West Point US Coin Mint
The United States West Point Mint is mostly known in recent times through the mid 1980s into the present time due to the minting of Bullion Coins, which is where the "W" mintmark is usually found. The mint itself was built in 1937 nearby to the West Point Military Academy in New York. When this mint first started, it was called the West Point Bullion Depository, which is what Fort Knox is today. In fact, West Point held the largest concentration of silver out of all the other US mints, although they minted Small Cent pennies for 35 years as well. They are known almost exclusively for minting commemorative coins, bullion coins and storing gold these days.
West Point officially gained the status of branch mint on March 31 of 1988, making it the most modern official mint in existence. They are also listed at the National Register of Historic Places. The building itself is 170 feet by 256 feet in size, built one story high with reinforced concrete and a flat roof. Four guard turrets at each corner patrol the grounds and provide security for the bullion and minting facility.
Originally in 1937, it was just a silver bullion storage facility and was also known as "The Fort Knox of Silver". It still produced coins even though it did not have the official status to be a mint. In fact, between the years 1973 and 1986, the produced Lincoln Memorial Cents, which had no mint marks. Therefore no one could distinguish them from pennies produced by the Philadelphia Mint. West Point also produced Bicentennial Washington Quarters between 1977 and 1979. Even though the mint was known for storing silver, they stored up to $20 billion worth of gold through the early 1980s, which was still much less than Fort Knox.
It wasn't until September of 1983 when the "W" mint market began appearing on coins starting with the $10 commemorative gold coin for the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. This was actually the first gold coin produced at West Point that became legal tender since 1933 when they stopped making them. Then in 1986, they started minting American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins, which are currently very popular among collectors and gold investors. These coins also did not have a "W" mintmark at the time. Finally on March 31 of 1988, West Point Bullion Depository became an official branch mint.
Another notable coin they minted was the Roosevelt Dime in 1996, which had the "W" mintmark on it. This was only minted in 1996 because of the 50th anniversary of the Roosevelt dime design. This coin was only made for collectors and about 1.5 million of them were produced and put into Uncirculated Mint Sets. Currently, all Gold, American Silver Eagle and American Platinum Eagle bullion proof and many uncirculated coins are produced at the West Point US Mint along with all of the gold and some of the silver commemorative coins. In 2006, they started minting gold American Buffalo bullion coins as well. Another notable coin produced in 2002 is a 200th anniversary bicentennial commemorative coin celebrating the 200th anniversary of the West Point Military Academy.
San Francisco Mint was responsible for minting some of the Uncirculated Silver Eagles and Philadelphia mints many of the uncirculated bullion coins with or without the "P" mintmark on them. West Point still store gold and silver as a depository but only enough for minting purposes. They also need high security to protect the large amounts of precious metals and no public tours are given.
Interesting Facts and Coin Statistics of the West Point Mint
Total Number of US Coins Ever Minted in West Point = 142,489,490
Over 63 MILLION Coins were minted in West Point 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. Also, this figure does not include the pennies or quarters minted here without the "W" mintmark, nor does it include the commemorative coins or the bullion proof sets. So the number above is extremely conservative and the total number of coins ever minted in West Point throughout the entire history of the United States of America is at least this much!
As of August 3rd of 2010, the spot price per ounce of silver is $18.47, the spot price per ounce of gold is $1188.90 and the spot price per ounce of platinum is $1578.00. These are the numbers used to find the melted metal value of the coins below.
Total Number of Dimes Ever Minted in West Point = 1,457,000 face value worth $145,700
Total Number of American Silver Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 134,010,420 face value worth $134,010,420,
weight of 13,401,042 ounces with a melted metal value of: $247,517,246
Total Number of $5 Gold American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 1,202,859, face value worth $6,014,295,
weight of 120,286 ounces with a melted metal value of: $143,007,907
Total Number of $10 Gold American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 639,792 face value worth $6,397,920,
weight of 159,948 ounces with a melted metal value of: $190,162,177
Total Number of $25 Gold American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 614,608 face value worth $15,365,200,
weight of 307,304 ounces with a melted metal value of: $365,353,726
Total Number of $50 Gold American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 1,929,109 face value worth $96,455,450,
weight of 1,929,109 ounces with a melted metal value of: $2,293,517,690
Total Number of $10 Platinum American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 190,120 face value worth $1,901,200,
weight of 19,012 ounces with a melted metal value of: $30,000,936
Total Number of $25 Platinum American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 122,601 face value worth $3,065,025,
weight of 30,650 ounces with a melted metal value of: $48,366,095
Total Number of $50 Platinum American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 132,260 face value worth $6,613,000,
weight of 66,130 ounces with a melted metal value of: $104,353,140
Total Number of $100 Platinum American Eagles Ever Minted in West Point = 162,070 face value worth $16,207,000,
weight of 162,070 ounces with a melted metal value of: $255,746,460