A branch of the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia opened in Dahlonega in 1838 after the Georgia Gold Rush
of 1829 brought thousands of people into the Cherokee Nation
in search of riches. Until it closed shortly after the start of The Civil War
the Dahlonega Mint coined more than $6 million in gold. In 1873 the U. S. Congress donated the building to North Georgia College. The building burned in 1878
Three mints chartered by Congress in the Mint Act of 1835 were in Charlotte, North Carolina, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Daholonega, Georgia. The Branch Mint at Dahlonega had heavy political support from none other than John C. Calhoun, who was an investor and occasional visitor to the area. Ignatius Few, who would later become famous as the founder of Emory University, represented the federal government and purchased land for the mint from one William Worley.
In 1837, J. J. (John Joseph) Singleton was appointed superintendent of the mint, a position he would hold until 1843. Singleton moved to Jefferson, Georgia as a young man, became a doctor and served in the state house. In 1837 he accepted the appointment as superintendent and journeyed to Dahlonega to oversee the completion of the branch mint. Three months after accepting the position in Dahlonega the equipment to assay the gold and mint the coins was shipped from Philadelphia. One of many problems the new superintendent faced was a shortage of zinc that meant the mint did not yet have a roof. In the summer of 1837 Ignatius Few left the completion of building the physical mint to Superintendent Singleton.
After completing the roof and installing the machinery in November, 1837, Singleton set the date of Feburary 12, 1838 as the first date to receive gold. That year the Branch Mint in Dahlonega produced slightly more than $102,000 in gold coin.
In 1843 James Cooper became superintendent.