In the first week of April, 1792, Congress created the United States Mint. Today, the Mint has more than $3.7 billion in annual revenues and has 2,800 employees. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of coins and medals. It operates in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point, New York, along with a bullion storage facility in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
The Mint’s primary function is to produce enough coinage for the country to conduct business. Over the more than 200 years of the Mint’s existence, it has produced between 14 and 20 billion coins annually. Since the introduction of the State Commemorative Quarters and the Golden Dollar, production is in excess of 27 billion coins.
In addition to circulating coinage, the Mint also issues commemorative coins which honor important people and events. A few of these coins include the Olympic games, the Smithsonian, Thomas Jefferson and Dolly Madison.
Congress determines who will be featured on a commemorate coin, and the Mint may produce a maximum of two commemorative coins per year, and in limited quantities.