Coin Basics

These coin basics will help children learn about the U.S. coins we use every day.
• The front of a coin is called the obverse, the back is called the reverse

• Every U.S. coin has a date on it which represents the year it was made at the mint

• Every U.S. coin has a mintmark, which tells us which U.S. mint it was made at. Today, coins are made in the U.S. mint in Philadelphia or at the other two branch mints in Denver and San Francsico. If your coin was made in Philadelphia it will have the mintmark “P” stamped on it, “D” for Denver, or “S” for San Francsico. In the past U.S. coins were also made in other locations: “C” for Charlotte, “CC” for Carson City, “D” for Dahlonega, “O” for New Orleans, and “W” for West Point”

• On each U.S. coin you will see the words: “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” which is required to be on all coins that are made in the U.S.

• Each U.S. coin also has the motto: “E PLURIBUS UNUM” which is Latin for “ONE OUT OF MANY”

• Each U.S. coin also has the designer’s initials, which is the person who created the design on the coin.

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