U.S. Mint & Chief Engraver History

Posted by Derek Sawchenko on

Have you ever wondered how the U.S. Mint and Chief Engravers came to be? Without the two, the U.S. coin world would not be where it is today. The United States gained independence, George Washington became the first president, and the Constitution was ratified. It was clear that the newly independent country needed a currency system. The United States Mint was established when Congress passed the Coinage Act on April 2, 1792.  The first U.S. Mint federal building was built in Philadelphia. David Rittenhouse became the first Director of the Mint. Copper coins were produced and put into circulation. Silver and gold coins were produced after. Coins needed to be designed and engraved.

     A Chief Engraver is chosen to design and engrave coins.  The first Chief Engraver was Robert Scot. He designed the Draped Bust, Flowing Hair, and Capped Liberty. Since then, there have been many engravers and sculptors who were chosen to be the Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. Many know the legendary 12th Chief Engraver, John Mercanti. Currently, the position is vacant. Coins have numismatic value and are highly sought after by collectors. 

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