The US Mint was established in 1792 after Congress signed the Coinage act of 1792. Originally placed with the Department of State, the Mint building was in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States and the first federal building erected under the constitution. The United States Mint function at that time was to produce circulating coinage for the United States to conduct trade and commerce.
In 1799 the United States Mint was made an independent agency and converted precious metals into standard coinage for anyone’s account with no charge beyond refining costs. With the Coinage Act of 1873, the Mint became apart of the Department of the Treasury and in 1981 it was placed under the authority of the Treasurer of the United States. Any legal tender coins coming from the United States Mint today are exclusively for the Treasury’s account.
The headquarters of the United States Mint remain in Philadelphia, with mint facilities operating out of Denver, San Francisco, West Point, and a bullion depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Mint facilities were once located in Carson City, Nevada and Washington, D.C. which took advantage of local precious metal deposits and then shut down. A branch mint still stands in Oregon that was commissioned in 1864, construction halted in 1870, and never produced any coins.
The US Mint, today, produces special coins sets for collectors, circulating coinage, national medals, gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins, as well as commemorative coins marking national events.