How gold coins are made
Many people enjoy the intricate details of a beautifully crafted gold coin such as the “Call of the Wild” gold coins that are minted by the Royal Canadian Mint. However, many details about the manufacturing process of gold coins are actually unknown to most people. This short article will explain how gold coins are made.
The process starts with the melting of the precious metals in a furnace. The melted and refined gold will then be formed into giant spools of gold. These 40m long spools of 1 tonne of gold are rolled under huge pressure. They are then fed into a machine that slowly unrolls them and cuts gold blanks out. The leftover metal in the stamped out unspooled gold will of course be reshaped/remelted into new spools/coils.
How gold coins are made by a coin press
After the coin blanks are washed, they are fed into the coin press. Some coin presses can strike up to 750 coins per minute but these high speeds are used for circulation coins. To ensure quality, precious metal blanks are fed into the coin press by hand and the press will strike perhaps 1 coin every 2 seconds or so.
After the coins are struck, they slide out of an opening at the side of the press where they are collected in trays. That is slightly different from the minting of circulation coinage which is collected in large bins. Gold coins would easily get scratched and nicked if they were allowed to drop into a large container in the same way.
The gold coin trays are then brought into the quality control room where every single coin is checked repeatedly for possible damages from various angles. The coins are then either individually encapsulated or packaged in rolls of about 20 to 25. The coin rolls are then stacked in boxes and shipped to the dealers.
Now that you know how gold coins are made, what about the dies that are used to strike the blanks? There are some differences between the dies used for ‘regular’ brilliant uncirculated gold coins and proof gold coins. Dies that are used for making proof coins are polished as well as sometimes treated with special chemicals. Additionally, proof coins are in most cases double struck and the pressure used is a bit higher than when striking ‘regular’ coins. All these measures together result in proof coins having sharper edges and designs as well as smoother empty fields.