Technical Aspects of Canadian Coinage -

Die Production and Use

 

It appears that only the Mint Reports from 1935 to 1962, with the exception of 1936, have any useful data regarding die life. The average coins per die pair struck for all denominations in 1935 was 69,224. While in 1962, the average coins per die pair struck for all denominations was 186,230. A remarkable increase of almost 300% in a 27 year period.

This page is complete, as it contains ALL the numeric data regarding die production and use contained in Mint Reports. Also, text relevant to increasing die life is included on this page.

        1935  - The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for
                    Canadian coinage was 458.
                  - One Cent average pieces per die pair was 295,153.
                  - One Dollar average pieces per die pair was 7,500.
                  - Average pieces per die pair was 69,244 for all denomination.

        1936     -No data available.

       1937     -The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for
                     Canadian coinage was 856.

1938 - Die Production and Use

Denomination Good Coin
Produced
Dies Produced  Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse

One Cent

18,365,608

108 96 92 68 229,570

Five Cents

3,898,974

54 48 47 34 96,271

Ten Cents

4,197,323

132 156 146 142 29,148

Twenty-Five Cents

3,149,245

114 239 84 222 20,583

Fifty Cents

192,018

0 18 4 5 42,671

One Dollar

90,304

48 6 3 1 45,152
Totals

29,893,472

456 563 376 472 Average - 77,232

The total dies used in the press room were 848.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian coinage was 1,134 and 111 for Dominican Republic coinage. 

1939 - Die Production and Use

Denomination Good Coin
Produced
Dies Produced  Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse

One Cent

21,600,319

204 175 213 147 120,002

Five Cents

5,661,123

72 75 49 36 133,202

Ten Cents

5,501,748

108 123 108 110 50,474

Twenty-Five Cents

3,532,494

36 147 58 138 36,046

Fifty Cents

287,976

27 17 12 11 25,041

One Dollar

1,363,816

172 148 188 104 9,341
Totals

37,947,477

619 685 628 446 Average - 64,646

The total dies used in the press room were 1,174.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian coinage was 1,304.

1940 - Die Production and Use

Denomination Good Coin
Produced
Dies Produced  Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse

One Cent

85,740,532

372 363 363 347 247,156

Five Cents

13,920,197

108 117 123 107 121,045

Ten Cents

16,526,470

358 458 345 442 41,998

Twenty-Five Cents

9,583,650

234 404 252 400 29,398

Fifty Cents

1,996,566

78 96 98 92 21,016
Totals

127,767,415

1,150 1,438 1,181 1,388 Average - 99,476

The total dies used in the press room were 2,569.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian coinage was 2,588.

1941 - Dies Used

Denomination Good Coin
Produced
Dies Produced  Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse

One Cent

56,336,011

462 385 483 374 131,473

Five Cents

8,681,785

84 85 93 82 99,220

Ten Cents

8,716,386

160 383 167 379 31,928

Twenty-Five Cents

6,654,672

186 239 184 238 31,539

Fifty Cents

1,714,874

60 39 59 33 37,280
Totals

82,103,728

952 1,131 986 1,106 Average - 78,493

The total dies used in the press room were 2,092.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian and Newfoundland coinage was 2,191. 

1942 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

76,113,708

385 277 229,950

Five Cents

10,243,778

93 90 111,954

Ten Cents

10,214,011

258 245 40,612

Twenty-Five Cents

6,935,871

236 240 29,142

Fifty Cents

1,974,165

90 47 28,820
Totals

105,481,533

1,062 899 Average - 105,579

The total dies used in the press room were 1,961.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 2,058. 

Coining Press Room

"Owing to the difficulty of purchasing consistently high-grade die steel, the saving of dies in the Press Room was given the greatest consideration. An all-out effort was made to have coin blanks annealed sufficiently soft, bent blanks picked out in roll-sorting to prevent clashes, and each operator trained to give every care to the conservation of coinage dies.
About 50 per cent of the one-cent and five-cent dies were chromium-plated. The results proved that the wearing qualities of these dies would he greatly increased by chromium-plating if cracking in the steel did not occur too soon after being set up in the press. As many as 700,000 pieces were struck from a chromium-plated die."

Actual text from the Mint report of 1942

1943 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

89,111,969

421 331 237,000

Five Cents

24,760,256

352 323 73,364

Ten Cents

21,143,229

709 535 33,992

Twenty-Five Cents

13,559,575

456 491 28,426

Fifty Cents

3,109,583

168 118 21,745
Totals

151,684,612

2,106 1,798 Average - 77,707

The total dies used in the press room were 3,904.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 3,912. 

Coining Press Room -

"Every effort and precaution was used to overcome breakages and increase the life of coinage dies, but the rapid pace necessary to strike 3,000,000 coins per week. coupled with inexperienced operators on the coining, presses, caused a considerable reduction in the average number of pieces struck by each pair of dies. All denominations except the one-cent show an increase in the number of dies used."

