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West Point Mint

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West Point Mint

West Point Mint
Mint building in West Point

Geographical information
Location

West Point, New York, United States

Coordinates

41°23′57″N 73°58′46″W

Historical information
Date established

1937

Date built

1937

Political information
Governed by

United States Mint

The West Point Mint, formerly the West Point Bullion Depository, is a branch of the United States Mint located near the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York. It was formerly a storage facility for silver bullion, but at one point began circulating pennies. Today, the mint only produces commemorative coins bearing a "W" mintmark, and stores gold.

HistoryEdit

1984 Olympics USD-W

The first U.S. coin to bear the "W" mintmark.

The West Point Mint building was built in 1937 by Louis A. Simon, first serving as a silver bullion storage, which was led to the nickname, "The Fort Knox of Silver". Even without United States Mint status, West Point produced U.S. coinage. From 1973 to 1986, the facility produced Lincoln cents without a mint mark, making them impossible to distinguish from the coins produced at the Philadelphia Mint. From 1977 to 1979, West Point also produced bicentennial quarters and Washington quarters. Approximately 20 billion dollars worth of gold was stored at West Point during the early 1980s, though it did not compare to the amounts at Fort Knox.

During September 1983, the "W" mint mark was introduced on a gold $10 coin commemorating the 1984 Summer Olympics, even though the mint was still an unofficial U.S. Mint at the time. This coin became the first legal tender gold coin issued since 1933. In 1986, American Gold Eagle coins were produced solely at West Point, again without a mint mark. On March 31, 1988, the West Point Bullion Depository was granted mint status.

In 1996, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt dime, the West Point Mint produced 1.457 million dimes bearing the "W" mint mark, which were minted solely for collectors.

PresentEdit

2009 Platinum eagle obv

A U.S. Platinum Eagle.

Today, all gold, silver, and platinum American Eagle coins are produced at the West Point Mint, along with all gold commemorative coins, and some silver commemoratives. All coins struck at the facility bear the "W" mint mark. Beginning in 2006, the West Point Mint also began producing all the American Buffalo gold bullion coins.

The West Point Mint still acts as a gold bullion depository, and silver is kept in quantities to meet the minting demands. Due to the presence of so much gold on the site, security is high. Tours of the building are not given, and its address is withheld by the National Park Service in its National Register listings.

In 2002, the United States Military Academy was honored for its 200th anniversary, and a commemorative silver dollar was issued and unveiled on March 16 of that year. This coin was only produced at the West Point Mint.

BuildingEdit

West Point old

West Point before 2005.

The West Point Mint building is a 52 by 78 meter (170 by 256 feet) reinforced concrete structure with a flat roof. Its walls are featureless except for recessed-arches at the entryways. At the corners of the facility are four turrets, which are used for the building's security. It was built on a four-acre parcel of land near the United States Military Academy, with parking lots on both sides. Inside the building are coin presses and bullion compartments.

In 2005, the mint building was remodeled to include a second story.

ReferencesEdit

 v · d · e
US-Mint-Seal United States Mint
Active mints DenverFort KnoxPhiladelphiaSan FranciscoWest Point
Historical mints Carson CityCharlotteDahlonegaManila, PhilippinesNew Orleans

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