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
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is a government agency within the United States Department of the Treasury that designs and produces a variety of security products for the United States government, most notable of, Federal Reserve Notes for the Federal Reserve, the nation's central bank. In addition to paper currency, the BEP produces Treasury securities; the BEP does not produce coins. With production facilities in Washington, D. C. and Fort Worth, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is the largest producer of government security documents in the United States. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has its origins in legislation enacted to help fund the Civil War. In July 1861, Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to issue paper currency in lieu of coins due to the lack of funds needed to support the conflict; the paper notes were government IOUs and were called Demand Notes because they were payable "on demand" in coin at certain Treasury facilities. At this time the government had no facility for the production of paper money so a private firm produced the Demand Notes in sheets of four.
These sheets were sent to the Treasury Department where dozens of clerks signed the notes and scores of workers cut the sheets and trimmed the notes by hand. The Second Legal Tender Act authorized the Treasury Secretary to engrave and print notes at the Treasury Department; the currency processing operations in the Treasury were not formally organized. When Congress created the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and National Currency Bureau in 1863, currency-processing operations were nominally subordinated to that agency and designated the "First Division, National Currency Bureau." For years, the currency operations were known by various semi-official labels, such as the "Printing Bureau," "Small Note Bureau," "Currency Department," and "Small Note Room." It was not until 1874 that the "Bureau of Engraving and Printing" was recognized in congressional legislation with a specific allocation of operating funds for fiscal year 1875. From the beginning of its operations, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing designed and printed a variety of products in addition to currency.
As early as 1864, the offices which would become the BEP made passports for the State Department and money orders for the Post Office Department. Passports are now produced by the Government Publishing Office. Other early items produced by the BEP included various government debt instruments, such as interest-bearing notes, refunding certificates, compound interest Treasury notes, bonds; the production of postage stamps began in 1894, for the next century the BEP was the sole producer of postage stamps in the country. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing took over production of postage stamps for the United States government in July 1894. Paper currency was produced on hand presses around 1918, utilizing plates capable of printing four notes per sheet; the Bureau of Engraving and Printing took over production of postage stamps for the United States government in July 1894. The first of the works printed by the BEP was placed on sale on July 18, 1894, by the end of the first year of stamp production, the BEP had printed and delivered more than 2.1 billion stamps.
The United States Postal Service switched purely to private postage stamp printers in 2005, ending 111 years of production by the Bureau. Starting in 2011 the United States Postal Service in-housed all postage stamp printing services. Plate capacity on power presses increased from four to eight notes per sheet in 1918 in order to meet expanded production requirements related to World War I. With the redesign of currency in 1929, the first major change since paper currency was first issued in 1861, note design was not only standardized but note size was significantly reduced. Due to this reduction in size, the Bureau was able to convert from eight-note printing plates to twelve-note plates; the redesign effort came about for several reasons, chief among them a reduction in paper costs and improved counterfeit deterrence through better public recognition of currency features. A further increase in the number of notes per sheet was realized in 1952 after breakthrough developments in the production of non-offset inks.
Beginning in 1943, the BEP experimented with new inks that dried faster, therefore obviating the need to place tissues between sheets to prevent ink from offsetting to other sheets. The faster drying ink enabled printed sheets of backs to be kept damp until the faces were printed, thereby reducing distortion caused by wetting, re-wetting of the paper. By reducing the distortion that increases proportionally with the size of the sheet of paper, the Bureau was able to convert from 12-note printing plates to plates capable of printing 18 notes in 1952. Five years in 1957, the Bureau began printing currency via the dry intaglio method that utilizes special paper and non-offset inks, enabling a further increase from 18 to 32 notes per sheet. Since 1968, all currency has been printed by means of the dry intaglio process, whereby wetting of the paper prior to printing is unnecessary. In this process, fine-line engravings are transferred to steel plates from which
United States Mint
The United States Mint is a unit of the Department of 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; the Mint was created in Philadelphia in 1792, soon joined by other centers, whose coins were identified by their own mint marks. There are four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Point; the Mint was created by Congress with the Coinage Act of 1792, placed within the Department of State. Per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was in Philadelphia, the capital of the United States. Today, the Mint's headquarters are in Washington D. C.. It operates mint facilities in Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Point, New York and a bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Official Mints were once located in Carson City, Nevada. Part of the State Department, the Mint was made an independent agency in 1799, it converted precious metals into standard coin for anyone's account with no seigniorage charge beyond the refining costs.
