U.S. Coin Price Guide

Coin Collecting

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How Coins Are Made and Manufactured

Step 1: Blanking

The U.S. Mint buys strips of metal about 13 inches wide and 1,500 feet long to manufacture the nickel, dime, quarter, half-dollar, and dollar. The strips come rolled in a coil. Each coil is fed through a blanking press which punches out round discs called blanks. The leftover strip, called webbing is chopped and recycled. (To manufacture the cent, the Mint buys blanks ready made for stamping after supplying fabricators with copper and zinc.)

Step 2: Annealing, Washing and Drying

The blanks are heated in an annealing furnace to soften them. Then, they are run through a washer and dryer.

Step 3: Upsetting

Next, the good blanks go through an upsetting mill. This raises a rim around their edges.

Step 4: Striking

Finally, the blanks go to the coining press. Here, they are stamped with the designs and inscriptions which make them genuine United States coins.

Step 5: Inspecting

Press operators using magnifying glasses spot-check each batch of newly struck coins.

Step 6: Counting and Bagging

An automatic counting machine counts the coins and drops them into large bags. The bags are sealed shut, loaded onto pallets, and taken by forklifts to the vaults for storage. New coins are shipped by truck to Federal Reserve Banks. From there, the coins go to your local bank!

Courtesy U.S. Mint

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