Coins are made from metals. In the past, coins are money which were sometimes made from valuable metals such as gold and silver. Today, most coins are made with some combination of copper, zinc, and nickel.
Where are coins made in the United States?
U.S. coins are made by the U.S. Mint which is a division of the Department of the Treasury. There are four different U.S. Mint facilities that make coins. They are located in Philadelphia, Denver, San Francisco, and West Point (New York). The majority of the coins that the public uses today are made in Philadelphia or Denver.
Must Read: How Paper Money is Made?
Who designs new coins?
New coins are designed by artists that work for the U.S. Mint. They are called sculptor-engravers. The designs are reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee and the Commission of Fine Arts. The final decision on a new design is made by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The U.S. mint goes through the following steps when manufacturing coins:
- Blanking – The first step is called blanking. Long strips of metal are run through a blanking press. The press cuts out blank coins from the press. The leftovers are recycled to be used again later.
- Annealing – The blank coins then go through the annealing process. In this process, they are heated up and softened. Then they are washed and dried.
- Upsetting – The next step is the upsetting mill. This process forms the raised rim around the edges of the coin.
- Striking – Striking takes place in the coining press. The coining press strikes the coin on both sides with a great amount of pressure. It stamps the design of the coin right into the metal.
- Inspecting – Now that the coin is made, it still needs to be inspected. Trained inspectors examine the coins to make sure they were made correctly.
- Counting and Bagging – Next the coins are counted by a machine and placed into bags to be shipped to banks.
Also Read: History of Money
What metals are U.S. coins made from?
- Penny – 2.5% Copper and the rest is Zinc
- Nickel – 25% Nickel and the rest is Copper
- Dime – 8.3% Nickel and the rest is Copper
- Quarter – 8.3% Nickel and the rest is Copper
- Half Dollar – 8.3% Nickel and the rest is Copper
- One Dollar – 88.5% Copper, 6% Zinc, 3.5% Manganese, 2% Nickel
Have a Look at: How Banks Work?
Interesting Facts About How Coins Are Made
- Some coins may be struck with over 150 tons of pressure by the coining press.
- The inscription “In God We Trust” was first used on coins during the Civil War. It became a law to have it on coins in 1955.
- Three historical women have been portrayed on U.S. coins including Helen Keller, Sacagawea, and Susan B. Anthony.
- Booker T. Washington was the first African-American to appear on a U.S. coin.
- You can tell which U.S. Mint made a coin by the Mint mark: ‘S’ for San Francisco, ‘D’ for Denver, ‘P’ for Philadelphia, and ‘W’ for West Point.
- In the year 2000, the U.S. Mint made 28 billion new coins including 14 billion pennies.