Under the Coinage Act of 1873, the Mint became part of the Department of the Treasury. It was placed under the auspices of the Treasurer of the United States in 1981. Legal tender coins of today are minted for the Treasury's account; the first Director of the United States Mint was renowned scientist David Rittenhouse from 1792 to 1795. The position was held most by Edmund C. Moy until his resignation effective January 9, 2011; the position was left vacant until April 2018. Henry Voigt was the first Superintendent and Chief Coiner, is credited with some of the first U. S. coin designs. Another important position at the Mint is that of Chief Engraver, held by such men as Frank Gasparro, William Barber, Charles E. Barber, James B. Longacre, Christian Gobrecht; the Mint has operated several branch facilities throughout the United States since the Philadelphia Mint opened in 1792, in a building known as "Ye Olde Mint". With the opening of branch mints came the need for mint marks, an identifying feature on the coin to show its facility of origin.
The first of these branch mints were the Charlotte, North Carolina, Dahlonega and New Orleans, Louisiana branches. Both the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints were opened to facilitate the conversion of local gold deposits into coinage, minted only gold coins; the Civil War closed both these facilities permanently. The New Orleans Mint closed at the beginning of the Civil War and did not re-open until the end of Reconstruction in 1879. During its two stints as a minting facility, it produced both gold and silver coinage in eleven different denominations, though only ten denominations were minted there at one time. A new branch facility was opened in Carson City, Nevada, in 1870. Like the Charlotte and Dahlonega branches, the Carson City Mint was opened to take advantage of local precious metal deposits, in this case, a large vein of silver. Though gold coins were produced there, no base metal coins were. In 1911 the Mint had a female acting director, Margaret Kelly, at that point the highest paid woman on the government's payroll.
She stated that women were paid within the bureau. A branch of the U. S. mint was established in 1920 in Manila in the Philippines, a U. S. territory. To date, the Manila Mint is the only U. S. mint established outside the continental U. S. and was responsible for producing coins. This branch was in production from 1920 to 1922, again from 1925 through 1941. Coins struck by this mint bear either the M mintmark or none at all, similar to the Philadelphia mint at the time. A branch mint in The Dalles, was commissioned in 1864. Construction was halted in 1870, the facility never produced any coins, although the building still stands. There are four active coin-producing mints: Philadelphia, San Francisco, West Point; the Mint's largest facility is the Philadelphia Mint. The current facility, which opened in 1969, is the fourth Philadelphia Mint; the first was built in 1792, when Philadelphia was still the U. S. capital, began operation in 1793. Until 1980, coins minted at Philadelphia bore no mint mark, with the exceptions of the Susan B.
Anthony dollar and the wartime Jefferson nickel. In 1980, the P mint mark was added to all U. S. coinage except the cent. Until 1968, the Philadelphia Mint was responsible for nearly all official proof coinage. Philadelphia is the site of master die production for U. S. coinage, the engraving and design departments of the Mint are located there. The Denver branch began life in 1863 as the local assay office, just five years after gold was discovered in the area. By the turn of the century, the office was bringing in over $5 million in annual gold and silver deposits, in 1906, the Mint opened its new Denver branch. Denver uses a D mint mark and strikes coinage only for circulation, although it did strike, along with three other mints, the $10 gold 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Com
The Federal Reserve System is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises. Over the years, events such as the Great Depression in the 1930s and the Great Recession during the 2000s have led to the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System; the U. S. Congress established three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act: maximizing employment, stabilizing prices, moderating long-term interest rates; the first two objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve's dual mandate. Its duties have expanded over the years, also include supervising and regulating banks, maintaining the stability of the financial system, providing financial services to depository institutions, the U. S. government, foreign official institutions.
The Fed conducts research into the economy and provides numerous publications, such as the Beige Book and the FRED database. The Federal Reserve System is composed of several layers, it is governed by the presidentially appointed board of Federal Reserve Board. Twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks, located in cities throughout the nation and oversee owned commercial banks. Nationally chartered commercial banks are required to hold stock in, can elect some of the board members of, the Federal Reserve Bank of their region; the Federal Open Market Committee sets monetary policy. It consists of all seven members of the board of governors and the twelve regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, though only five bank presidents vote at a time. There are various advisory councils. Thus, the Federal Reserve System has both private components, it has a structure unique among central banks, is unusual in that the United States Department of the Treasury, an entity outside of the central bank, prints the currency used.
