The name “West Point” reminds many people of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, but most people are unaware that the town of West Point is also home to the United States Mint. Originally built in 1938 as a bullion depository to store the nation’s silver reserves, the Mint at West Point stands on four acres of land that used to belong to the Academy under the Department of Defense. It did not remain a simple depository for long.
From 1973 to 1986, the West Point Mint produced Lincoln cents in order to support coin production from the Philadelphia Mint. In 1980, it began striking gold medallions, and in 1983, began minting gold commemorative coins for the 1984 Olympic Games. It was not until 1988 that Congress passed a law that officially established the bullion depository as the country’s newest mint facility. Today, the West Point Mint is known almost exclusively for minting commemorative and bullion coins.