Die and Medal Branch -

"The manufacture of coinage dies, especially in war time, presents one of the most elusive problems involved in minting. The dies transform a disc of metal into a coin of the realm and therefore require much care and intelligence in their preparation. Owing to the difficult of procuring consistently high grade die steel erratic results in the length of die life tax the ingenuity of the Die Department to produce dies which will stand the strain of 100 tons pressure striking coins at 100 pieces per minute for the maximum period of time. All improved understanding of the requirements necessary to die steel has led to the only logical conclusion that Control, rigid and absolute, is most essential to increased die life. Control, that is, the time of heating, the rate of heating, the temperature, distortion, atmosphere within the furnace to prevent oxidation, must be under the complete control of the operator.

Authority was granted for the Mint to purchase the most modern Die Hardening and Tempering equipment available, which gives the Control desired. It is expected that lengthened die life will result in a worth while saving in the cost of steel used for our dies, and an increase in coin production, which is most important."

Actual text from the Mint report of 1943

1944 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

44,131,216

215 174 226,896

Five Cents

11,532,784

348 364 32,395

Ten Cents

9,383,582

436 384 22,887

Twenty-Five Cents

7,216,237

276 282 25,865

Fifty Cents

2,460,205

127 101 21,581
Totals

74,724,024

1,402 1,305 Average - 58,208

The total dies used in the press room were 2,707.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 2,857. 

1945 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

77,268,591

129 95 689,989

Five Cents

18,893,216

271 306 65,488

Ten Cents

10,979,570

268 204 46,524

Twenty-Five Cents

5,296,495

104 132 44,886

Fifty Cents

1,959,528

51 42 42,140

One Dollar

38,391

8 12 3,839
Totals

114,435,791

831 791 Average - 141,105

The total dies used in the press room were 1,622.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 1,543. 

Coining Press Room

"Every effort has been made during the last few years to increase the number of coins struck by each die or pair of dies. After much study and research more satisfactory results in lengthened die life are at last being achieved. Careful selection of the most suitable die steel for Mint work; efficient heat-treatment of the steel die in progress and proper hardening and tempering of the finished die; chromium plating the design of all dies; correct annealing of the silver and copper blanks for coinage; and constant training of the press operators, appears responsible for the increase of over 150% in the number of pieces struck per pair. One pair of one cent dies struck over 5,000,000 coins before being discarded through the wearing away of the design.

There is no doubt that the working dies, prepared under our present heat-treating equipment and using the above-mentioned precautions, would strike a greater number of silver coins if the annealing methods to soften the blanks before striking into coins could he modernized. At present the blanks are placed in iron pots heated to a cherry red, around 1200 F., in an electric oven, and then plunged into cold water. The energy that is unnecessarily consumed to heat the pots or containers costs as much as the electric power required to heat the blanks within. It is also most difficult to heat the pieces uniformly, as the blanks in the centre cannot absorb the heat as quickly as those nearest the heating element. Although time is allowed for compact saturation or absorption of the heat by the whole body. the method cannot be called efficient, and there are definitely many hard pieces which have not received sufficient annealing, causing excessive breakages of dies in the process of striking.

By the radio frequency generator method of induction heating each work piece is subject to the influence of a varying electro-magnetic field which almost instantaneously uniformly heats each individual blank to-the desired temperature. When plunged into cold water. every piece is annealed at the softness required to bring up a satisfactory design, and being uniformly soft the die life is greatly increased.

The cost of installation may he prohibitive at present, but the reduction in electric power coats for operation of the furnace, great savings in amount of steel used and labour saved in the preparation of dies for minting would eventually more than pay for apparatus of such efficiency."

Actual text from the Mint report of 1945

1946 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

56,662,071

200 168 307,946

Five Cents

6,952,684

75 84 86,909

Ten Cents

6,300,066

193 169 34,807

Twenty-Five Cents

2,210,810

46 78 35,658

Fifty Cents

950,235

24 30 35,194

One Dollar

93,055

48 35 2,215
Totals

73,168,921

586 564 Average - 127,250

The total dies used in the press room were 1,150.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 1,096. 

 

1947 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

31,093,901

175 134 201,255

Five Cents

7,603,724

99 93 79,205

Ten Cents

4,431,926

136 111 35,886

Twenty-Five Cents

1,524,554

32 29 49,985

Fifty Cents

424,885

8 5 65,367

One Dollar

65,695

11 12 4,685
Totals

45,144,585

461 389 Average - 106,222

The total dies used in the press room were 850.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 492 Obverse and 456 Reverse with a total of  948.

