The best things in life are free — the philosophy of this website! — and a fool and his money are soon parted. Even so, most of us find the transformation of coils of metal into billions of coins a year pretty fascinating! The Denver Mint produced over 3,700,000,000 pennies and 2,520,000 Sacagawea golden dollars during 2005, and a total of over 7,600,000,000 (7.6 billion) coins all together that year. The Philadelphia Mint produced similar numbers of coins during that time.
The new Colorado State Quarters were released into circulation in June 2006. When the winning design was announced, Colorado’s Governor Owens explained that the mountains depicted on the new quarters were a “generic” rendition that didn’t represent any specific peaks in the state, many soon pointed out that the design was a dead ringer for Longs Peak, Keyboard of the Winds, and Pagoda Peak. Artist Len Buckley concurred, explaining that he based the drawing on a photo he had taken during a family vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park.
Meanwhile, back to the Mint. Both circulating coins and numismatic coins (uncirculated coin sets) are produced at the Denver Mint. A whole lot of gold is stored at this facility, and you’ll get to view some gold bars, but sorry, they don’t give away free samples.
Be advised that you won’t be allowed to carry much of anything with you on the tour, and you also won’t be able to check items at the door. The tour reservations website explains what can and cannot be brought into the building (e.g. stun guns and fireworks are specifically not allowed, in case you wondered). But, let’s make this really simple: just carry a small, palm-sized wallet with your ID, money, and/or credit cards. Leave everything else — purses, cameras, pens, lipstick, cigarettes, strollers, diaper bags, cell phones, chewing gum — somewhere else. No kidding!
Oh, and for you serious money fans out there, don’t miss the Money Museum (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City – Denver Branch) in Denver.
For more information, contact:
United States Mint
320 West Colfax
Denver, CO 80204
303-405-4761 (24 hour tour information line)