Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Die Making at the U.S. Mint


This B-Roll begins with the process of making "hubs," which is done by CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines using cutting tools. Once a master hub is machined, the Mint uses it to create dies, which have negative images of the coin's front or back, and will be used to strike the coin. Coin presses use 35-100 tons of pressure (depending on denomination of the coin) to leave the final impression on the coin.
Once the Secretary of the Treasury approves a design, U.S. Mint medallic artists turn the line drawing into a sculpted piece of art using clay, plaster, or digital software. A machine engraves the design onto a steel hub, which shows the positive image the way the artist created it. The Mint transfers the image between several generations of hubs and dies in order to create the working dies that actually strike the coins. Dies are like a photo negative, displaying the design in reverse. When the dies stamp the coins or medals, the positive image transfers onto the blank. 

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