It’s In Your Pocket

Lesson Duration

Author: National Constitution Center

The Articles of Confederation gave both the United States Congress and the individual states the authority to issue money and regulate its value. The money issued in one state was of no value when the residents of that state traveled to another state.The Constitution set forth the powers of Congress. In Article 1, Section 8, Congress was given the sole power “To coin money, regulate the value thereof …” The Philadelphia Mint was the only official mint until 1838. Other mints were opened in New Orleans, Louisiana; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dahlonega, Georgia; San Francisco, California; Carson City, Nevada; and Denver, Colorado. The mints in Philadelphia and Denver are the only original mints still in operation.


  • Learn how the federal government became responsible for the coining of money.
  • Understand the significance of the symbols and mottos on coins currently minted by the United States Mint.
  • Discover what information all United States coins have in common



Located on Independence Mall, the National Constitution Center brings the U.S. Constitution to life for the whole family through multimedia exhibitions, live performances, timely public programs and dynamic educational resources.