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The Minting Process Revealed

Step 1: Blanking

All coins start as a sheet of metal.  The United States Mint buys metal strips that are about 13 inches wide and 1,500 feet long.  These strips are wound into giant coils, which are easier to move.

Each coil is fed through a blanking press, which punches out round disks called blanks.  The strip of metal that's left over is called webbing.  It's shredded and recycled—usually into another sheet of metal.

The Mint doesn't make blanks for pennies—it buys them.  However, the Mint supplies fabricators with the copper and zinc that are used to make the penny blanks.

coins getting punched out by a Blanking Press
All coins start as blanks, which are punched out of metal sheets.

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