Every coin starts with an ideation. Product developers collaborate with designers to design an image that will translate well onto a coin. The 2-D design is then converted into a 3-D design in the die making process.
Raw metal of desired composition is rolled into long sheets. After quality check’s, the metal sheet is fed into a punching machine. The punching machine creates blanks of desired shape. The sheet advances after a punch by a little more than the diameter of the coin.
The blanks are then checked for correct size and weight to remove the imperfect blanks.
Image : Coin blanks
A blank must undergo many steps before a design is committed to its surface. Each stage is necessary to ensure longevity, precision and appearance.
The minting process differs to the type of order requested by the clients. For mintage quantity below 200 pieces, impact printing/engraving will be a choice. It is an affordable and effortless way to personalize coins/wafer. Customers can imprint photographic imagery and personalized texts on the coins.
For mass production, the best option is to use dies. A die, or die set, is one or more pieces of metal that are designed to shape a material when it is pressed between them. The blanks are fed into a coining press that contains a pair of dies. Applying certain pressure, the dies strike the blanks and turn them into coins. The result will be different as you can see in the photos below.
Image : (Left) Die stroked coin / (Right) Impact print coin.
Impact printing tend to leave engraved marks on the metal surface, while die stroked bullions have embossed feature with mirror effects on the field area and sandblasting effect on the relief area.
After the minting process is complete, the coins/wafers receive a final inspection before they are packaged.