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Originally, the phrase comes from the way collectors described the condition of coins coming straight from the mint (coin factory).
Audio (AU) (file)
- (idiomatic) The condition of being used, but still like new, as if freshly minted.
- 1962 October, “Talking of Trains: L.M.R. car-carrying success”, in Modern Railways, page 224:
- The obvious advantages of this method of new motor vehicle delivery over long distances,, which the L.M.R. says dealers and ultimate customers are beginning to appreciate, are all-weather reliability, arrival in mint condition and with only a very small mileage "on the clock", and the assurance that the car has not been mishandled during its running-in period; [...].