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

California Gold Bars

Northwest Territorial Mint: Did You Know?The California gold rush during the 1850s produced much in the way of nuggets and gold dust.  Because the gold purity varied widely, miners would bring their treasure to one of several private assaying firms to have the gold melted, poured into ingots, and then tested for purity.  The ingots were stamped with their weight, purity and the assayer's mark.  Each assay ingot was unique - sizes varied from very small to very large (the largest assay bar found was a nearly 80 pound ingot found on the S.S. "Central America").  Marked Assay Bars became a convenient way to transport gold and to serve as a store of value.