The federal government sets the salaries of the board's seven governors. The federal government receives all the system's annual profits, after a statutory dividend of 6% on member banks' capital investment is paid, an account surplus is maintained. In 2015, the Federal Reserve earned net income of $100.2 billion and transferred $97.7 billion to the U. S. Treasury. Although an instrument of the US Government, the Federal Reserve System considers itself "an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, the terms of the members of the board of governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms." The primary motivation for creating the Federal Reserve System was to address banking panics. Other purposes are stated in the Federal Reserve Act, such as "to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, for other purposes".
Before the founding of the Federal Reserve System, the United States underwent several financial crises. A severe crisis in 1907 led Congress to enact the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. Today the Federal Reserve System has responsibilities in addition to ensuring the stability of the financial system. Current functions of the Federal Reserve System include: To address the problem of banking panics To serve as the central bank for the United States To strike a balance between private interests of banks and the centralized responsibility of government To supervise and regulate banking institutions To protect the credit rights of consumers To manage the nation's money supply through monetary policy to achieve the sometimes-conflicting goals of maximum employment stable prices, including prevention of either inflation or deflation moderate long-term interest rates To maintain the stability of the financial system and contain systemic risk in financial markets To provide financial services to depository institutions, the U.
S. government, foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation's payments system To facilitate the exchange of payments among regions To respond to local liquidity needs To strengthen U. S. standing in the world economy Banking institutions in the United States are required to hold reserves—amounts of currency and deposits in other banks—equal to only a fraction of the amount of the bank's deposit liabilities owed to customers. This practice is called fractional-reserve banking; as a result, banks invest the majority of the funds received from depositors. On rare occasions, too many of the bank's customers will withdraw their savings and the bank will need help from another institution to continue operating. Bank runs can lead to a multitude of economic problems; the Federal Reserve System was designed as an attempt to prevent or minimize the occurrence of bank runs, act as a lender of last resort when a bank run does occur. Many economists, following Nobel laureate Milton Friedman, believe that the Federal Reserve inappropriately refused to lend money to small banks during the bank runs of 1929.
Because some banks refused to clear checks from certain other banks during times of economic uncertainty, a check-clearing system was created in the Federal Reserve System. It is described in
West Point Mint
The West Point Mint Facility was erected in 1937 near the U. S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, United States, it was called the West Point Bullion Depository. At one point it had the highest concentration of silver of any U. S. mint facility, for 12 years produced circulating pennies. It has since minted commemorative coins, stores gold, it gained official status as a branch of the United States Mint on March 31, 1988. That year it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to its remodel in 2005 that added a second-story, the mint was a 170-by-256-foot one-story reinforced concrete structure with a flat roof; the walls are featureless with some recessed-arches at the entryways. There are four turrets at the corners used in the building's security, it is on a four-acre parcel of land near the northern facilities of the United States Military Academy, with parking lots on either side. The interior contains minting presses and bullion compartments; as of 1937, it served as a storage facility for silver bullion and was thus nicknamed "The Fort Knox of Silver."
Without United States Mint status, it produced U. S. coinage. From 1974 through 1986, the West Point Mint produced Lincoln cents bearing no mint mark, making them indistinguishable from those produced at the Philadelphia Mint; the years 1977 to 1979 saw Washington quarters produced as well. 20 billion dollars' worth of gold was stored in its vaults in the early 1980s. September 1983 saw the first appearance of the "W" mint mark on a $10 gold coin commemorating the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games; this was the first legal tender U. S. gold coin since 1933. In 1986, American Gold Eagle bullion coins were produced at this facility, again with no mint mark; the West Point Bullion Depository was granted mint status on March 31, 1988. Starting in 1999 American Silver Eagle bullion coins were produced at the mint. In 2002, the U. S. Military Academy at West Point was honored for its 200th anniversary, a bicentennial commemorative silver dollar was issued and unveiled on March 16 of that year, featuring a cadet color guard on the obverse and the helmet of Pallas Athena on the reverse.
The coin was produced only at the West Point Mint. An unusual coinage from this mint occurred in 1996 when a commemorative Roosevelt dime was produced for the 50th anniversary of this design. Given as an insert with the standard mint sets sold that year, over 1.457 million were produced. Thus this "W" mint marked dime is not scarce. In 2015 another "W" mint marked dime was issued along with a 2015-W dollar, these as part of a three coin set to commemorate the March of Dimes. Only 75,000 sets were produced. In 2014, the reverse proof silver Kennedy Half Dollar, part of a commemorative set, along with the 24K gold proof Kennedy Half Dollar were produced there to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Half Dollar, again with the "W" mint mark. Today all American Eagle series proof and uncirculated bullion coins in gold, silver and palladium are produced at West Point, along with all gold commemorative and a few silver commemorative coins. Bullion and proof gold Eagles and some uncirculated and all proof silver Eagles, as well as all commemoratives from West Point are struck with the "W" mint mark.
