Ken Potter submitted these thoughts on coin dies and related topics inspired by earlier E-Sylum articles.
I read with interest the series on Watch Fobs by Dick Johnson and Bill Hyder (independent of one another). I ran into this image on my hard drive. It is a hub with an Integral loop from out of the now defunct Roger Williams Mint. Not for a Watch Fob but interesting nonetheless. I have many hubs from the hoard that was sold off after the Mint closed. Many have the loops described in this series which for some reason are now of far greater interest to me than they were before I read this series.
One day I'll have catalog all the ones I have just so folks know who made them. What I learned from the purchase of part of this hoard was that a lot of "paper mints" had their silver bars, medals, etc., manufactured there and then sold them off under their own names that incorporated the word Mint even though many of the sellers never even walked through a Mint.
I have a cracked Columbus die that might be the one mentioned in the current issue of E-Sylum v16#18 May 5, 2013. It cracked in several places and ended up with Brian Timmins who used to cut dies for me. He was contracted to make a new one in short order. At some later date he sold me a nice batch of broken dies for educational purposes which included this one. Not sure where it is (I have thousands of dies) but it is not far off. It was for a 5 oz round that mimicked the Columbian Half dollar. It looks like it did not last long.
I really enjoyed the article on Heat Treat. I found the account very interesting about the work hardening of coins and medals. I've had dies made that a now defunct Mint could not strike up fully to bring out the deep cameo effect. With other dies they could not even bring up the entire design. Once they hit the medallion two or three times, it was over. They told me they could hit it five more times and the design would not come up. This was due to work hardening.
I moved them to another Mint that had presses with what I presumed to have more "guts" and they were able to bring out a deep cameo without in anyway refreshing the dies. Other dies produced a superior, fully struck product that the other Mint was not able produce.
Later I learned that the defunct Mint's presses may have had the guts but that the press operator was afraid to turn up the pressure in fear of breaking my dies. A few years later he went to work for the new Mint and my problems began anew: light cameos, weak strikes, etc.
Once he revealed to me his concerns about turning up the pressure I told him to stop worrying about breaking dies and start making good products so that I wouldn't have to return them. I told him I had hubs to make new dies and would rather break dies every ten thousand strikes (or whatever) than to produce inferior products. Now I get a good product. All the problems had to do with work hardening setting in after two or three weaker than necessary strikes that prevented any further movement of metal into the dies.
The Liberty dollar story was interesting. The Mint that made the original strikes makes most of my products but I doubt they'd touch the Liberty dollars now.
I just learned that Brian Timmins is still alive and well. He closed his company, Landmark Die Engraving, about two years ago but I was finally able to find him with a lot of searching last night after I found his son's company listed on Google and gave the son a call. Turned out his dad (Brian) walked in his son's house just as we were on the phone.
Funny how this message to you led to me finding an old friend. Thanks!
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
ARE WATCHFOBS NUMISMATIC?
WATCH FOBS AS NUMISMATIC ITEMS
CORE COINING TECHNOLOGY: DIE HEAT TREATING
NEW LIBERTY DOLLARS MADE WITH COPYRIGHT PERMISSION
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster