The First US Branch Mint in California is located at 608–619 Commercial Street, San Francisco, San Francisco County. The branch opened on April 3, 1854. Today the building houses the Pacific Heritage Museum.
The Mint was created by
Congress with the
Coinage Act of 1792, and originally placed within the
Department of State. Per the terms of the Coinage Act, the first Mint building was in
Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States; it was the first building of the Republic raised under the
Constitution. Today, the Mint's headquarters (a non-coin-producing facility) are in
Washington D.C.. It operates mint facilities in
San Francisco, and
West Point, New York and a
bullion depository at
Fort Knox, Kentucky. Official Mints (Branches) were once also located in
Carson City, Nevada;
Charlotte, North Carolina;
New Orleans, Louisiana; and even in
Manila, in the Philippines.
Originally 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 solely for the Treasury's account.
Director of the United States Mint was renowned scientist
David Rittenhouse from 1792 to 1795. The position was held most recently by
Edmund C. Moy until his resignation effective January 9, 2011. (The position is currently vacant, the Mint being run by the Principal Deputy Director, Rhett Jeppson, who was appointed in January 2015).
Henry Voigt was the first Superintendent and Chief Coiner, and is credited with some of the first U.S. coin designs. Another important position at the Mint is that of
Chief Engraver, which has been held by such men as
Charles E. Barber,
James B. Longacre, and
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
North Carolina (1838–1861),
Georgia (1838–1861), and
Louisiana (1838–1909) branches. Both the
Charlotte (C mint mark) and
Dahlonega (D mint mark) Mints were opened to facilitate the conversion of local
gold deposits into coinage, and minted only gold coins. The
Civil War closed both these facilities permanently. The
New Orleans Mint (O mint mark) closed at the beginning of the Civil War (1861) 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 ever minted there at one time (in 1851 silver
half dollars, and gold
A new branch facility was opened in
Carson City, Nevada, in 1870; it operated until 1893, with a three-year hiatus from 1886 to 1888. Like the Charlotte and Dahlonega branches, the
Carson City Mint (CC mint mark) was opened to take advantage of local precious metal deposits, in this case, a large vein of
silver. Though gold coins were also 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 equally within the bureau.
A branch of the U.S. mint (
Manila Mint) was established in 1920 in
Manila in the
Philippines, which was then a U.S. colony. To date, the Manila Mint is the only U.S. mint established outside the continental U.S. and was responsible for producing coins for the colony (one, five, ten, twenty and fifty
centavo denominations). This branch was in production from 1920 to 1922, and then again from 1925 through 1941. Coins struck by this mint bear either the M mintmark (for Manila) or none at all, similar to the Philadelphia mint at the time.
branch mint in
Oregon, was commissioned in 1864. Construction was halted in 1870, and the facility never produced any coins, although the building still stands.