The Denver Mint is the second most popular mint in the United States today besides the Philadelphia Mint and the San Francisco Mint. In fact, it produces more coins than any other mint in the entire world. Denver opened it's doors on February 1 of 1906 and always has a mintmark of: "D". One thing to remember is that there was a mint long ago called the Dahlonega Mint, which also had a "D" mintmark but they usually only struck gold coins and it did not last long, so remember that any coin with a "D" mintmark after 1906 would have come from Denver.
Even though the Denver mint became official in 1906, there was a long history that lead up to this point. One of the first milestones began with Clark, Gruber and Company. There was a sort of gold rush in the mid 1800s at Pikes Peak and the company coined some of the gold and gold dust that was brought in by miners. The first coins were minted in 1860 and they also made gold ingots in 1862. These were not official US currency but the US Treasury bought them up in 1863.
In the Spring of April 21, 1862, the US Act of Congress established the mint which opened up in 1863, but as an Assay Office. Clark, Gruber and Company again housed the facilities, which was located at Market Streets and 16th. Eventually, the government decided to purchase everything for $25,000. The government did not strike gold coins as originally intended because of the surrounding dangers such as hostile Indian tribes, rebel emissaries from the Civil War and bad white men.
Still, they did let the miners bring the gold into the Assay Office in order to have it melted and stamped into gold coins and gold bars, which were then given back to them with a weight measurement on them and an indicator of how fine the gold was. The gold rush in the area actually began in 1858 when they found rich placer gold in the streams. This was also the same year that Denver, Colorado was founded. The supply of gold quickly disappeared and miners resorted to lode mining and looking for veins of gold ore in the earth. In fact, $5.8 million worth of gold and silver was brought in and minted at the assay office.
In 1872, Judge Hiram Bond, one of the single largest brokers within the Ney York Gold Exchange, and a group of businessmen including Mayor of Denver Joseph E. Bates and Joseph Miner, decided to build the Denver Smelting and Refining Works. One of the reasons they did this was because the Treasury wasn't expanding at the same rate that gold was being discovered and they needed more smelting and refining capacity. This new company was independent of the government but would be complementary in the efforts to convert ore into gold bars and ingots.
Eventually, Congress established the Denver mint for gold and silver coins. This new mint was to be built at Delaware Street and West Colfax Street, which was bought up on April 22 of 1896. This costed $60,000 and they started building the mint in 1897. It wasn't until September 1 of 1904 when they finally moved the assay equipment into the building. Although, they had to send the machinery to St. Louis for the 1904 Exposition for display and to show off their coins. Finally in 1906, they started minting official US currency and gaining the title of Branch Mint. Within the first year, they minted 167 million coins and produced the $20 Gold Double Eagles, $10 Gold Eagles and $5 Gold Half Eagles along with silver coins as well.
Total Number of US Coins Ever Minted in Denver = 353,409,679,161
That's right! Over 300 BILLION Coins were minted in Denver and that only includes the official US currencies. These figures come from adding up all of the mintages in our database from this particular mint, which does not include the coins that had "N/A" or unknown mint figures or figures from the current year. So the number above is extremely conservative and the total number of coins ever minted in Denver throughout the entire history of the United States of America is at least this much!
Total Number of Small Cents Ever Minted in Denver = 234,723,997,572 face value worth $2,347,239,976
Total Number of Nickels Ever Minted in Denver = 29,401,524,215 face value worth $1,470,076,211
Total Number of Dimes Ever Minted in Denver = 44,334,352,924 face value worth $4,433,435,292
Total Number of Quarters Ever Minted in Denver = 39,806,641,551 face value worth $9,951,660,388
Total Number of Half Dollars Ever Minted in Denver = 2,356,836,091 face value worth $1,178,418,046
Total Number of Dollars Ever Minted in Denver = 2,759,551,255 face value worth $2,759,551,255
Total Number of $2.50 Gold Quarter Eagles Ever Minted in Denver = 1,081,680 face value worth $2,704,200
Total Number of $5 Gold Half Eagles Ever Minted in Denver = 5,292,660 face value worth $26,463,300
Total Number of $10 Gold Eagles Ever Minted in Denver = 5,909,280 face value worth $59,092,800
Total Number of $20 Gold Double Eagles Ever Minted in Denver = 13,108,000 face value worth $262,160,000