Tools & Dies

To manufacture the steel tool, the pattern is placed on a reducing machine, which uses a stylus to trace the relief of the hard epoxy design. A cutter at the smaller end of the machine mimics the movement of the stylus, reproducing the design in tool steel. Mississauga Mint also uses a CNC engraving machine for certain types of work. Once the coin’s design is created in advanced modeling software, it uses the 3D relief data to cut the design direct into plaster, resin or steel.

A master tool is then created. A hydraulic press is used to press the reduction punch several times into the cone-shaped end of a steel billet to produce a ‘matrix’. The engraver finishes the detail using hand engravers and small punches. Using the same process, this ‘matrix’ is used to produce the master die), which is then used to produce the working dies.