Collective Coinnoissuer

American Coins

The First US Mint and Its Striking History

Originally located in Philadelphia, the first United States Mint stood as a symbol of precision and progression in American history. Established by the Coinage Act of 1792, signed into law by President George Washington, this important institution became entrusted with the exclusive responsibility of minting the nation’s circulating coinage. Its creation was marked by the signing stroke of a presidential pen, permanently inking its importance and change on the papers of US history. For over two centuries, the United States Mint in Philadelphia has consistently created distinctive decimal coins that have circulated throughout the United States of America, ensuring the smooth flow of currency and its invaluable integrity in the nation.

The Many Mints of Today

Today, there are multiple United States Mint facilities across the country, from Philadelphia to Denver to San Francisco to West Point, each with its own exclusive role in the production of American circulating coins, commemorative coins, and bullion. Together, these United States Mints are collectively dedicated to the longstanding legacy of the original, producing, and minting US coins so that the extraordinary wealth and resilience of America may circulate each day. 

US Mint Philadelphia

US Coins That Make Dollars and Cents

Present-day coins in the United States are decimal coins and are used for purchasing goods and services. These coins include the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and less commonly circulated half-dollar and one-dollar coins. These coins can be easily distinguished by their appearance: the penny has a copper colour, while the nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar have a silver hue. The one-dollar coin, on the other hand, has a golden hue.

Face Their Value

Coin Collecting FAQ

In terms of value, the penny holds the lowest denomination at 1¢. It is followed by the nickel (5¢), dime (10¢), quarter (25¢), and half dollar (50¢). At the top of the ladder is the one-dollar coin (100¢), representing the highest denomination in the current decimal coinage era of the United States. The half-dollar and one-dollar coins are not commonly circulated as they are primarily produced for collectors. However, they are still considered legal tender and can be used for everyday transactions.

Purpose of Production (What They are Mint 'Meant' For)

The main distinction between the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters on the one hand and the half-dollar and one-dollar coins on the other hand lies in their purpose of production. The half-dollar and one-dollar coins are primarily minted for collectors and are not intended for circulation. Nevertheless, they still hold the status of legal tender and can be used for everyday transactions. In contrast, pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters are minted for both circulation and commemoration of historic American milestones and achievements, often featuring symbolic designs.

Plenty of US Penny Designs

The current design of the US penny (one cent) coin in circulation features the design of the Union Shield on the back (reverse) side. The United States Mint first produced and released this reverse design in 2010. The Union Shield design was chosen as it signifies Abraham Lincoln’s preservation and unification of the United States. The front (obverse) side of the Union Shield penny continues to display an image of Abraham Lincoln. This Abraham Lincoln portrait has been used on the US penny since 1909. Both sides of this coin unify the importance and timeless theme of past president Abraham Lincoln and what he achieved. These US pennies are produced by the US Mint for both commemoration and circulation purposes, so always check your change so you can add them to your coin collection.

One Cent United States of America

In Good Nick-el Designs

The current design theme of the US nickel (five-cent) coin in circulation is the Return to Monticello, which was first introduced in 2006. The front (obverse) side of this nickel displays an engraving of Thomas Jefferson, inspired by a portrait of Jefferson’s likeness by Rembrandt Peale. On the back (reverse) side, a more detailed depiction of the Monticello design used from 1938 to 2003 is featured. This US nickel is produced by the US Mint for both commemoration and circulation, so always be on the lookout for this addition to grow your coin collection.

NIckel United States Coin

A Sign of The Dimes Design

The current design theme of the US dime (ten-cent) in circulation is Roosevelt and was introduced in 1946, following President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s death. The design was released on 30th January to commemorate Roosevelt’s birthday. The front (obverse) side pictures a portrait of Roosevelt, while the back (reverse) side depicts a torch, olive branch, and oak branch, symbolising liberty, peace, and strength throughout the United States. This US dime is produced by the US Mint for both commemoration and circulation, so keep an eye out in your change for your coin collection.

US Dime

Quality US Quarter Designs

The most recent quarter (twenty-five-cent) programme in the United States circulation is the American Women Quarters Programme, launched in 2022 and concluding in 2024, to honour American women and their significant contributions from a variety of fields and backgrounds. These quarters are produced by the US Mint for both commemoration and circulation purposes, so look out for them in your change for your coin collection.

United States of American Quarter Dollar

A Half Dollar with a Whole Lot of Designs

The current design of the US half dollar (fifty-cent) coin is the Kennedy Half Dollar to honour the life of the former president. This half dollar was released by the US Mint in 1964, one year after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The front (obverse) side features a portrait of John F. Kennedy inspired by his presidential medal, while the back (reverse) side features the presidential seal. Since 2002, half-dollars have been made for commentative purposes rather than circulation. This may make it more challenging to come by in circulation, but always keep a close eye on your change to secure some for your coin collection. In the event you are not so lucky with your change, half-dollars can always be purchased in US year sets, released annually.

One US dollar; Many US Designs!

The current programme for the United States one-dollar (100-cent) coin is the American Innovation $1 Coin Programme, which began in 2019 and continues until 2032. This US Mint programme is a yearly series that highlights American innovation and inventors that have shaped America with unique designs on one-dollar coins. The coins are issued for each of the fifty states in the order in which they approved the United States Constitution or were admitted to the Union. These one-dollar coins are intended and produced for commemoration instead of circulation, like the half-dollar. This also makes it more challenging to encounter them in circulation, but since they can be spent, always keep a close eye on your change. However, if you cannot find one-dollar coins in your change, one-dollar coins can always be purchased through the US Mint.

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