Collect by Year and Mint

Many years have special significance in U.S. history. Sometimes a year that may seem obscure to most people has special significance to another individual. For instance, 1849 is generally associated with the start of the Gold Rush. 1803 is associated with the Louisiana Purchase. 1812 is associated with the War of 1812. 1845 is associated with the Mexican-American War and 1861 through 1865 is remembered as the Civil War period.

There are virtually endless possibilities in this category of collecting and no other collecting method connects us to the rich heritage of our great nation than collecting by date. A Date and Mint Collection can concentrate on a single denomination or type. Among the most popular of all U.S. coins is the impressive Morgan Silver Dollar struck between 1878 and 1921. Alternatively, generations of collectors have started with and symbolically loved the Indian Head Cents dated 1859 through 1909 adding the Lincoln Cent first struck in 1909. What collector hasn’t always wished to find a 1909-S V.D.B. Lincoln Cent in pocket change? Nickels are also immensely popular and include the post-Civil War Shield design minted to 1883, followed by the Liberty Head Nickel with its “V” reverse struck until 1912, the splendid Buffalo Nickel struck until 1938 and the presently circulated Jefferson type which features the regular Copper-nickel alloy and the wartime silver-manganese type.

 As one collects by date, one could seek to acquire an example of each coin minted by each of the various mints in that particular year. Of course, one can further concentrate within this category by focusing exclusively on gold coinage or silver coinage or some other subdivision.

At various times throughout the history of our nation, coinage was struck at several mint facilities, including

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Years in operation: 1793 to present.
New Orleans, Louisiana. Years in operation: 1838 to 1909.
San Francisco, California. Years in operation: 1854 to present.
Dahlonega, Georgia. Years in operation: 1838 to 1861.
Charlotte, North Carolina. Years in operation: 1838 to 1861.
Denver, Colorado. Years in operation: 1906 to present.
Carson City, Nevada. Years in operation: 1870 to 1893.
West Point, New York. Years in operation: 1974 to present.

A collector may endeavor to accumulate an example of each coin struck at a mint, although in many cases such complete collections are not possible. Still, it is very popular to collect a variation of that theme, meaning a portion of the mint run from one or more of the mints, with a further specialization by type or denomination.