing the legend "Nova Constellatio", sent to London prior to Jefferson’s receipt of the set. After being returned to Congress, the coins were dispersed. In the mid-1840s, the 1,000-unit and 500-Unit piece from the set bearing the Legend NOVA CONSTELLATIO were discovered by a descendent of longtime Secretary of Congress, Charles Thomson.
From this point forward, Morris’s coins would be called the Nova Constellatios. Twenty-five years would pass. A second silver 500-Unit piece was uncovered in 1870. Collectors dubbed this coin the “Type-2”, because its design differed from the Congressional set’s 500-Unit piece. In 2017, the designation for this piece was changed to "Plain Obverse" in A Guide Book of United States Coins 2017: The Official Red Book, when forensic evidence demonstrated that it was struck prior to the example from the set, sent to Congress. By 1900, three silver 100-Unit coins - all bearing the NOVA CONSTELLATIO inscription – would be located, leaving only the copper 5-Unit piece unaccounted for. In 1979, this coin bearing the NOVA CONSTELLATIO legend, was discovered in Europe. Nova Constellatio patterns
Liberty Cap large cent
The Liberty Cap large cent was a type of large cent struck by the United States Mint from 1793 until 1796, when it was replaced by the Draped Bust large cent. The coin features an image of the goddess of her accompanying Phrygian cap; the Liberty Cap large cent, designed by Joseph Wright, was issued by the Mint from 1793 to 1796. The Mint created this type of cent in an attempt to satisfy the public objections to the Chain cent and Wreath cent, it appears to have been a little more successful than its precedents, as it was continued into 1797, unlike the previous two issues, which were each issued for less than a year. In 1795, the planchets became too thin for the use of edge lettering on the coins, so coins from late-1795 onward have no edge lettering; the Liberty Cap half cent was designed not by Wright, but by Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, Robert Scot. Due to the differences in individual dies used in the coin dies used to produce these coins, there are over one hundred known varieties for the series.
Some of these include the variable shapes of the head or differences in the size and shape of the numbers in the date. Some of these varieties influences the value of the coin for collectors. R. S. Yeoman, A Guide Book Of United States Coins, 2009 edition. Http://www.coinfacts.com/large_cents/liberty_cap_large_cents/1794_large_cents/1794_large_cent_varieties.htm