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Which Mints Served Which Federal Reserve Banks?

oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

This is a DEEPLY nerdy topic, even for collectors. As I understand it, the FRB's order coins from the mint as needed and then distribute the coins to local banks. Which mint would of course depend on supply and likely the cost of shipment, perhaps other considerations.

The reason for my interest is that I'm putting together birth and anniversary sets to honor my parents and would prefer to use the most representative mint. Both were born in Rockford, Illinois and were also married there. Rockford is near Chicago, so the Chicago FRB would most likely have distributed coins to Rockford. Denver and Philadelphia would both seem candidates as suppliers to the Chicago FRB. San Francisco isn't out of the question as, for example, Denver did not mint quarters in 1912.

The relevant dates are 1912, 1918, and 1939. If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be most grateful. NNP?

Comments

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "As I understand it, the FRB's order coins from the mint as needed and then distribute the coins to local banks."

    Today? No. The Fed has hired several large firms (think Loomis). They run Contracted Coin Terminals which receive coins from the Mint in ballistic nylon bags (one ton), plus all the coins from their customers (banks) and they make sure that customers (banks) have rolled and boxed coins to meet their needs.

    Not sure when the system started, but it wasn't THAT long ago.

    It's generally said the border is the Mississippi River, west is Denver, and east is Philadelphia.

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,034 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    "As I understand it, the FRB's order coins from the mint as needed and then distribute the coins to local banks."

    Today? No. The Fed has hired several large firms (think Loomis). They run Contracted Coin Terminals which receive coins from the Mint in ballistic nylon bags (one ton), plus all the coins from their customers (banks) and they make sure that customers (banks) have rolled and boxed coins to meet their needs.

    Not sure when the system started, but it wasn't THAT long ago.

    It's generally said the border is the Mississippi River, west is Denver, and east is Philadelphia.

    I know for certain that system was in place 20 years ago, so it's been at least that long.

  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for responding. My interest is in 100 years ago or so. Might need to track down surviving FRB or mint records. If the Mississippi was the dividing line back in the day, then the Chicago FRB would have received coins from Philadelphia. Makes sense. Since I'm including gold for my father (1912), I need to get types of Philadelphia anyway.

  • Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,034 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't think the Fed districts have ever changed.

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    For starters, there was no Federal Reserve System in 1912.

    Coins were distributed, and re-distributed until they wore out, by the Independent Treasury system, sometimes called the Sub-Treasuries. You can find a long history here:

    https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/title/independent-treasury-united-states-relations-banks-country-636

    Good luck finding out where they were even located, much less which Mints they received coins from and which areas they distributed coins to.

    That said, when I started collecting in Detroit around 1960 all of our new notes were from the FRB of Chicago, and 90% of the new coinage was from Denver. We may have gotten some shipments from Cleveland, which I believe got Philadelphia Mint coins.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • cladkingcladking Posts: 28,237 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @CaptHenway said:
    For starters, there was no Federal Reserve System in 1912.

    Coins were distributed, and re-distributed until they wore out, by the Independent Treasury system, sometimes called the Sub-Treasuries. You can find a long history here:

    https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/title/independent-treasury-united-states-relations-banks-country-636

    Good luck finding out where they were even located, much less which Mints they received coins from and which areas they distributed coins to.

    That said, when I started collecting in Detroit around 1960 all of our new notes were from the FRB of Chicago, and 90% of the new coinage was from Denver. We may have gotten some shipments from Cleveland, which I believe got Philadelphia Mint coins.

    To complicate things more Chicago appears to be very near a shifting line that defines the distribution pattern for the mints. We'll get one mint for awhile and then the other. I believe we can get both in a single year. Now days they use a lot of trucks to ship coins so I wouldn't be surprised if small orders aren't shipped almost anywhere this way. Other practices may have changed over the years as well as counting houses have taken this job over from the FED banks.

    All else being equal I'd guess that Denver is the more likely origin in 1918 and 1939.

    Tempus fugit.
  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks all !
    It looks as though Chicago sported a sub-treasury. It also appears that the banks paid their own shipping, which would certainly have had a bearing. I'm going to "punt" 1912 and use Philadelphia - 5 of the 9 types I'm using were not minted by Denver that year.
    I'm looking for the text of the Denver mint enabling act of 1895 (mint was authorized earlier, but production was authorized in 1895), which may provide a clue in its preamble. No luck so far with Google.
    Based on comments I may just do a mix of coins I like. I may leave it to a future numismatic scholar to fully delve into this topic, I do find it interesting, but I'm a mere hobbyist.
    When I did sets for my wife and I it was easy. Both born and wed in SF.

  • dcarrdcarr Posts: 7,888 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Denver served District 9 and District 10, and very likely some others.
    This 1924 shipping tag is proof that Denver coins went to Minneapolis:


  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Remember that in those days shipping by rail was very efficient and relatively fast. Up until 1908 the West Coast got its Cents from Philadelphia, and 1912 its Nickels. Coins from New Orleans could easily go East, North or West until it closed in 1909 because Denver was new and more efficient. Coins from Denver could go in any direction.

    Just build the sets and ignore the mint marks. Great idea!

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,437 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @dcarr said:
    Denver served District 9 and District 10, and very likely some others.
    This 1924 shipping tag is proof that Denver coins went to Minneapolis:


    Denver also served Dallas.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • CRHer700CRHer700 Posts: 411 ✭✭✭✭
    edited February 3, 2024 3:05PM

    @BStrauss3 said:
    It's generally said the border is the Mississippi River, west is Denver, and east is Philadelphia.

    I know that nowadays Illinois is served by Denver, as almost every coin there is D mint.

    Cheers, CRHer700 :mrgreen:

  • BStrauss3BStrauss3 Posts: 3,036 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Transportation costs aren't always exactly correlated with distance. And it could be that one of the CCTs closed a facility or moved to something better situated on the interstate highway system, or ...

    -----Burton
    ANA 50 year/Life Member (now "Emeritus")
  • oldabeintxoldabeintx Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BStrauss3 said:
    Transportation costs aren't always exactly correlated with distance. And it could be that one of the CCTs closed a facility or moved to something better situated on the interstate highway system, or ...

    Right, and the cost of transportation is only one factor, albeit an important one I would think. There may even have been political motives back in the day.

    I was sort of hoping that this subject had been researched. Perhaps one day I will try to find records from the mints, the various FRB's, the sub-treasuries or whomever, but not today. But I have learned something, thanks to all.

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