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Old 03-26-2008, 08:12 PM
Tom Maringer's Avatar
Tom Maringer Tom Maringer is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Springdale Arkansas
Posts: 48
Default Re: Engraving coining dies

Of course it's possible to engrave dies directly... and many are done that way. The problem comes when you are trying to model a specific form... such as an animal or a human face. Doing this in the negative is very awkward. This explains why many medieval coins have such stilted portraits on them. Thehobbing technique allows the engraving work to be done in the positive, where it makes more visual "sense", then transferred in the negative to the die, where it can be further embellished.

Here is a photo of a hub I made myself. It's carved into the end of a 3/4" diameter rod of O-1 tool steel.

Here is the die that was made using the hub, then adding a rim using a second hub, and finally hand engraving runic letters and a surface for the raven to stand on. Remember that all lettering must be in reverse!!! After this photo was taken it was remounted and centered on the lathe and the final rim turned into the die.

And the result is this silver coin struck from the die

In case you're wondering what the runes say... it is ROAC CARCSSON FA4. Which commemorates the King of Ravens Roac Son of Carc in a coin issued by Bard The Dragonslayer in the fourth year of the fourth age of Middle Earth. The coin is small... about dime-size in diamter but thicker... weighing about 5-grams of sterling silver. I call it a Raven Disme of New Dale. Striking force to make a coin of this size is about 30 to 40 tons.
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