The design, stamping, cutting, removing of sharp angles and cuts, polishing and packaging follows a certain degree of manufacturing protocols and a series of steps aimed at producing the finest engraved coins but also takes on one of an art form.
The process of minting a challenge coins begins with design. The questions often encountered are the shape, size and what is requested for the front and back and whether sequentially numbering or some other sort of information like a custom text, anniversary date, military unit, ship or other important information one would want etched into their coins. The process of taking a custom design and having it minted begins with the design and having the right company that knows and understands how design can translate into a metallic medallion is an important one. Not all designs can become coins regardless of the desire to produce one. The right elements of art and metallic tool and die making must come together to make it happen.
The minting process to make a US quarter is exactly the same as the design used to create the US Navy Popeye Challenge coin with Vision-Strike-Wear.Com. The US Mint utilizes for hundreds of years the same technology that is used by Vision-Strike-Wear.Com coins when it comes to producing the finest in military collectible challenge coins.
Taking a picture and then replicating it onto a large format clay mold is the next step is designing a tool used to stamp your coins.
Once the design is reviewed and approved the die is next to be produced. Using the large clay mold the details from the large mold are then etched into a smaller piece of steel used for stamping out the coins. The above image illustrates how the mold is etched preparing it for stamping.
The tool once complete is tempered and heated to a rockwellian steel hardness allowing to keep stamping for hundreds and thousands of coin stamps. When customers ask why a die or mold costs what it does they fully understand the costs associated with it when they see what the finished product is. A great military design can be put on hold when the die is not made to the specifications or level of details expected.
The design is made, the mold and tooling completed now its time to stamp out the coins.
Separating Coin Blanks
After the coin blanks are separated, added to the presses and then punched out they are transferred to the paint area where workers add enamel paint by hand to the various levels and sides of the military coins. This is a slow and very intricate task and is also a large reason for the longer wait times during the coin manufacturing process.
With the coins now minted a sample is taken inspecting the coins for any flaws but also looking for correctness. If an issue is discovered the coins might be redone and the entire process gone through again to ensure the quality of the finished product is maintained.
Military coins upon their completion are then sent to the packaging area where they are often added to a clear poly bag for protection and presentation.