Extruding

Northwest Territorial Mint: The Extruding Process
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From Billet to Sheet

The solid metal forms referred to as "billets" are dislodged from the steel containers and transported to the billet oven (shown at right), where they are reheated for 15 minutes at approximately 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit in preparation for the next step in the process. Using specially designed channel locks to collect the heated billets from the oven, technicians load the billets into a massive machine called an extruder, which operates under extreme pressure to fashion the heated forms into thin strips of soft, annealed metal.

The extruded strips are then sent to the roller, where they are rolled to precise thicknesses.

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Northwest Territorial Mint: Insights & Ideas
Silver Bar
Hot Topic: Extruded Bars

When Pan American Silver wanted a solution for minting 100 Troy Ounce silver bullion bars, Northwest Territorial Mint proposed manufacturing these from extruded silver which is then sand blasted and pressed. The result is a highly acclaimed bar purchased as an investment but prized for its beauty.

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Northwest Territorial Mint: In The News

Electrum

Coins from ElectrumThe earliest known coins were struck in Lydia and Ionia (modern western Turkey) from electrum, a naturally occurring alloy of gold and silver. Each coin blank was cast to a predetermined weight. Then the blank was heated to a malleable temperature and struck with a hammer between two engraved dies. These archaic coins usually depict a symbol of the city or ruler on the obverse and a crude punch mark on the reverse. They were the world's first true coins because they were composed of a scarce metal, of a consistent weight, and guaranteed by a government.