- Story of US Coins
Story of US Coins
The United States Mint was created in 1792 and struck its first US Coin the very next year: the copper Chain cent, displaying a linked chain design representing the union of states.
Since then, more than two centuries of production have left us with a legacy of beautiful old US Coins to delight collectors and investors.
Since the Philadelphia Mint was the very first branch of the United States mint, that's where the earliest of the old US coins come from. After that, branch mints were gradually added, often located near the mines providing the raw materials.
Today, collectors identify the sources of old US coins by these mint marks stamped on them:
- Carson City Mint (CC)
- Denver Mint (D)
- New Orleans Mint (O)
- San Francisco Mint (S)
- West Point Mint (W)
- Charlotte Mint (C)
- Philadelphia Mint (P or no mint mark)
Key Differences in Old US Coins
From a collector's perspective, not all old US Coins are the same... even when they were minted in the same place, the same year, and have been given the same grade by the same grading company.
Sometimes the slightest difference in quality is all it takes. For example, two of our Morgan Dollars were both minted in Carson City in 1891 and both have the same MS 63 grade, meaning they are uncirculated coins with no trace of wear. And yet there's a $55 difference in price. Why?
Whenever two similar coins are priced differently, you can be sure it's because of some slight difference in how sharply they were struck, their luster, or some other cosmetic factor.
That's why we only put bright, clear images of our old US Coins on this site – so you can see the differences and know what you're buying.
Favorite Old US Coins
To see all our classic, old US Coins use the menu to the left. We have a great selection of Morgan Dollars, Peace Dollars, Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Mercury Dimes, Buffalo Nickels, and Silver Eagle Dollars.