Mint Marks: Those Small Letters On U.S. Coins Explained

This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy thru these links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.


There’s a lot of talk about “mint” whenever you’re discussing coins and coin collections!

Some examples:

  • First, there’s the U.S. Mint — which is the federal agency responsible for the production and distribution of our nation’s coinage.
  • Then, there are mint coins (or mint condition coins) — which refers to a coin that is in practically the same condition as when it left the U.S. Mint facility.
  • And then you have mint sets — which are collections of uncirculated coins for a particular year. (A mint set includes one uncirculated coin of each denomination from each U.S. Mint facility that produced the denomination during that year.)
  • And finally, you have mint marks (or “mintmarks”) — which we are focusing on in this article.

What Is A Mint Mark?

Mintmarks are small letters stamped on U.S. coins to designate where the coin was made.

The mint mark can affect a coin’s value!

In a lot of cases, where the coin was minted makes the difference between a coin being worth a few dollars and being worth a few hundred dollars!

Almost all U.S. coins have mintmarks — with the exception of some coins struck at the Philadelphia Mint and some error coins (listed at the very bottom of this article).

A List Of All U.S. Mint Marks

This is one of the many United States Mint facilities. See which coins each U.S Mint facility made. And what a U.S. coin without a mintmark means. (Some are rare error coins. Others are not supposed to have a mint mark.)

C Charlotte Mint – North Carolina (gold coins only from 1838-1861)
CCCarson City Mint – Nevada (gold and silver coins only from 1870-1893)
D Dahlonega Mint – Georgia (gold coins only from 1838-1861)
D Denver Mint – Colorado (from 1906-present)
O New Orleans Mint – Louisiana (gold and silver coins only from 1838-1861 and from 1879-1909)
P Philadelphia Mint – Pennsylvania (from 1793-present)
S San Francisco Mint – California (from 1854-present, but from 1968 on it has primarily struck only proof coins and other special-issue coinage)
WWest Point Mint – New York (from 1984-present)

You can distinguish Dahlonega “D” coins from Denver “D” coins merely by looking at the date on the coin. Any “D” mintmark coins dated before 1906 are from the Dahlonega Mint. Those after 1906 were made at the Denver Mint.

The only mintmarks you’re going to find on circulating coins today are P (Philadelphia), D (Denver), and S (San Francisco).

All of the other U.S. Mint facilities either closed down a long time ago — or they only make gold coins and specialty coins today.

Here’s more info about current and former United States Mint facilities.

Where To Find Mint Marks On U.S. Coins

Over the years, mintmarks have been placed in all sorts of locations on coins.

I’m going to cover the most common coins that were ever in circulation — starting with the silver dollar and working back to the half cent.


Silver Trade Dollars – On the reverse underneath the eagle

Silver Peace Dollars – On the reverse, bottom left next to the tip of the eagle’s wing

Valuable Pennies: How To Tell If Yo...
Valuable Pennies: How To Tell If You Have A Penny Worth A Lot Of Money

Silver Morgan Dollars – On the reverse underneath the eagle

Silver Bust Dollars – On the reverse underneath the eagle

Kennedy Half Dollars:

  • Pre-1965 – On the reverse to the left of the olive branch near the eagle’s claw
  • 1968-present – On the front centered above the date

Franklin Half Dollars – On the reverse centered above the beam of the Liberty bell

Walking Liberty Half Dollars:

  • 1917-1947 – On the reverse, bottom left below the branch
  • 1916 & 1917 – On the front below the motto

Barber Half Dollars – On the reverse just below the eagles tail feathers

Seated Liberty Half Dollars – On the reverse below the eagle

Bust Half Dollars:

  • 1838-1839 – On the front above the date
  • before 1838 – All bust half dollars before 1938 have no mintmark

Washington Quarters:

  • 1968-present – On the front, bottom right next to the hair ribbon
  • 1946-1964 – On the reverse below the eagle

Standing Liberty Quarters – Small mintmark on the front just above the date and a hair to the left

Barber Quarters – On the reverse beneath the eagle’s tail feathers

Seated Liberty Quarters – On the reverse beneath the eagle

Bust Quarters – All bust quarters have no mintmark (Philadelphia)

Seated Liberty 20-Cent Pieces – On the reverse beneath the eagle

Roosevelt Dimes:

  • 1968-present – On the front above the date
  • 1946-1964 – On the reverse, bottom left of the torch

Mercury Dimes – On the reverse, bottom left of the fasces (column or pole looking thing)

Barber Dimes – On the reverse centered below the wreath

Seated Liberty Dimes – Some are located within the wreath; others are located just beneath the wreath

Bust Dimes – All bust dimes have no mintmark (Philadelphia)

Seated Liberty Half Dimes – Some have mintmarks within the wreath, and some have mint marks beneath the wreath

Bust Half Dimes – All bust half dimes have no mintmark (Philadelphia)

Jefferson Nickels:

  • 1968-present – On the front near the date
  • 1938-1964 – On the reverse to the right of the Monticello building
  • 1942-1945 (war nickels) – Above the dome of Monticello

Buffalo Nickels – On the reverse below the words FIVE CENTS

Liberty Head Nickels (“V Nickels”) – All V nickels have no mark (Philadelphia) with the exception of the year 1912 in which case the mintmark is on the reverse to the left of the word CENTS

Shield Nickels – All shield nickels have no mint mark (Philadelphia)

3-Cent Pieces – All 3-cent pieces have no mintmark (Philadelphia) with the exception of the year 1851 in which case the mark is on the reverse to the right of the Roman numeral III

2-Cent Pieces – All 2-cent pieces have no mint mark (Philadelphia)

Lincoln Cents – On the front beneath the date

Indian Head Cents – All Indian head cents have no mintmark with the exception of 1908 and 1909 in which case the mark is on the reverse beneath the wreath

Flying Eagle Cents – All flying eagle cents have no mint mark (Philadelphia)

Large Cents – All large cents have no mint mark (Philadelphia)

Half Cents – All half cents have no mintmark (Philadelphia)

And there you have it… now you know where to find the mint marks on all of your coins!

Here’s what the letters (mint marks) on U.S. paper money mean

U.S. Coins Without Mintmarks

Have a U.S. coin without a mint mark? See why some coins do not have mintmarks... and how to tell which U.S. Mint facility a coin was made in.

Have a coin without a mintmark?

Unfortunately, mint marks have not been used consistently by the U.S. Mint.

For example, the Philadelphia Mint didn’t use the “P” mintmark for the first time until 1942 and wouldn’t use it regularly until after 1978. The only coins minted before 1979 that have a mintmark from the Philadelphia Mint are Jefferson nickels struck between 1942 and 1945 (a.k.a. war nickels).

See why a specific coin does not have a mint mark… and how to tell which U.S. Mint facility that coin was made in:

Identify your coins via diagrams, photos & definitions

Like this post? Save it to read again later… or share with others on Pinterest!

See the complete list of mint marks on all U.S. coins!

Don’t miss our latest tips!

Stay up to date with everything about U.S Coins

We don’t spam! Read more in our privacy policy