Denver, Colorado 1906-Date, “D”
As early as 1862, the government recognized the need to support the Colorado Gold Rush. They purchased the Clark-Gruber banking facility for $25,000 establish a branch mint.
Native American tribes were still roaming the West and hostilities prevented the Denver facility of officially opening as a branch mint and minting coinage. Officials decided to provide Gold miners with a givernment assay office which opened in September Of 1863.
Miners brought in their raw Gold where is was melted down and assayed, then and made into Gold bars. Each bars was stamped with the fineness and the inscription “U.S. BRANCH MINT, DENVER.”
The weight, fineness, and official U.S. Mint inscription then allowed the Gold bars to be bought, sold, or traded. It wasn’t quite money in the form of Gold Coins, but it did permit miners to trade their successful work efforts for payment acceptable in Denver general stores for food, mining tools, and supplies.
By 1877, major gold and silver discoveries across Colorado, led Congress to establish the ??? Denver Mint. Coinage operations finally began on February 1, 1906, advancing the status of the Denver facility to Branch Mint.
Gold Coins were minted in Denver from…
Morgan Silver Dollars
Peace Silver Dollars
Other coins ???
Clark, Gruber & Co.
The predecessors of the Denver Mint were mint operators of Clark, Gruber and Company. During the Pikes Peak Gold Rush, Miners would bring in Gold dust and nuggets they accumulated in the Gold fields and would coin them into standard sized private coins which were readily accepted in commerce.
Gruber and Co. established an office in Denver at the beginning of the Colorado Gold Rush to save on shipping and insurance costs associated with shipping Gold back east by consolidating the raw Gold into xxx % Gold co7n.
On 25 July 1860, the mint opened in a two-story brick building on the corner of Market and 16th Streets,
In July of 1860, the minting $10 gold pieces began at the rate of “fifteen or twenty coins a minute”. “On the face is a representation of Pike Peak, the base surrounded by a forest of timber and ‘Pikes Peak Gold’ encircling the summit.
Under is the word ‘Denver and beneath it ‘Ten D.’. On the reverse is the American Eagle encircled by the name of the firm ‘Clark, Gruber & Co.’, and beneath the date, ‘1860’.”
A $20 gold coin was added, “the weight will be greater, but the value the same as the United States coin of like denomination”. A $5 and a $2.5 gold coin were added, with production reaching $18,000 per week.
In just three years, the private mint struck $594,305 worth of Pike’s Peak Gold into the form of private Gold Coins. Company records show they also purchased 77,000 troy ounces of raw gold and shipped “large amounts of dust” to the Philadelphia Mint.
The building, assaying and minting equipment was formally bought by the US Treasury in April 1863. Clark, Gruber & Co. remained a bank until bought by the First National Bank of Denver in 1865.
We’ve told the Guber & Co. story here since their coin minting operation was purchased outright by the U.S. Mint in 1863. We also feel it’s interesting to see how businessmen stepped in to fill the demand to produce money when the government back in Washington was slow to meet the need out West.