Coinage

Article

July 5, 2022

The development of coinage is the same as the appearance of metal money. The history of the latter is not the subject of this article. Coinage, in other words coin production or minting, was initially a simple manual forging process. Over time, the method was perfected, and then simple, later increasingly complex machines appeared here as well. Of course, their development continues today. In Hungary, circulation coins are produced by Magyar Pénzverő Zrt. The production of minted coins, the minting of coins, is almost entirely identical to the technology of coinage. The essence of the difference is that productivity is not crucial when duplicating the medal. This makes it possible to use special technology that requires more time and more complicated procedures. In addition to the already mentioned Magyar Pénzverő Zrt., minted coins are produced by several companies in our country.

Forging tool

Also known as beater or stamp. A tool made of steel, the surface of which contains the negative of the image of the medal on the coin. With the help of this negative, the print is created mechanically. In different ages, according to the given level of development, they were able to equip these tools with different surface hardness. The harder the tool, the more impressions it can make. While the tools were individually made by hand, due to its inaccuracy, the same motifs appeared on the same coins, but with different aesthetic quality.

Engraved beater

The image of a coin or medal, which is the negative of the sample of the later mint, is created in the material of the mint - with manual work - by chiseling, i.e. with the help of a peeling process involving the extraction of the material.

Punched beater

A negative image is created by striking the punching tool with smaller hand tools (punchers). On many Greek and Roman coins, it can be observed that the portrait is engraved, but the inscription is made by punching different shaped tools. There are also medal images created exclusively with the punctuated technique.

Beater made with a pantograph milling machine

In the case of the currently used process, the tool is created with a special milling machine. The reduction milling machine, also known as the pantograph, which appeared in the second half of the 19th century, brought about a revolutionary change in the production of hammer bases. In this method, a coin or medal model is created by a design artist according to the given scale, diameter usually 140-200 mm. A copy of this positive plaster sample - made of a special material - is placed on the pantograph, with the help of which the reduced version is made of tool steel. This positive sample, already the same as the size of the coin or medal, will be the guide tool, or die. After the master engraver achieves its final shape with his manual work, he "hardens" it through heat treatment. After that, the guide tool is "pressed" into raw tool steel with the help of a high-performance (1000-ton) press. This is how the beater on which we can see the negative pattern is created. Since this method also enables the duplication of minting tools of the same quality, this is the technology of the current coin production, but also of minted coins in most cases. The pattern is much lower compared to older coins, which is due to the fact that modern, high-strength tool steels have a small compressibility limit.

Manual coinage

This is the most ancient coinage technique. It is certain that the B.C. Coins made using this method have been known since the 700s. A kind of manual forging process, which is the predecessor of pressing technologies. The hammering tool was initially the steel anvil itself, the surface of which was engraved with the pattern appearing on the hammer