The 1792 Coinage Act also
created a decimal system for U.S. currency and
authorized the construction of a Mint building in the
nation's capitol, which was at first Philadelphia.
National Mint - The
The Constitution of
the United States,
Article I, Section 8 states that "Congress shall
have the Power...To Coin Money."
National Mint - Producing Coins and Establishing a National Identity
Mint of the United States primarily produces circulating coinage to
enable the nation to conduct its trade and commerce. However its
establishment was also important to enable the new nation to
establish a national identity. The silver dollar was adopted as the
unit of money in the United States.
American Currency History
started in the Colonial Era, before the Revolutionary War. Also refer to the
First Bank of the United
National Mint - The Coins
Mint was authorized to make coins of gold (Eagles, Half Eagles and
Quarter Eagles), silver (Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars,
Dimes, and Half Dimes), and copper (Cents and Half Cents).
coins of Eagles, Half Eagles and Quarter Eagles
coins of Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars, Dimes, and Half
coins of Cents and Half Cents
National Mint for kids - The First Coins
coins struck by the US National Mint were silver "half dimes"
that are believed to have been
made from silverware provided by George and Martha Washington. The
first coins that were circulated were copper cents. A consignment of
11,178 copper coins were circulated in 1793 and the first gold and
silver coins were produced soon after.
Officers of the
original US National
Mint had five
officers who were the Director of the Mint, an Assayer, a Chief
Coiner, an Engraver and a Treasurer. The job of the Assayer was to
determine the quantity of gold, silver, or other metal in the coins.
Henry Voigt (1738–1814) was the first Chief Coiner, and is credited
with some of the first U.S. coin designs. Albion Cox was first
Assayer for the US Mint and is credited with some of the first U.S.
Director of the First
National Mint - David Rittenhouse
Director of the US Mint was a scientist and mathematician called
David Rittenhouse (1732-1796). David Rittenhouse had been the
Treasurer of Pennsylvania and was appointed to the post of Director
on April 2, 1792 by George Washington. His annual salary was set
at $2,000. David Rittenhouse struck the first coins of the mint as a
test, made from the Washington's silver cutlery. The first test
coins were then given to the President as a gift. David Rittenhouse
was a firm believer that coins were artwork and great thought and
work was put into designing the first US coins produced by the US
US National Mint - Design of the Coins
US Mint was tasked with designing the new US coins
which would help to establish the identity of the
new nation. A portrait of President Washington was
first proposed for the obverse side which was the
head or principal design of the coin, but the final
version was an image of Liberty. The representation
Liberty was often used during the War of
Independence a quasi-mythical goddess based on the
Roman goddess Libertas. The motto "E Pluribus Unum"
meaning 'Out of Many, One' was first used on US
coinage in 1795. It was the motto proudly displayed
on the US Great Seal and reflected the beliefs and
values of the Founding Fathers. The use of the motto
and the highly symbolic image of Liberty helped to
establish the new, national identity of the United