Beginning in 2006, the West Point Mint made all American Buffalo gold bullion coins. The first cents to display the "W" mint mark are being produced for collectors in 2019; these West Point Lincoln cents are being added to traditional mint sets and will be minted in three different finishes. An uncirculated 2019 W cent will be included with uncirculated set, a proof 2019 W cent will be included with the proof set, a reverse proof 2019 W cent will be included with silver proof set. There are no mintage limits for these sets and individual buyers are not limited in the quantities they can order. On April 2nd, 2019 the United States Mint announced that 10 million quarters will be introduced into circulation containing the "W" mint mark in order to promote the hobby of coin collecting. Although quarters have been produced at the West Point Mint, none of them included the "W" mint mark; these quarters will be a part of the "America the Beautiful" quarters program with 2 million of each of the 5 national parks to be released in 2019 carrying the "W" mint mark.
The West Point Mint still acts as a gold bullion depository, silver is kept on site only in quantities to meet minting demands. Due to the presence of so much gold bullion on site, security is high; the mint does not give public tours, its address is withheld by the National Park Service in its National Register listings. List of Mints Historical United States mints American Arts Commemorative Series medallion National Register of Historic Places listings in Orange County, New York West Point Mint Facility at the U. S. Mint website
Nickel (United States coin)
A nickel, in American usage, 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 and its thickness is.077 inches. Due to inflation, the purchasing power of the nickel continues to drop and the coin represents less than 1% of the federal hourly minimum wage. In 2015, over 1.5 billion nickels were produced at the Denver mints. The silver half dime, equal to five cents, had been issued since the 1790s; the American Civil War caused economic hardship, driving silver from circulation. In 1865, Congress abolished the five-cent fractional currency note after Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau, placed his own portrait on the denomination. After the successful introduction of two-cent and three-cent pieces without precious metal, Congress authorized a five-cent piece consisting of base metal; the initial design of the Shield nickel was struck from 1866 until 1883 was replaced by the Liberty Head nickel.
The Buffalo nickel was introduced in 1913 as part of a drive to increase the beauty of American coinage. In 2004 and 2005, special designs in honor of the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were issued. In 2006, the Mint reverted to using Jefferson nickel designer Felix Schlag's original reverse, although a new obverse, by Jamie Franki, was substituted; as of the end of FY 2013, it cost more than nine cents to produce a nickel. The silver half disme was one of the denominations prescribed by the Mint Act of 1792; the first pieces under federal authority were half dimes, struck in 1792 in the cellar of John Harper, a saw maker. The dies were engraved by Adam Eckfeldt, who a half-century recalled that the silver for the half dimes was supplied by President George Washington, that the 1,500 coins struck from the bullion were given to Washington's Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, for distribution to important people, both in the US and overseas. By legend, President Washington supplied silverware from his home, Mount Vernon, to provide bullion for the coins.
In his annual message to Congress in late 1792, Washington noted the ongoing construction of a mint building and stated: "There has been a small beginning in the coinage of half dimes, the want of small coins in circulation calling the first attention to them."In 1793, the newly established Philadelphia Mint began striking cents and half cents. Coinage of precious metal was delayed. In 1794, Congress lowered the chief coiner's bond to $5,000, the assayer's to $1,000. Subsequently, silver coinage began that year; the half dime was struck from 1794 until 1805, though none were dated 1798, 1799, or 1804. By 1804, silver US coins were exported, as they could be exchanged at par in the West Indies with heavier Spanish coins, which were imported as bullion and deposited at the Mint for melting and restriking. In response, in 1804 the US stopped striking silver dollars. In 1807, mint Director Robert Patterson in a letter explained to Jefferson "nearly the whole of our Silver Bullion come through the Banks, it is seldom that they will consent to take any coin less than half dollars."Beginning in 1829, the silver five-cent piece was again struck.
