From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
A mint is a facility which manufactures coins for currency.
On the whole the history of mints correlates very closely with the history of coins. One difference is that the history of the mint is normally related in a fashion that more closely ties to the political situation of the day. For example, when discussing the history of the New Orleans Mint, the usage of that mint by confederate forces beginning in 1861 comes up quickly. The origins of the Philadelphia Mint which began operations in 1792 and first produced circulating coinage in 1793 are most often related within the political context of the time.
In the beginning, hammered coinage or cast coinage were the only choices. In more modern mints, coin dies are manufactured in large numbers and planchets are made into coins by the billions.
Each city-state in ancient Greece had it's own mint. Roman mints were spread far and wide across the empire, and used extensively for propaganda purposes. One way people knew there was a new emperor was when he minted coins with his (or her) portrait on it. Many of the emperors that ruled only for a very short time made sure that they got their portrait on some coins. Quietus, for example, ruled only part of the empire from 260-261 AD, yet he issued several coins bearing his image.
With the mass production of currency the production cost must be weighed when minting coins. It costs the US Mint much less than 25 cents to make a quarter, and the difference in production cost and face value (called seigniorage) helps fund the minting body (in the case of the United States, the Department of the Treasury).