how do i print my own silver coins? If got this piece of gold, and i would like to make coins.
I would like very much a wolf/wolfhead on the coin, maybe a year as well, I planned to use around 8 gramm per coin.
The gold is near pure and should be therefore very soft
pic related is from around 500 BC, i Think i should be able to be minimum as succesfull as the dudes back than
general method of Hammered coins is as follows:
get bar stock of tool steel the right size - ie, 25mm dia. I would suggest Silver Steel or "drill rod" in the US, as a good round barstock. You then get a length of tube stock of matching internal diameter.
cut the bar stock accurately to square, so you have two "dies", The one that sits on the bottom is called the Anvil Die, the one on top is called the Hammer Die. Generally, the hammer die is longer. Slide the tube stock over the anvil die, drop the round blank of metal onto the top of it, then slide the hammer die down the tube. the tube holds the two dies in alignment, and you then strike the top of the hammer die, to smack it down into the lower one, and imprint the design into the blank, which them becomes a struck coin.
That's the easy bit.
the hard bit is making the design.
you need to take the two faces of the die, and carve the design you want into it. Remember I said about being square? they have to be EXACT square.
and they have to be smooth. every single line, even down to a scratch, will be duplicated in the coin when struck, so you need to square off the faces where it was sawn, usually in a lathe, then lap it to a mirror finish, 2000 grit or finer. once that's lapped, you need to take your design, mirror it, and then engrave it into the faces of the dies, generally using jeweller's gravers.
for tool steel, you will need Yellow Tang (HSS) push gravers, like this pic.
and its tough work, and those gravers are not cheap - £/$ 120-15 each, for a 3-inch long bit of metal. you will need at least 3 or 4 different ones - flat, diamond, maybe an onglette. Flats come in different widths. you'll also need a centre-punch for dots.
my advice is, "pull" copies of your work as you go along it, by pressing the die into blu-tack or plasticine. That lets you see how crisp the work is.
...modern coins are made in 'coin presses'. These are hydraulic presses that produce a LOT of pressure. A small one might be 200 tons, a big one will be 500-600+ tons.
...antique coins were made in a device called a "fly press". AFAIK nobody really builds or uses these things industrially anymore; it's rather like doing medieval blacksmithing. Some hobbyist people build fly presses just to make coins like in "yovr days of olde", at renfairs and stuff like that.
....for making a hammering die, you could just use a dremel + grinding tips and make the dies out of regular carbon steel. You won't be able to make enough pressure to require any special kinds of metal for the die. Just go to a hardware store and buy a bar of mild steel ~1.25 inches across and ~1/4" thick, and cut off square pieces and use that.
....if you made some hammering dies, you could try them in a hydraulic press if you can find one to use. a 10 or 20-ton shop press isn't going to work as well as a 500-ton coin press, but it will do something.
....jeweler's gravers: these things cost $20 each,,, and you can get 1/4-inch HSS lathe tool bit blanks online for $2 each (two dollars). The lathe bit blanks just don't come already shaped, and don't have a pretty push handle. You would want a bench grinder or an angle grinder to grind them into shape on because using a dremel would take all day just to do one of them.
Some other options for you to consider...
you can get coin dies made if your serious about making a decent coins and lots of them.
And you can buy ready made tool steel stamps with letter, numbers and images on them if you just want to quickly stamp some info on the metal. I've used them to make copper key tags before.
Also there is the dog tag stamp machines, no reason you couldn't use one of those on a coin.
This is one of those project you need to personally weigh up how much money and time you want to invest it. Good luck.
>Eh, $5 grvers from HFT also work
No they wont. not on tool steel.
Shitty cheap gravers will work on brass, copper, maybe mild steel for a small scratch. they will not reliably cut tool steel like Silver steel.
and a dremel will make a fucking mess. they do not engrave downwards, they make scratches on the surface that form rough scrapey grooves, which are utterly useless for dies, stamps, and similar cut details.
>...antique coins were made in a device called a "fly press".
not quite. hammered coins were used from, well, pre-history (celtic and persian era coins, etc) up till about the 16th century in europe. they first used fly presses as part of the process around 1550, in 1560 the Royal Mint in london started using them. Steam-powered machinery replaced the fly press mills in 1805.
the americas used hammered coins a little longer.
Whether or not actual Harbor Freight gravers will work (they should if they're not lying and genuinely made of HSS), fact of the matter is that HSS blanks aren't that expensive; $5-7 for a 1/4x1/4x3" blank is about right. Similar for a parting blade, which might as well be a blank in this case.
you are seriously underestimating the difference between something likea Grobet-Vallobe yellow tang graver, and a HF knock-off.
Grobet ones are precision ground, so a #2 flat graver is a \_/ shape with the _ flat exactly 0.20mm wide. a #4, exactly 0.40mm. etc.
I've bought cheap HSS gravers to fill up numbers on a class I was teaching. they varied between 0.55 and 0.9mm in thickness, often in the same one, Half of them were skewed, one flat chisel graver in fact had a warp in a helical spiral, like a corkscrew, so that if you held it flat, the cutting edge, was twisted 45 degrees to the side. none of them were perfectly straight.
in use, they blunted far, far faster on steel - a good vallorbe HSS graver I could expect to cut maybe 20-30mm of carbon steel, before needing to rehone. the HF ones, I had to rehone after every 3-4mm, and several people in the class found they were cracking or splitting, one had the entire heel of the graver splinter off.
They are quite simply, worthless, and will not do the job.
As an aside, I've been told that using this method (and you'd hold the anvil on your left hand while striking with the hammer in your right) is where we get the phrase "making money hand over fist."
Could you cut out your "patterns" in tool steel, in blanks the same diameter as your dies and say 1/32" thick, then silver solder then to the dies? My gut tells me it would work, but is possibly too much trouble versus just learning how to engrave.
I was more suggesting just getting some HSS blanks and grinding them yourself.
I don't doubt the HF ones are probably kinda bad, but there's no reason you couldn't just make your own for a fair bit cheaper, especially if you already have a grinder.