How Are Challenge Coins Made?
The Custom Coin Minting Process
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A Closer Look at the Coin Production Process
We get a bunch of questions about how we make custom challenge coins, so we decided to give you a behind the scenes look at our challenge coin production procedure. We ’ ll break down all the big steps in the coin fabricate procedure, so you can see precisely how your challenge coins are made from start to finish. We ’ ll be picking up the summons correct when our production team sets to work on a finished coin design. You can learn more about how to design a challenge mint in our challenge coin purpose 101 television. For nowadays, let ’ s move on to the first gradation in coin output.
Step One: Making a Custom Coin Mold
The first thing we need to do is create a challenge coin mold, and the procedure of making a custom coin shape starts with a calculator called a CAD .
A CAD, or Computer-Aided Design, is a calculator program that uses the custom artwork of a coin to create a digital blueprint of the design that we can use for manufacture. The CAD maps out the tolerances and dimensions of the coin, accounting for the materials we will use, and we upload all of this information into another computer called a CAM ( Computer-Aided Manufacturing ) software. The CAM runs a CNC, which is basically a computer-controlled grind. In the coin product march, milling involves using a cutting creature to increasingly remove material from the surface of a steel freeze, cutting the inverse of a mint design into the alloy. This is how we make customs coin molds. One model is cut for the front of the coins, and one is cut for the rear of the coins. Once the CNC is finished cutting the sword coin molds, we test them by striking easy pieces of alloy and examining the impressions they make. If we see any imperfections in the design, we can make adjustments to the molds before moving forth .
once we ’ ra satisfied with the molds, we temper them in a hot oven. This hardens the steel, making it tougher and better able to stand up to the huge force of die striking brass coins. Once the molds are crimson hot, we take them out of the oven and douse them in cool petroleum. It takes anywhere from 500 to 1,000 tons of force to stamp a purpose into administration, and heat-treating the coin molds beforehand ensures that they are up for the job .
Step Two: Die Striking Challenge Coins
Coin molds are sometimes called dies, which is where the term die striking comes from. Die striking involves using the impertinently made coin molds to stamp artwork into boldness. It sounds reasonably straight forward, but depending on the type of coins being made, die striking can look a little different. Round coins, for example, are normally made from coin blanks. As it sounds, coin blanks are precisely featureless round medallions that have been removed from a strip of brass. Once we fit the coin molds to a coin press, we place the coin blanks between the molds and use the coin iron to stamp the molds against the blank coins .
We create coin blanks by feeding strips of brass or steel through a coin press fitted with a rung cutting tool. When the mint compress comes down, the round off coin blanks are cut free and collected for die assume former on. Finished challenge coins are 1.5 ” to 2 ” in size on average, so these are the typical size we adhere to for coin blanks. however, we don ’ thyroxine constantly use mint blanks during the die strike process. Things look a little different for custom shaped coins. alternatively of feeding a brass section strip through a coin press and cutting out round coin blanks, we just stamp multiple impressions of the coin blueprint along the entire length of the boldness strip and cut them out once the die striking process is finished .
Since the coins are custom-made shaped, we need a custom shaped cutter to remove them from the brass comic strip. We create a cutter through a Wire EDM summons. It ’ s used on everything from round coins to the most complex shapes you can think of. good like the coin molds, the cutting molds need to be trimmed and heat-treated before manipulation. When it ’ sulfur ready, we load the cutting mold into a special coin wardrobe, and when this weight-lift comes down on the boldness strips of metallic element, the coins are cut free with the impressions of the artwork already in place .
Step Three: Cutting the Edge and Deburring the Coins
No matter how the die striking summons looks, stamping and cutting alloy creates sharply ridges and spurs across the entire surface of the coins. Handling them without gloves at this point can be a short chancy, so we need to deburr them before moving on. however, depending on the border you choose for your design, there may be an extra step between fail hit and deburring. This is because some edges are hand-cut .
We do this by loading the coins into a rotary postpone and cutting the intricate practice along the boundary of the coins by hand as the table spins. The coins are finished individually, and once they ’ re all finished, we put them all through the deburring procedure. Deburring is done in a few different ways. sometimes, coins are tumbled in dry media, and other times, they ’ re put into a machine with water, soap, and holey stone that will rub against the coins as the car spins .
