The Denver Mint

The Mint!
The mint

Have you been? Denver is the site of only 1 of 4 mints (did you know there were 4? take the tour and find out where the rest are!)
We had saved the outing for when “someone visited”. That time finally arrived over Christmas and we told them that they would indeed be visiting the mint!
There was not the boisterous sound of glee, but definitely no boo’s so we were good to go.

When i attempted to get a reservation – which i was told you MUST have to get into the mint, it was a 2 month out process, exact, to the day!
Turns out the tours can hold about 50 people. And there is a little booth near the mint to get “stand” by tickets. So if you can’t commit, try for stand by!!

We read the reservation sheet and the basic premise to enter the mint is go naked and carry nothing!
You can bring no bags, no cameras, nothing with something resembling a point, nothing that is bigger than a man’s wallet and can fit in your pocket… etc etc etc…
And there are no lockers! Leave everything at home or in your vehicle parked on the street – oh joy! I don’t consider Denver dangerous, but seriously….

The tour was amazing! Now i’m a big fan of How it’s Made and Modern Marvels – so i dig this stuff! But even the teenagers in our group enjoyed themselves!
The information was great, the displays were cool, seeing the “blanks” for the coins was neat! They informed us that the mint does not take any coins out of circulation, it is the public (that would be you and me) that take it out of circulation by putting them in piggie banks, creating those smooshed pennies, losing them in your cushions etc etc etc… How weird eh? Also learned that it cost 7 cents to make a nickel, and 3 cents to make a penny, but only 8 cents to make a quarter, so it all balances out… How freaky?

A cool hint – although kind of pointless now – they have a quarter machine in the gift shop (which is outside and anyone can enter) that dispenses the current quarter they are minting at hte moment – the state ones – Hawaii is now! But they do intend to do another round of quarters with each states national park on it. So if you are a collector, get some untouched ones at the gift shop!

Another cool hint – don’t go at the end of the year. They slow production! Anything stamped and not put into circulation that year cannot be used… So they turn it back into it origins… Meaning they aren’t producing at a super high rate and some of the machines aren’t even going. Sigh. But still cool!

So if you can, take a tour!

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