Mint Marks

Mint marks are letters that identify where a coin was made. The letter can appear anywhere in the design but usually is placed near the date or in an area near the edge of the coin.

morgan-dollar-reverse-mintmark

The combination of the date and the mint mark or lack of one can have great importance to a coin’s value. For example, over 72 million cents were manufactured in Philadelphia with the 1909 date and there are many survivors. This coin is only worth about $1 in average condition. The “S” or San Francisco 1909 cent was minted in much smaller numbers, less than two million were struck. In average condition it’s worth over $60. Another example is the 1882 Double Eagle. The Philadelphia issue with no mint mark is worth almost $10,000 in average condition, but the “S” mint San Francisco issue is worth little more than its gold value, about $1100, in average grade.

Throughout United States history the following Mints existed:

  • Philadelphia (no mint mark or “P” in modern times) – 1793 to present
  • Dahlonega, Georgia “D” – 1838-1861
  • Charlotte, North Carolina “C” [gold coins only] – 1838-1861
  • New Orleans, Louisiana “O” – 1838-1909
  • San Francisco, California “S” – 1854 to present
  • Carson City, Nevada “CC” – 1870-1893
  • Denver, Colorado “D” – 1906 to present
  • West Point, New York “W” – 1984 to present.

Why Mint Marks?