The Denver Mint: Free Entertainment and Education for Kids (and Whoever!)
My wife keeps reminding me that we should visit the Denver Mint sometime, with our having three little girls. I am not a coin enthusiast - in fact, I think we should do away with most of them - so I'll do this one for the children. It is a neat opportunity. After all, there are only five mints in the U.S.: Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, West Point (New York,) and Fort Knox.
A few facts about the Denver Mint:
- It started out as the local assay office, where precious metals would be tested for their purity. No surprise this was in 1863, five years after gold was discovered in Colorado.
- It became a branch of the U.S. Mint in 1906.
- It strikes coinage only for circulation, with the exception of the $10 gold 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Commemorative.
- It is the second U.S. mint to put a 'D' on all its coins, the first being the Dahlonega mint which was in Georgia in the mid 1800s. According to Wikipedia, all coins from there "are gold, in the $1, $2.50, $3, and $5 denominations, and bear dates in the range 1838–1861."
How to set up a visit to the Denver Mint:
Free tour tickets are handed out daily at the mint's gift shop, which is on Cherokee Street, between Colfax and 14th Avenue. Tour times are 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. All tickets are "same day." A tour lasts about 45 minutes.