How Coins Are Made
in The United States
Understanding how coins are made can help a new coin collector better understand the different types of coins. For example, once you know how coins are made you will have better insight into the difference between uncirculated coins and proof coins.
It is a fairly complicated process, but I believe you will find it as fascinating as I did.
I am sure you know that coins are made of different metals (silver, copper, gold, nickel, etc.) Well, the United States Mint uses long rolled-up sheets of metal in making their coins.
The rolls of metal are quite large (about a foot wide x 1500 feet long), and can weigh 6000 pounds.
This roll of metal is fed into a machine that cuts out disks the size of whatever coin is being produced at the time.
These metal disks used in making coins are called blanks. After the blanks are cut out they are washed and polished. If the disks are meant for making proof coins, they are given some extra care and polishing.
At this stage of making coins, the disks are now called planchets. They are now ready to be made into coins.
The planchets are then "squeezed" between two "dies" under pressure. The amount of pressure used depends on the type of metal being used in making the coin.
The designs used in this pair of dies is very expertly and painstakingly created by expert artisans.
It gets a bit hard to explain, but basically these artists hand-carve and mold the design to be used on the coins, but their artwork is many times larger than the actual size of the coin.
Then a mind boggling duplicating machine takes the design and reduces it to the size of the coin and carves it into a very hard metal hub.
This hub is then used to make the dies that are actually used to strike the coins. This is a very long process.
Once the dies are complete, they are placed in a press and the planchets are put into them one at a time and "squeezed".
If the coin is a proof coin, it will be struck (squeezed) more than once and the dies will be polished more often.
It is really fascinating to me how coins are made. I can't begin to describe it correctly.
You can go to the United States Mint site and watch some videos that will give you a better understanding of the whole process of making coins.
It is just amazing how quickly these coins are turned out at the mint. And the quantity of coins produced on a daily basis is tremendous.
You should watch the videos yourself to get a better understanding of how coins are made.
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