151 N. Independence Mall East (enter on 5th and Arch Sts.), 215/408-0110
HOURS: Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–3 p.m., closed on federal holidays
COST: Free; government-issued ID required
From half-eagles of yore to George Washingtons of today, there isn’t a penny, schilling, or bird you can’t find in the U.S. Mint. Behind the concrete columns, enormous printing and coin presses make every variety of coin and bill in U.S. currency.
Elite craftsmen—the national engravers—etch microscopic details into each mold and print, and money is processed, printed, and shipped five days a week. And in less than 24 hours the mint will have made one million dollars, so they can easily afford the free admission for guests.
The U.S. Mint is more than a workshop; it showcases the history of our nation’s currency and coin-making process. On display are the presses and tools that crafted the first gold eagle coins (each coin was nearly handmade), and information on the development of the National Treasury and early mint facilities. This facility opened in 1969, Philadelphia’s fourth mint.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition