World Mints

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A mint is an industrial facility which manufactures coins for currency.

The history of mints correlates closely with the history of coins. One difference is that the history of the mint is usually closely tied to the political situation of an era. For example, when discussing the history of the New Orleans Mint, the usage of that mint by the Confederate States of America beginning in 1861 is a notable occurrence. The origins of the Philadelphia Mint, which began operations in 1792 and first produced circulating coinage in 1793, are interwoven with the initiation of the Federal era of the United States.

In the beginning, hammered coinage or cast coinage were the chief means of coin minting, with resulting production runs numbering as little as the hundreds or thousands. In modern mints, coin dies are manufactured in large numbers and planchets are made into milled coins by the billions.

With the mass production of currency the production cost is weighed when minting coins. For example, it costs the US Mint much less than 25 cents to make a quarter, and the difference in production cost and face value (called seigniorage) helps fund the minting body.

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