Founded in 1792, the United States Mint has operated in numerous locations throughout the years, and four branches are currently active in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, and West Point. While its headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., it does not function as a minting facility, nor does it offer in-person tours to the public, unlike other U.S. Mint branches.
There is one U.S. Mint facility in the nation’s capital that is open to the public, although often overlooked. Below the official seal, the humble sign simply reads “Coin Store,” and that’s what it is: a shop offering commemorative coins and collectible medals galore, straight from the mint.
With the wooden shelves and glass cases neatly displaying scores of shiny pieces, the store gives off an immaculate, near-luxurious feel for visitors, who will find themselves standing under a relief ceiling showcasing historical and recent designs of American coinage and medals. The wide, museum-like variety of its inventory is worth taking a look at even for those not particularly interested in numismatics.