Art of Collecting
Have you ever wondered how are coins made ? The process of creating coins is known as minting, coining or coinage. In this article, we will explore the process of coin production that can be broken down in three main parts: producing the blanks, creating the coinage tools and striking the coins.
PRODUCTION OF BLANKS
The process of producing coin blanks are known as blanking. The process starts by melting the appropriate metals in exactly the right proportions in a furnace. The furnace produces a long strip of alloy that passes through powerful rolling mills reducing it to the thickness of the coin. Discs of metal are then punched from the strip by a blanking press and produces coin blanks. The latest series of Singapore Coins which we use daily are made of three layers of metal. Nickel and Copper for the silver colored coins. Brass, copper and nickel for the gold colored coins. Notice that there are no silver or gold content as these metals are expensive 🙂
Collectible coins on the other hand are usually made of pure silver. These blanks go through a meticulous polishing process prior to minting.
CREATING THE COINAGE TOOLS
Historically, coins were made with a hammer and anvil from scraps of metal. With the advancement of technology, electric and hydraulic presses are now used for minting.
The minting process starts with the artist designing and using computer software to perfect the details. A large plaster model of the design, 5 times the original design is then created. Once completed, it is transferred to a rubber resin template (another mold) which allows the rubber to harden in the new mold. Finally, the design is reproduced onto an epoxy mould. The epoxy mould goes through a curing process to strengthen it and is examined for flaws and imperfections.
Next, the design on the epoxy mould is reduced and traced onto the master die. The master die is a critical coinage tool used to reproduced many working dies during coin production. The working dies are created in extremely high pressured squeezing process called hobbing with the help of machines. They are then heat treated and polished and ready to be strucked.
STRIKING THE COINS
The final part of the process involves having the designs of the working dies struck onto the blanks. Coin blanks are fed into a coining press that contains a pair of dies. They are then struck on both sides simultaneously by dies and are turned into coins. Different Mints employs different techniques in striking the coin by configuring the pressure and speed of the strike that resulted in different appearance and sizes. This is why coins from different mints looks and feel differently despite having the same weight.
Alright we hope you learn something new today. Please share this article with your friends and wow them with your new found knowledge.