Graphic of the BEP Seal

Bureau of Engraving and Printing
U.S. Department of the Treasury

Pictured below: 15th street side of BEP building in Washington, DC with American flag in foreground.
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Making American History 
Treasurer Rosie Rios
Treasurer Rosie Rios
[Making American History logo] United States Mint 220 Years - Making American History 2012 - Bureau of Engraving and Printing 150 Years
The year 2012 marked an important milestone in currency and coinage production, with the United States Mint entering 220 years of service to our country and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing marking 150 years in existence.
Picture of the first US Mint building which has the date 1792 and the words "Ye Olde Mint" on its front exterior.

The Mint and BEP have a rich history.  Soon after the Constitution’s ratification, Secretary Hamilton personally prepared plans for a national Mint.  On April 2, 1792, an Act of Congress established the first United States Mint facility in Philadelphia (the first federal building erected under the Constitution) and established the U.S. legal tender system, ordering the creation of gold, silver and copper coinage ranging in value from $10 to half of a penny.  This is also when the eagle design on United States coins was authorized.


Today, the United States Mint operates six facilities across the United States – each of which performs unique functions.  Facilities include the Headquarters in Washington, DC; production facilities in Philadelphia, PA; West Point, NY; Denver, CO; and San Francisco, CA; and the United States Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, KY.
Picture of the first Bureau of Engraving and Printing building, circa 1880.

On July 11, 1862, an Act of Congress empowered the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase equipment and hire employees to engrave and print currency notes in the Department of the Treasury.  This later became the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Within a few years, the BEP was producing Fractional Currency, revenue stamps, government obligations, and other security documents for many federal agencies. 


From a small operation in the basement of the Treasury building, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing has grown into an operation spanning the country with facilities occupying some three square blocks in downtown Washington, D.C., and 100 acres outside Fort Worth, Texas.
Since the founding of these institutions, the men and women of the United States Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have taken great pride in rendering the story of our nation in enduring examples of numismatic art.  To hold a coin or medal or a currency note is to connect to the founding principles of our nation and the makings of our economy.  Their combined history provides a unique perspective on the development of modern America.

Around the world, our products are cherished because they are stores of value as well as embodiments of America's ideals.  In forms designed to be passed from hand to hand and saved from generation to generation, the coins and currency we produce reflect our shared history and traditions.  Whether it is learning to count, earning your first dollar or understanding the value of saving, currency and coins connect us to many of our fondest memories.


As we commemorate the historical achievements of these institutions that have been Making American History for more than 200 years, I hope you will visit our websites to learn more about coins and currency ( and  If you have the opportunity to visit the United States Mint production facilities in Denver or Philadelphia or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC and Fort Worth, Texas, I encourage you to do so.  You will see talented Americans hard at work manufacturing our coins and currency and the beauty and quality of their craftsmanship that showcase America’s leading currency design and manufacturing processes.  Proudly made in America, United States coin and currency exhibit the strength, security, confidence and excellence that are the hallmarks of our nation.