About the US Mint

On April 2, 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, establishing the first national mint in the United States. During the Colonial Period, monetary transactions were handled using foreign or colonial currency, livestock, or produce. After the Revolutionary War, the U.S. was governed by the Articles of Confederation, which authorized states to mint their own coins. In 1788, the Constitution was ratified by a majority of states and discussions soon began about the need for a national mint. Congress chose Philadelphia, what was then the nation’s capital, as the site of our first Mint. President George Washington appointed a leading scientist, David Rittenhouse, as the first director. Rittenhouse bought two lots at 7th and Arch Streets to build a three-story facility, the tallest building in Philadelphia at the time. It was the first federal building erected under the Constitution.