Minting and Printing Money
Coins can be made by casting metal in a mold or striking metal between two dies. Coin dies are made from hard metals, including bronze and iron, and are engraved with negative impressions. Each pair of dies has different designs for the obverse, or front, and reverse of a coin. Coins were struck by hand with a hammer until the 16th century CE, when the process became increasingly mechanized.
Notes are made using printing plates, which are coated with ink and pressed into special paper, leaving behind a design that is intended to be easy to recognize but difficult to forge. Early printing plates were made from copper, like this one from 1861. It was used to print Confederate currency during the American Civil War.