Coins in America are made using a six-step procedure that begins with a process called blanking. The subsequent five steps are annealing, upsetting, striking, inspecting and counting/bagging. The United States mints in both Philadelphia and Denver offer official tours of the entire process.
The first step, blanking, involves punching the raw form of the coins from a long, coiled strip of metal with a powerful press. Of all the coins, the penny is the only one to actually receive its stamp at this stage. The excess metal from the coil is subsequently broken down and recycled.
Annealing involves first heating the metal pieces to soften, and then washing and drying them for the upsetting phase. Upsetting requires sending the coins through a specially designed mill that raises their edges.
The striking phase is when the coins receive the characteristic designs located on their opposed surfaces, including those details making them valid United States currency. After striking, the new coins encounter the press operators, workers who ensure that each arriving batch is up to standard.
Finally, the coins pass through an automatic counting machine that disperses them into bags, each of which is then deposited on a pallet for a forklift to convey to waiting trucks bound for Federal Reserve banks.