The Dahlonega Mint Lived a Short, Eventful Life

In addition to its entries on U.S. coins, Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ Coin Resource Center includes detailed histories of the U.S. Mint facilities responsible for producing the nation’s coinage. Eight facilities are currently listed, several of which have not been active in more than a century. We’ll first be examining the Dahlonega Mint, which opened in 1838 and was one of the shortest-lived branch mints.

Reports of gold in southern Appalachia predate the establishment of a Mint facility in Dahlonega, Georgia by centuries, though the metal itself remained elusive until the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Gold mining operations in Georgia did not commence on any scale until the late 1820s. Private mints produced coins to monetize some of the gold being mined in the early-to-mid 1830s but much of the bullion was transported to Philadelphia, a time-consuming process fraught with risk. A mint facility nearer to the gold deposits made sense.

In 1835, legislation authorizing three southern branch mints passed and 10 acres of land in Dahlonega was purchased later that year. A facility was erected in a year and a half and coining operations commenced on April 21, 1838 when 80 gold half eagles were struck.

By the time the Dahlonega Mint actually opened, gold production in the region was declining, and mintages throughout the facility’s life were fairly small. There was a production spike in the early 1850s as gold flowed east from California, but the establishment of the San Francisco Mint and the start of coining operations there in 1854 put paid to this brief uptick.

The Confederacy seized the Dahlonega Mint in 1861, struck a handful of gold dollars and half eagles, then suspended coining operations. The facility was used as a depository for the C.S.A. Treasury for the remainder of the war, and never recommenced coining operations thereafter.

Our CRC entry on the Dahlonega Mint discusses the currency situation in the early 19th century United States and legislative efforts to establish this southern mint. It also outlines the coinage produced at the Dahlonega Mint and explains its appeal to early U.S. gold specialists.

Keep an eye out for future Coin Resource Center blogs about the other seven other U.S. Mint facilities featured there.

Join our mailing list

Don't miss an auction!

Subscribe to our newsletter.


Contact Us

West Coast Office • (800) 458-4646

Midwest Office • (800) 817-2646

East Coast Office • (800) 566-2580

[email protected]

Hong Kong, China Office • +852 2117 1191

[email protected]

Copenhagen, Denmark • +45 80 40 49 42

[email protected]

Follow Us

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

We are sorry, an unexpected error occurred!
Please enter a valid email address

I'm Interested In...

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Stack's Bowers Galleries e-newsletter.