Die Styles for Custom Coins
Creating custom coins with Osborne is an easy process. First step - art and dies. Most people that contact us already have an idea about what they want on their coins. The way that art gets onto coins is through something call a die. To create a coin, you need 2 dies – one for each side. We offer a selection of stock dies that can be used at no additional charge – please check with sales if this is of interest.
There is a one-time fee for each die side. This fee and covers a portion of the cost to recreate your art in metal. The charge includes die storage and if the die ever wears or cracks, we will replace it at no charge.
Die charges are based on the complexity of your design and the size of the coin. 1.75” and larger coins require bigger dies, which increases the cost. The best way to know how much your dies will cost is to share your art with your sales associate, who can give you a firm quote.
After receiving your artwork, we will provide a paper proof for your review within a few days. The layout will show your design in two different sizes: blown up to 3” so you can review the image, text, alignment, spelling etc. and one image at size. It’s important to look at BOTH images but use the art at the actual size for your final approval. Things look very different when you shrink them down. If you can read a word in print at size, you can read it on a coin, key tag or medallion.
All artwork shown in black will be raised on the coin. Half tones and shading cannot be reproduced on a coin and should be eliminated.
Below are examples of black and white designs for the different styles of dies and the finished coin, along with hints on what kinds of images and designs they pair best with.
STYLE SINGLE LEVEL (SL) DIES
The most basic and cost effective, single level raised line dies are perfect for logos, trademarks, basic text and caricatures. Everything in the design is raised to the same level, which gives the coin a 2 dimensional (2D) effect.
STYLE MULTI LEVEL (ML)
Low relief with multiple level designs feature slight detail modeling. These are dies are a step above standard single level (2D) dies and best for crests, simple buildings and scenes. These dies provide a less expensive 3 dimensional effect than deep relief dies.
STYLE DEEP RELIEF (DR)
Fully sculpted deep relief dies are the most expensive of the three options. Customers whose art includes intricate buildings, scenes with a great amount of detail, busts, and portraits should consider deep relief (three dimensional) dies. One surefire way to tell a deep relief die from other dies is curvature. Deep relief dies have curvature to the surface, SL and ML dies do not.
Our sales representatives can help you decide what will work best - they are the coin experts.
Interested in seeing more information about custom coins?
Here are some additional resources:
How to tell the difference between page turn and coin turn? Depending on how you turn it, the image is upside down or right side up. What's up with that?
How Dies are Used in the Coin Making Process? Dies are an integral part of coin making. Discover how in this blog.
- Learn the Difference Between Plain and Reeded Edge Coins. Edges matter.
- How Custom Coins are Made - a video tour of the oldest private mint in America
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