Denver Gold and Silver Exchange
5475 Leetsdale Dr Suite 210
Denver, Colorado 80246
Denver Mint is a branch of the United States Mint
that stuck its first coins on February, 1 1906.
The mint is still operating and producing coins for
circulation, as well as mint sets and commemorative
coins. Coins produced at the Denver Mint bear a D
mint mark (not to be confused with the mark of the
Dahlonega Mint). The Denver Mint is the single
largest producer of coins in the world.
The predecessors of the Denver Mint were the men of
Clark, Gruber & Company. During the Pikes Peak Gold
Rush, they coined gold dust brought from the gold
fields by the miners. For almost three years, they
minted gold coins (1860-61) and ingots (1862). They
were formally bought by the US Treasury in 1863.
Established by an Act of Congress on April 21, 1862,
the United States Mint at Denver opened for business
in late 1863 as a United States Assay Office.
Operations began in the facilities of Clark, Gruber
& Company, located at 16th and Market Streets and
acquired by the government for $25,000.
Unlike Clark, Gruber & Company, though, the Denver
plant performed no coinage of gold as first
intended. One reason given by the Director of the
Mint for the lack of coinage at Denver was, "... the
hostility of the Indian tribes along the routes,
doubtless instigated by rebel emissaries (there
being a Civil War) and bad white men."
Gold and nuggets brought to
there by miners from the surrounding area were
accepted by the Assay Office for melting, assaying,
and stamping of cast gold bars. The bars were then
returned to the depositors as imparted bars stamped
with the weight and fineness of the gold. Most of
the gold came from the rich beds of placer gold
found in the streams and first discovered in 1858,
the same year Denver was founded.
When the supply of gold was exhausted from the
streams, miners turned to lode mining, uncovering
veins of ore with a high percentage of gold and
silver. By 1859, the yearly value of the gold and
silver deposited at the Assay Office was over $5.6
million. During its early years as an Assay Office,
the Denver plant was the city's most substantial
The United States Treasury did not expand its
smelting and refining operations at the same rate as
the discovery and production of gold. In 1872 a
group of businessmen lead by Judge Hiram Bond
(formerly one of the largest brokers on the New York
Gold Exchange), Joseph Miner and Joseph Kates set up
a firm Denver Smelting and Refining Works which
built an independent complementary plant which
processed ore into ingots which were then assayed,
weighed and stamped by the Denver Mint.
There was new hope for branch mint status when
Congress provided for the establishment of a mint at
Denver for gold and silver coin production. The site
for the new mint at West Colfax and Delaware streets
was purchased on April 22, 1896, for approximately
$60,000. Construction began in 1897.
Appropriations to complete and equip the plant were
insufficient, and the transfer of assay operations
to the new building were delayed until September 1,
1904. Coinage operations finally began in February
1906, advancing the status of the Denver facility to
Branch Mint. In addition, before the new machinery
to be used at the Mint was installed for use, it was
first sent to the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 for
display. Silver coins were minted in Denver for the
first time in 1906. During the first year, 167
million coins were produced, including
(double eagle) coins,
$10 gold (eagle) coins,
gold (half eagle) coins, and assorted denominations
of silver coins.