New Orleans once had a mint that produced gold and silver coins for the United States. Generally, the United States has located branch mints near mines that produced the gold and silver, but there are no gold or silver mines in the area. However, it was located very close to the Mississippi River, where gold and silver could easily be shipped to the New Orleans Mint.
The New Orleans Mint produced coins for the United States, then in the Civil War was taken over by the State of Louisiana and continued minting. When Louisiana joined the Confederate States of America shortly thereafter the New Orleans Mint produced coins for the new government. New Orleans was captured early in the Civil War, and occupied by General Butler. This ended the New Orleans Mint’s production of coins for the Confederate States of America. Eventually, the New Orleans Mint began minting coins for the United States again.
Today, the New Orleans Mint is owned by the State of Louisiana, and houses an exhibit on the first floor that has some of the original minting machinery, a collection of coins minted by the New Orleans Mint, a press used for Mardi Gras doubloons, and a die for a Confederate half dollar. This part I have entered several times at no charge. Upstairs the mint often has exhibits, and I have no idea whether they have an admission fee to go up to those exhibits.