The first step is to melt the requisite precious metals in a furnace. Gold melts at exactly 1,064°C, silver at 961°C, with all excess heat being channelled to heat the water used in this process.
Coils up to 40 metres long and weighing one tonne are formed from the melted precious metal and are then rolled with a pressure of up to 200 tonnes before being cut into blanks. Although still unstruck ‘raw’ blanks at this stage, many are exported to some 35 other mints worldwide.
Coin designs are the creations of our numismatic artists who draw a draft design before making a plaster model – a process that can take up to a year from start to finish. The plaster model is scanned using digital technology to produce a die, which is then cut by means of an engraving machine with an accuracy of 0.001 mm.
Striking begins as soon as the blanks and dies are completed. Circulation coins and precious collector pieces are processed separately, but time is money so the production of euro and cent coins has to be fast and efficient. Each coining press strikes up to 750 coins per minute. These are then packed in paper rolls and delivered to the Austrian Central Bank.
When producing gold and silver coins of the highest quality, precision and purity take top priority. Blanks are placed in the coin press by hand and are individually checked for quality several times over. No wonder other countries order their coinage from us.