Mint Marks are tiny letters referring to the locality where the minting of coins took place. The position of mint mark can be found typically on the back side of coins that were minted before the year 1965 and on the front after the year 1967.
Coins of every US mint branch are recognized by mint marks. These coin marks date back to ancient times in Rome and Greece.
The “Director of the Mint”, through the “Act of March 3, 1835”, set rules to classify and distinguish the coins released from every US Mint branch. This core management set accurate standards and pattern of production as well as responsible coinage.
Coins that minted at the “Philadelphia mint” earlier than the year 1979 have no mint marks. So it was in that year that the dollar was marked with the letter P and other denominations had that same mark thereafter.
All dies for US coins are produced at the “Philadelphia Mint” and prior to shipping the coins to their mint branch, coins are marked first with the correct and designated mint markings. The precise size and positioning of the coins’ mint mark can slightly vary; this is influenced by how deep the punch was impressed and where.
The importance of mint marks:
Collectors can determine the value of a coin though mint mark, date and condition examination, making the coins condition the most significant factor and standard when determining its value.
Defining the Mint which hit the coin is tremendously important in determining the value of the coin; the coin can be hit in huge quantities at a single Mint or in smaller quantities in another hit.