​Moneymakers: Artists at the U.S. Mint

"Surprisingly, a lot. Because the committees like to see new refreshing angles. We've done so many different things on coins that they want to see something that's indicative of the time we live."

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Using computers to shape the templates for new coins.
CBS News

All the way back in 1792, our founding fathers knew their new democracy couldn't truly be independent without its own currency, and so the Mint was born: the first federal building erected under the new constitution.

The Mint has perfected its practice since then. One machine uses lasers to trace Everhart's sculptures. It notes every nook and cranny, so it can shrink the image down to scale.

Next, they make a stamp. Using anywhere between 40 and 60 tons of force, that stamp strikes blank pieces of medal, making coins.

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Don Everhart's design for the Nevada state quarter.
U.S. Mint

The U.S. Mint turns out $2.7 million in coins every day. And thousands of them could be Don Everhart's designs, which could be a pretty heavy thought for a unique artist.

Werner asked, "How do you wrap your head around the fact that millions of people have seen your work?"

"Well, millions of people have seen it, but I don't think they know who Don Everhart is. Even if they look at the little tiny initials on it. On every coin or medal that I've done since I've been here, I put initials on. Look for a little DE, usually in the lower right-hand corner."

And then we'll know, "Hey, Don did that coin."


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