The San Francisco Mint produces some of the United States Mint’s most beloved collectors’ pieces, including commemorative coins and clad and silver proof coin sets. The capital letter “S” on the obverse, “heads,” side was first used to designate coins struck at the San Francisco Mint from 1854-1944. The “S” became a permanent fixture on coins produced at the San Francisco facility in 1968.
Congress established the San Francisco Mint in 1852 in response to the California gold rush and the need of miners to have their new-found gold made into coins. The “S” Mint mark was used on San Francisco coins until 1975, although production in San Francisco was suspended between 1955 and 1965. San Francisco made cents for circulation from 1968 through 1974, nickels from 1968 through 1970, and dimes in 1975.