Denver Mint is one of only four U.S. mints, and this long-standing facility is responsible for turning out more coins per year than any other coin mint in the world. During a visit, it is possible to learn all about the Mint's coin-making process, and visitors will even get a chance to witness heaps of metal being converted into precious money. The fact that you can actually witness metal being turned into coins makes a Denver Mint tour especially enticing. Only two mints in the country offer actual looks at the money-making process. The other can be found in the city of Philadelphia.
On a trip to the Denver Mint, visitors can do more than see how coins are made. They can also learn about the facility's interesting history. Established by Congress in 1862, the Mint in Denver Colorado officially opened in 1863. In the early days, the main purpose of this U.S. Mint branch was to turn gold nuggets and gold dust into solid bars. After moving to its current facility on West Colfax Avenue in 1904, the Denver Mint soon started making actual coins. Gold and silver were mostly used to make coins in the early days, and these metals came from the nearby Colorado mines. These days, the coins that the Mint churns out are made of a copper-nickel alloy, and they are easy to recognize due to the capital letter D that is stamped on them. The D, as you might expect, stands for Denver.
The history of the Denver Mint is very much tied to the history of Denver itself. The discovery of gold and silver in the region led to the founding of the city, and it also brought about the need for a mint to process the valuable commodities. On a Denver Mint tour, visitors will learn all about the Mint's history, including the infamous robbery of 1922. While authorities claimed that they knew who was responsible for this robbery, nobody was ever formerly charged with the crime. Supposedly, the thieves who survived the robbery shootout fled to Minneapolis Minnesota, and while they ended up in jail, their lawyer remained free and ended up pocketing the $200,000 loot.
After enjoying a Denver Mint tour, most visitors head across the street to check out the gift shop. The Denver Mint Gift Shop is renowned for its quality, and it can be an especially tempting place to shop for numismatists. Collector coins aren't the only things that are available for purchase. A number of interesting souvenirs are on offer at the Denver Mint Gift Shop, and since there is no entrance fee to the Mint itself, visitors are likely to have a little money to spare for a keepsake of some kind. If nothing else, you can always pick up a t-shirt to add to your clothing collection.
The Denver Mint gift shop isn't the only attraction that is worth pairing with a visit to the Mint. Both the State Capitol and the Colorado History Museum are close by, and they are also great places to get insight into Denver history. Other nearby attractions worth keeping in mind include the Denver Art Museum and all the great attractions in the Lodo District.
Should you wish to enjoy a Denver Mint tour on your Mile High City itinerary, you will have to make reservations, unless you manage to secure one of the few stand-by tickets that are offered at the last minute from time to time. The tours are free, and they can be enjoyed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.