In 1837, the half dime's obverse design changed from one by William Kneass, depicting a bust of Liberty, to one that featured a seated Liberty by Christian Gobrecht. In 1851, it ceased to be the smallest US silver coin; the Civil War caused most American coins to vanish from circulation, with the gap filled by such means as merchant tokens, encased postage stamps, United States fractional currency, issued in denominations as low as three cents. Although specie was hoarded or exported, the copper-nickel cent the only base metal denomination being struck vanished. In 1864, Congress began the process of restoring coins to circulation by abolishing the three-cent note and authorizing bronze cents and two-cent pieces, with low intrinsic values, to be struck; these new coins proved popular, though the two-cent piece soon faded from circulation. On March 3, 1865, Congress passed legislation authorizing the Mint to strike three-cent pieces of 75% copper and 25% nickel. In 1864, Congress authorized a third series of fractional currency notes.
The five-cent note was to bear a depiction of "Clark", but Congress was appalled when the issue came out not with a portrait of William Clark, the explorer, but Spencer M. Clark, head of the Currency Bureau. According to numismatic historian Walter Breen, Congress's "immediate infuriated response was to pass a law retiring the five-cent denomination, another to forbid portrayal of any living person on federal coins or currency." Clark kep
United States dollar
The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent units, but is divided into 1000 mills for accounting; the circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars. Since the suspension in 1971 of convertibility of paper U. S. currency into any precious metal, the U. S. dollar is, de facto, fiat money. As it is the most used in international transactions, the U. S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency. Several countries use it as their official currency, in many others it is the de facto currency. Besides the United States, it is used as the sole currency in two British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean: the British Virgin Islands and Turks and Caicos Islands. A few countries use the Federal Reserve Notes for paper money, while still minting their own coins, or accept U. S. dollar coins. As of June 27, 2018, there are $1.67 trillion in circulation, of which $1.62 trillion is in Federal Reserve notes.
Article I, Section 8 of the U. S. Constitution provides that the Congress has the power "To coin money". Laws implementing this power are codified at 31 U. S. C. § 5112. Section 5112 prescribes the forms; these coins are both designated in Section 5112 as "legal tender" in payment of debts. The Sacagawea dollar is one example of the copper alloy dollar; the pure silver dollar is known as the American Silver Eagle. Section 5112 provides for the minting and issuance of other coins, which have values ranging from one cent to 100 dollars; these other coins are more described in Coins of the United States dollar. The Constitution provides that "a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time"; that provision of the Constitution is made specific by Section 331 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The sums of money reported in the "Statements" are being expressed in U. S. dollars. The U. S. dollar may therefore be described as the unit of account of the United States.
The word "dollar" is one of the words in the first paragraph of Section 9 of Article I of the Constitution. There, "dollars" is a reference to the Spanish milled dollar, a coin that had a monetary value of 8 Spanish units of currency, or reales. In 1792 the U. S. Congress passed a Coinage Act. Section 9 of that act authorized the production of various coins, including "DOLLARS OR UNITS—each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar as the same is now current, to contain three hundred and seventy-one grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver". Section 20 of the act provided, "That the money of account of the United States shall be expressed in dollars, or units... and that all accounts in the public offices and all proceedings in the courts of the United States shall be kept and had in conformity to this regulation". In other words, this act designated the United States dollar as the unit of currency of the United States. Unlike the Spanish milled dollar, the U.
S. dollar is based upon a decimal system of values. In addition to the dollar the coinage act established monetary units of mill or one-thousandth of a dollar, cent or one-hundredth of a dollar, dime or one-tenth of a dollar, eagle or ten dollars, with prescribed weights and composition of gold, silver, or copper for each, it was proposed in the mid-1800s that one hundred dollars be known as a union, but no union coins were struck and only patterns for the $50 half union exist. However, only cents are in everyday use as divisions of the dollar. XX9 per gallon, e.g. $3.599, more written as $3.599⁄10. When issued in circulating form, denominations equal to or less than a dollar are emitted as U. S. coins while denominations equal to or greater than a dollar are emitted as Federal Reserve notes. Both one-dollar coins and notes are produced today, although the note form is more common. In the past, "paper money" was issued in denominations less than a dollar and gold coins were issued for circulation up to the value of $20.
The term eagle was used in the Coinage Act of 1792 for the denomination of ten dollars, subsequently was used in naming gold coins. Paper currency less than one dollar in denomination, known as "fractional currency", was sometimes pejoratively referred to as "shinplasters". In 1854, James Guthrie Secretary of the Treasury, proposed creating $100, $50 and $25 gold coins, which were referred to as a "Union", "Half Union", "Quarter Union", thus implying a denomination of 1 Union = $100. Today, USD notes are made from cotton fiber paper, unlike most common paper, made of wood fiber. U. S. coins are produced by the United States Mint. U. S. dollar banknotes are printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and, since 1914, have been issued by t