Although only the U.S. Mint can make coins that are legal tender, coins can be made with the right tools and metalworking skills. A coin is made by pressing a blank between two carved metal plates called dies.
A metal blank is formed to the size and thickness of the coin. Two dies are made; one for the bottom, called the reverse, and one for the top, called the obverse. The blank is placed between the two parts of the die and struck with a hammer, producing the coin. Ancient coins were made from gold, silver, electrum, copper, bronze and brass, which are all soft enough for stamping.