The Minting Process for Silver Coins

The process of minting coins tends to be similar regardless of their metal content, but we will focus on silver in this blog. If you plan on investing in silver coins, it can be helpful to understand how they are made because some aspects of minting can affect a coin’s numismatic value.

Basic Minting Terms

A man melting down metals

Before we get further into the steps of minting, here’s a brief overview of a couple of terms you’ll see later on:

  • Die: These are hardened pieces of steel that are struck together to imprint the coin with designs on each side.
  • Billets: These are thick cylinders of metal. After being melted, silver is placed in this state for consistency and because cylinders are easier to transport.
  • Blanks: Before a design is stamped onto the silver by a die, it is shaped into a disc called a blank. Blanks are the same size, shape, and weight as the final coin.

How Are Silver Coins Minted?

When central banks commission the creation of a new silver coin, they hire an artist to design the images on the coin. Some silver coins’ designs hold strong historical significance, such as the American Silver Eagle, which has come to represent civil and military pride. After the design has been approved, a pair of master dies are created in the mint so that the manufacturing process can begin.

First, .999 fine silver is melted in bulk and poured into round molds to form billets. Each billet will be heated and fed through an extruder to form a long, flat strip of silver. In smaller pieces, these strips are fed into a press and punched into blanks. These silver blanks are then polished to remove any scratches or blemishes before being placed in the die and struck with their final design.

For several reasons, the U.S. no longer produces silver coins for general circulation purposes. However, these coins can be purchased as investment vehicles from silver coin dealers and still hold a great deal of value. If you’re interested in buying or selling silver coins, the staff at Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers can guide you through this process and offer advice for your investments in precious metals. Call us at (404) 236-9744 to schedule an appointment.

Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Tony frequently writes on various economic and numismatic related topics affecting the coin and bullion markets and has been published on some of the industry’s leading websites, including Coin Week, the American Numismatic Association, Coin Collector, Coinflation and Coin Auctions Help, just to name a few. Visit Atlanta Gold & Coin’s website at to obtain additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at or at 404-236-9744. Be sure to "like" Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers on Facebook , follow them on Twitter, or subscribe to their RSS feed to receive the latest news, tips and expert advice on old, rare, collectible and bullion coins.