The Steps of How Coins Are Made

Thousands of coins are minted every day in a very complicated process. If you’re able to take a tour of the United States Mint to observe this process, you’re likely to find it intriguing and educational. If you’re interested in coin identification and coin collecting in Rockville, MD, but are unable to take a tour of the U.S. Mint, read on for information on how coins are made.

Blanking and Annealing

The U.S. Mint uses strips of metal that are 13 inches wide by 1,500 feet long to create nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar coins. Pennies are created from a pre-stamped strip. These strips arrive at the Mint rolled up into a coil. As the coins are fed through a blanking press, the press punches out discs, or blanks. These blanks are heated in an annealing furnace to soften the metal, and then run through a washer and dryer.

Riddling, Upsetting, and Striking

Once washed and dried, the blanks are sorted via a machine called a riddler, which removes blanks that are the wrong size or shape. The next machine used is called an upsetting mill, which raises rims around the outside edges of the blanks. Next, the blanks travel to a coining press, which stamps the blanks with the designs and inscriptions that transform them into genuine United States currency.

Inspecting, Counting, and Bagging

After the coins are inscribed, a press operator inspects each coin with a magnifying glass. All coins that pass inspection are run through a machine called a coin sizer, which removes any dented or misshapen coins. Finally, an automatic counting machine counts the coins and then adds them to canvas bags. These bags are sewn shut and stored in vaults. New coins are transported via truck to Federal Reserve Banks, and from there, to your local bank.

If you have rare coins that you would like to have appraised by a coin dealer in Rockville, visit Coins of the Realm. We offer free verbal appraisals in our store, as well as formal appraisals for a small fee. Contact us at (301) 340-1640 for more information.

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