Behind the Scenes At The U.S. Mint

November 5th, 2012 by

John Mercanti and American Silver Eagles Book

Image courtesy CoinWeek

CoinWeek has an excellent review of “American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program,” featuring former Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint John Mercanti’s inside look at the history of U.S. bullion program and his experience designing the American Silver Eagle bullion coin. The book also serves as a reference for the Silver Eagle coin, as well as a history of the other bullion coins produced by the U.S. Mint since the program began in 1986.

The following may be the most interesting part of the book, at least for me:

In the vitally informative Behind the Scenes section of the book, Mercanti takes readers into the die shops and workrooms at the Mint and explains the technical challenges behind the production of coins before and after the digital revolution. He goes into great detail explaining the importance of good basin design, how to sink dies, and how a die’s topography affects the flow of metal during striking. It’s one thing to talk about these issues from a numismatist’s perspective. It’s another thing altogether to have these concepts described in detail by someone who dealt with these challenges on a day-to-day basis.