What is the Minting Process?

For hundreds of years, various technology has been responsible for striking and minting coins. As collectors and investors, we don't often think about the process before it reaches our hands. Technologies in coin minting have changed drastically over the decades, but many of the core processes remain the same. Understanding where Precious Metals products come from and how they are made can help us better appreciate the coin or bullion we have. Coin production at the United States Mint is a six-step process that involves detailed applications to make sure the final product is usable. 

The Minting Process

In the current process, the United States Mint uses six steps from blanking to bagging. 

  1. Blanking. It all starts with a large strip of metal approximately 13 inches by 1,500 feet. This strip of metal is fed into a blanking press by hand. 
  2. Washing and Drying. The blanks are heated after being washed. 
  3. Upsetting. The next step raises a rim on the edge of the coin. The rim is slight, but it gives the coin the edge we are so familiar with.
  4. Striking. In this phase, the blanks go through a coining press. This is where the coin gets stamped with the design or inscription, making them officially United States coins.
  5. Inspecting. This is perhaps one of the most important parts of the process. The inspection operators use magnifying glasses to spot check all new coins for errors. 
  6. Counting and Bagging. An automatic counting machine counts the coins. After counting is complete, the machine drops the coins into large bags for delivery.

Coin-making technologies change through time to meet the demands of metals and production. In an age of technological advancement, we are now able to see minted coins produced very quickly. You can see how coins were minted at the Philadelphia Mint in 1940 and see how far minting technology has come in a relatively short time. The coin minting process is a unique one that offers insight into the history and science of minting technologies of the past. It also shows what we are capable of in regard to coin production now and in the future. 

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