Welcome to coin collecting

Throughout human history, civilizations have told the story of their people through their coins. Today, they still communicate their values and ideals on coins, using symbols and mottos to represent who they are to anyone holding them. As you dive into the world of coin collecting, you’ll discover the wealth of symbolism and the stories that societies wanted to pass on to future generations. You’ll discover the values they cherished, the ideas they celebrated, and the heroes who helped guide their people to where they are today. To help you along your journey, here are some terms that will help you navigate the “hobby of kings.”

Things to know

Proof—A specialized minting process that begins by manually feeding burnished (polished) coin blanks into presses fitted with special dies. Each coin is struck multiple times so the softly frosted, yet detailed images seem to float above a mirror-like field.

Proof Set—A themed set of proof coins packaged in a protective lens to showcase and maintain their exceptional finish.

Uncirculated—Uncirculated coins are made using the same process as circulating coins but with enhancements such as a slightly higher coining force, early strikes from dies, and special cleaning of the blanks before stamping to give them a brilliant finish.

Mintage—The quantity of a particular coin that is produced.

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The artistic process

The United States Mint is proud to work with the incredibly talented team of artists, sculptors, and engravers who craft our coins and medals. Using their years of experience and honed skills with state-of-the-art technology, they create beautiful coins and medals that express the values, aspirations, and shared heritage of our Nation.

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Coin collecting

Now the fun part! What do you start collecting first? Having trouble deciding? Think about things that you care about, that already interest you, such as iconic figures, historical events, organizations, or national parks. Then browse our catalog of collectable proof sets, uncirculated sets, commemorative coins, and special-edition products to find the first pieces for your new collection. The beauty of coin collecting is that each unique collection is a reflection of the individual collector. Interested in Presidents? Start a Presidential medals collection. Interested in national parks? Start an America the Beautiful Quarters® Program collection. Interested in all things military? Start with our wide array of bronze medals related to the U.S. Armed Forces. America’s story is as varied as its people—build a collection that reflects your story!

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About the united states mint

Founded in Philadelphia in 1792, there are now five United States Mint facilities around the country—Philadelphia, PA; West Point, NY; Fort Knox, KY; Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA; and headquarters in Washington, DC. Each facility has its own unique roles and responsibilities, but collectively, they carry out the Mint's mission of making coins to foster America's economic growth and protecting assets entrusted to us. We are privileged to connect America through coins and medals, which reflect the remarkable history, values, culture, diversity, and natural beauty of our Nation.

Start exploring today!