We besides deburr coins by hand. We line them up on a wooden block and hold the block against a spinning wheel to smooth the surface of the coins. No matter which deburring method acting our production team chooses, the end result at this point is a set of coins that have a fluent, polished texture .
Step Four: Custom Metal Plating and Colorfilling
Depending on the type of challenge coin, these last elements of challenge coin mint can happen in a different order. soft enamel coins go through the custom metallic plating process first and then go through colorfilling. Hard enamel coins go through colorfilling inaugural and then go through metallic element plating.
soft enamel is the most common type of custom challenge mint, so we ’ ll walk you through that process first. impertinently deburred coins are collected and hung from copper wire. This plays a big depart in the alloy plating, or electroplating, action. electroplate is by and large a chemical summons. We take the coins hung from the copper wire and dip them into troughs full of water .
They ’ re first dipped into clean water and then into different chemical solutions to clean the surface of all of the coins. This ensures that the coins receive an even layer of metallic plating. The actual alloy plating process happens when we soak the coins in a solution containing the valued metal chosen to cover the design. We normally plate coins in gold, silver, or bull, but we besides make black nickel coins and rainbow alloy coins. No matter the case, an electric current is run through the solution containing the coins and the valued metallic element. The coins, grounded by the bull wire, attract the cute metallic element to form a thinly, permanent layer of custom metallic plate .
After the coins are removed and dried, they go to the colorfilling room. Colorfilling is normally done by hired hand, but we besides have machines that automate the entire process. For orders of approximately 100 coins, it ’ second fast to do it all by hand. Members of our production team habit special syringes broad of balmy enamel key to fill in the recess areas of the purpose. Once all of the colors have been added, we put all of the coins into an oven to let the enamel bring around. At this charge, easy enamel challenge coins are just about finished, but remember when we said that unvoiced enamel coins go through colorfilling before metal plat ? There ’ s a good reason for this. Hard enamel coins have a smooth texture because the enamel paint is at an tied level as the raised alloy strokes of the design. soft enamel coins have a more layered appearance because the enamel paint is all contained within the recessed portions of the artwork, using the raised metallic element strokes to separate colorfill areas. sol, the colorfill areas on a hard enamel coin are actually overfilled, unlike soft enamel coins which entirely need a small amount of paint to reside in the adjourn area. The recess areas of a hard enamel mint that need tinge are overfilled with enamel paint, and then the coins are placed in an oven to let the paint cure. This process is repeated for every color. Once all of the colors have cured, the coins are polished by hand. The polishing work grinds away the excess enamel paint so that the surface of the coins has a crisp, even appearance. When it comes to metal plat, the only deviation between unvoiced and soft enamel coins is that hard enamel coins already have all of their enamel colors in stead before going through the plating process .
Step Five: Laser Engraving and Quality Control
At this decimal point, the coins are about finished. Depending on the blueprint, the final step in product is laser engraving. We use laser engraving to include modest details that are not possible to create using the die striking method acting. We can laser engrave different names onto the open of a mint or along the true edge of a coin. We besides use laser engraving to include consecutive numbering on a series of coins. It all depends on what the design calls for. once laser engraving is finished, if it ’ mho needed, the last part of the challenge mint production summons is quality restraint and box .
All of the coins are inspected and prepared for shipping. In the rare occasions when we find coins that do not meet our choice standards, we set them away and create new ones so we can fill the order.
And that ’ mho that ! The coins are shipped via UPS or FedEx precedence air ship and arrive at their address within two days of leaving our product team .
High-Quality Challenge Coins From the Best Custom Coin Maker Online
Making high-quality customs coins is what we do. Our touch Coins team has been handcrafting challenge coins since the year 2000, and we knows all of the ins and outs of the challenge coin minting process. We ’ ll assistant you create a customs design, completely barren of appoint, and have your coins manufactured and delivered in 14 days or fewer. What kind of challenge coins would you have made ? Give us a call and let us know ! We take care of all the big thrust for you, then bringing your ideas to biography is easier than you might think .