We focus on unique design coins

06 february 2017, 21:30

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We focus on unique design coins

 

 

I think any collector will admit that they experience a much greater thrill in coming across an unusual type of coin as opposed to coming across a type of coin that they have come across numerous times. There is something much more desirable and satisfying about having something special in your collection as opposed to having something common and ordinary in your collection. This is simply human nature to feel this way because “common” is more or less the antithesis to “special”.

 

In almost all cases, common coins are low quality products….they are designed that way. They are produced in a way to save the mint the most amount of production cost so naturally, these coins will be of the lowest quality, typically. What is meant by “low quality”? Low quality can consist of many aspects or features and apply to both the design features or the production aspects.

 

Let’s look at some of the production aspects first. In producing a coin, there are generally 4 main production aspects to consider for the production of all coins. High(er) quality coins almost always have additional production aspects that they go through, raising the quality and the cost of production. But the minimum for all coins is as follows:

  1. A suitable design is agreed upon and approved by the appropriate authorities depending on the country, the mint producing the coin, and the purpose of the coin
  2. The approved design is typically made into a plaster cast that is virtually always much larger in size than the finished coins that the design will be struck into. Depending on the mint, an epoxy resin cast will be made. From this cast (no matter which material is used), the design is then prepared to be cut into metal via the use of a special reducing machine called a transfer-engraver which cuts that same design (but intentionally made much smaller through the process) into hard metal blocks known as master dies. The metal dies will be used to make working dies which will be what transfers the design into the finished coin.
  3. But a finished metal coin must always start with the production of the planchet (the blank metal disc into which a design is pressed under pressure). This planchet goes through various stages before it is ready to be struck under high pressure by the working dies. These stages include but are not necessarily limited to smoothing, cleaning, annealing, and upsetting (which raises the rim of the coin)
  4. The final aspect of production is the striking of the planchet with the dies under high pressure.

 

Now let’s look at some of the more common design features:

  1. Subject of coin
  2. Artists employed to create the design and artists employed to sculpt the design
  3. Depth of relief
  4. Type of finish

 

With higher quality coins, besides these features, additional design features are also often incorporated such as:

  1. Design of presentation material such as the coin display boxes, informational material, and Certificate of Authenticity (C.O.A.) to name a few
  2.  Added features in or on the coin itself (which can include gilt applications, colored enameling, minerals attached, etc)
  3. Extra cleaning and smoothing of the planchet
  4. Quality control and inspection that would not be necessary or present with a common low end coin

 

For higher quality coins, each production aspect is more elaborate, detailed, and time consuming.  For each design feature, there is a higher standard or quality employed/used. As just one example, a coin which will be produced with a higher depth of relief will require artists with special talents to design and sculpt that design. Special equipment or special procedures are often required to produce high relief coins and the presentation materials that come with the coin. There’s much more that goes into high quality coins as compared to common coins, too much to get into here. But suffice to say, these added things are what makes the coin better, more enjoyable, and minted in much lower quantities than common coins. This in turn often makes the coin more desirable or more collectible.

 

The First Coin Company specializes in providing it’s customers high quality coins because these types of coins are cherished more by collectors.

 

One way in which I look at it is if you want a $20 watch which may work for a few weeks, then in most major cities in the United States, you can go to almost any supermarket, bodega, or flee market style stand or shop and find dozens of them. They are very poor quality. If you want a watch that you will own and cherish all your life, then you go to a specialty store. In the world of coins, the specialty store of choice in the United States is The First Coin Company where some of the highest quality coins produced from around the world is at your fingertips.

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