Amazing Kids! Magazine

The Money Making Process

By Megan Weaver, Contributing Writer


Have you ever wondered where money comes from? All those green papers and metal disks we use to pay for things must come from somewhere. In the United States of America, money is made in a factory called a mint. There are six different mints across the United States. Two of these mints, in Denver, Colorado and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, still produce money and can be visited. During the tours you can learn all about how money is made, which is a very interesting process and an even more fascinating story.

The first mint ever built in the United States was the one in Philadelphia in 1792. After the gold rush in California, the population began to increase. With a rising population one mint could not produce enough money quickly enough. Soon after each other, four more mints opened their doors to production. Since then, American mints have created tens of millions of coins every day to keep up with the ever growing demand.

Making money is a very difficult process. There are many regulations and laws the mints have to follow. If they are not careful, counterfeits (people who create fake money illegally and pretend it’s real) can create copies of the money. You may not realize it at first when looking at dollar bills, but they have secret coloring and symbols hidden on them to make it even more difficult to counterfeit. The rules are so strict when creating money that the metal plates used to create coins must be within 0.0003 of an inch to the accurate size. To put this in perspective, that is less than 1/10 the size of a single strand of hair! Dollar bills are printed using printers like the ones we have at home, except much larger and they use special ink. In 2003, the mints decided it was time to redesign the bills. They used a 3D ribbon to produce $5 bills and these splotches of ink created a mark called a “watermark”. With these subtle changes, among others, it is nearly impossible to replicate dollar bills exactly. The system of creating and distributing money has become much more advanced and interesting throughout history. These system enhancements in the minting process ensure the value of money is maintained.


Works Cited

“The United States Mint ∙ About Us.” The United States Mint ∙ About Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2014. <>.

“U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing ­ The Production Process.” U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing ­ The Production Process. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2014.