How Are Coins Made?

How Are Coins Made?

by Bryn Fest

Coins were first used thousands of years ago in the ancient kingdom of Lydia. Since, how coins are made has changed a great deal. From simple metal dies stuck against a rock, to huge hydraulic presses that Mints use today.

Making coins today is done by both private companies and official government Mints. It’s a good idea to know how today’s coins are made. Read on to learn how are coins made!


Coin blanks get made from coils of metal that meet the specifications of the coin. The coils get straightened and then fed into the blanking press. The new blanks get punched out at a high volume and are the same thickness as a finished coin but have a little larger diameter.


The next step in coin production is the annealing process. The blanks get heated to sixteen hundred degrees in a special oxygen-free furnace. This changes the blanks to be softer for better shaping.

After heating, the blanks get cooled in a quench tank of “slippery” water. The water is a mixture of water, citric acid powder, and several lubricants, to stop the new blanks from sticking together. The water cools the blanks and gets them ready for the next step.

Washing and Drying

After the quench tank, the blanks get lifted from the quench tank to drain and sent to the washing station. The blanks are then washed with a solution of cleaning agents and anti-tarnish agents. Then the blanks are steam dried and sent to the upsetting mill.


During this step in the coin-making process, the upsetting station feeds the blanks into a special groove that is narrower than its diameter. This pushes the metal up to form a rim around the blank. Blanks with a rim are called planchets.


The most critical step in minting coins is the striking process. Here, the planchets get sent to the correct presses for the coins they are to become. The presses can strike the coins with up to five hundred and forty tons of pressure, depending on what coin gets struck.

Limited run coins have special presses, especially when it comes to investment-grade bullion coins. These types of coins are made by several different private mints as well as by the U.S. Mint. You can use this resource to learn more.

Inspecting, Bagging, and Packaging

Next, the coins get inspected to check for errors before being sent to packaging. Coins such as dimes and quarters get sent through a counting machine before getting bagged for storage.

Pennies and nickels aren’t counted before they get sealed. Then the bags get sent to storage before being sent out for circulation across the country.

Learning How Are Coins Made

Coins have a long and storied history going back thousands of years. Today coins have many purposes besides currency, but all coins go through the same process. Learning how are coins made is an important step in understanding our economy.

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