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Mint Marks-US

Mint marks are like badges of honor on coins, revealing their birthplace and the commitment to quality that went into crafting them. As GoldRun49 dives into the fascinating world of coin history, let’s explore how these tiny letters transformed the coin-collecting landscape into an exciting treasure hunt!

Back in the day, when the U.S. crafted coins from precious metals like gold and silver, each Mint facility had to prove its mettle. A vigilant commission rigorously assessed the metal compositions and coin quality from every Mint location, ensuring that each coin adhered to the highest standards.

Imagine holding three Nickels in your hand, each bearing a unique mint mark: ‘P,’ ‘D,’ and ‘S.’ It’s a reminder of how the Philadelphia Mint was the pioneer, the sole player in town during the early Mint years. Mint marks weren’t necessary then. But in 1835, thanks to a Congressional Act, mint marks were born alongside the first Mint branches in the United States, including Charlotte, Dahlonega, and New Orleans. These tiny letters started their journey on U.S. coins, but curiously, Philadelphia’s coins remained incognito.

All of this changed in 1942 during World War II. When nickel was in short supply, the iconic “P” mint mark made its debut on Philadelphia-made coins. It even changed its spot, moving above the dome of Monticello to signify the shift in metal composition. Once the war was over and regular alloys returned, the mint mark went back to its original position, and Philadelphia’s “P” took a backseat.

Fast forward to 1979, and the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin stepped into the limelight. Once again, the “P” mint mark returned, and this time it didn’t stop with just one denomination—it graced all of them, except the cent. And that tradition continues today.

So, GoldRun49 members, as you embark on your numismatic journey, remember that each mint mark tells a story of craftsmanship, history, and dedication. Here’s a table to guide you through the mint marks of the Mint’s various facilities and the dates when they proudly displayed their marks:

 

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Mint Branch

Mint Mark

Years Mark Used

Carson City (NV)CC1870-1893
Charlotte (NC)C1838-1861
Dahlonega (GA)D1838-1861
Denver (CO)D1906-Present
New Orleans (LA)O1838-1861, 1879-1909
Philadelphia (PA)P1942-45, 1979-Present
San Francisco (CA)S1854-1955, 1968-Present
West Point (NY)W1984-Present

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