 

1948 - Dies Used

Denomination

Dated 1947
(Maple Leaf)
Dated 1948 Total Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

43,855,448 25,767,779

69,623,227

204 144 400,133

Five Cents

9,595,124 1,810,789

11,405,913

120 144 86,408

Ten Cents

9,638,793 422,741

10,061,534

240 223 43,462

Twenty-Five Cents

4,393,938 2,564,424

6,958,362

189 247 31,919

Fifty Cents

38,433 37,784

76,217

3 3 25,406

One Dollar

21,135 18,780

39,915

9 6 5,322
Totals 67,542,871 30,622,297

98,165,168

765 767 Average - 128,153

The total dies used in the press room were 1,532.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 923 Obverse and 964 Reverse with a total of  1,887.
Master Dies and Working Punches (Hubs) for the Obverse of all denominations were prepared at the Royal Mint, London, with the new inscription of His Majesty's title to be used in 1948 and subsequent years.

1949 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

31,093,901

73 92 401,563

Five Cents

7,603,724

231 202 60,217

Ten Cents

4,431,926

305 249 40,923

Twenty-Five Cents

1,524,554

187 204 40,864

Fifty Cents

424,885

46 40 19,977

One Dollar

65,695

48 96 8,894
Totals

66,980,996

890 881 Average - 75,642

The total dies used in the press room were 1,771.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was 1,057 Obverse and 1,216 Reverse with a total of  2,273.

Die and Medal branch - 

"The demands made upon this department greatly increased in the past few years, and show considerable expansion in variety and quantity of work undertaken.

The new Janvier reducing machine, with all the latest improvements, was received from Paris, France, and installed early in the year. This machine will be invaluable to the Mint in the reproduction of steel master dies from artists' models. It has already given most satisfactory results, engraving three dimensional reproductions automatically in steel dies to the exact size and precise design of the coin or medal desired, from models sculptured by the Mint Engraver. Although the Mint Engraver is highly skilled in the art of hand engraving either in relief or intaglio, this method is extremely arduous on intricate designs. On occasions it will be necessary, however, when master dies will have to be cut directly in the steel by hand, in cases of expediency, or when only a single design is required. Excellent results can be obtained by either method, but the great advantage of the pantograph machine will be the ability to reproduce master dies either from models prepared by the original artist outside the Mint or from our own models made from approved sketches, or suggestions of motifs submitted in competition, of' any desirable design."

Actual text from the Mint report of 1945

1950 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

60,444,992

166 150 352,563

Five Cents

12,669,706

177 100 91,478

Ten Cents

17,823,595

628 418 34,080

Twenty-Five Cents

9,673,335

222 200 45,845

Fifty Cents

2,384,179

87 40 37,546

One Dollar

301,720

69 52 4,987
Totals

103,297,527

1349 960 Average - 89,474

The total dies used in the press room were 2,309.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was  2,484.

  

1951 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

80,430,379

158 150 522,270

Five Cents

12,642,731

192 197 65,848

Ten Cents

15,079,265

348 267 49,118

Twenty-Five Cents

8,285,599

192 197 42,709

Fifty Cents

2,421,010

55 47 47,471

One Dollar

411,395

111 65 4,675
Totals

119,270,379

1,058 917 Average - 120,840

The total dies used in the press room were 1,975.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was  2,137.

   

1952 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

68,117,890

170 140 439,470

Five Cents

10,921,047

105 108 103,029

Ten Cents

10,906,655

345 256 36,356

Twenty-Five Cents

8,941,815

223 377 29,806

Fifty Cents

2,606,896

93 66 32,999

One Dollar

417,961

82 58 5,971
Totals

101,912,264

1,018 1,005 Average - 100,704

The total dies used in the press room were 2,023.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage was  2,154, this includes the new coinage of 1953.

  

1953 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

67,806,016

232 163 343,322

Five Cents

16,635,552

227 161 85,750

Ten Cents

17,706,395

451 309 46,596

Twenty-Five Cents

10,456,769

274 223 42,079

Fifty Cents

1,630,429

86 65 21,595

One Dollar

1,074,578

166 82 8,666
Totals

115,309,739

1,436 1,003 Average - 94,555

The total dies used in the press room were 2,439.
The total number of matrices (master dies), punches (working hubs) and dies manufactured for Canadian  coinage and medals was  2,685.

 

1954 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

22,181,760

55 71 352,091

Five Cents

6,998,662

132 100 60,333

Ten Cents

4,493,150

147 120 33,657

Twenty-Five Cents

2,318,891

45 46 50,965

Fifty Cents

506,305

11 14 40,504

One Dollar

246,606

20 15 14,092
Totals

36,181,760

410 366 Average - 94,705

The total dies used in the press room were 776.

 

1955 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

56,403,193

215 150 309,058

Five Cents

5,355,028

112 98 51,000

Ten Cents

12,237,294

281 217 49,145

Twenty-Five Cents

9,552,505

217 271 39,149

Fifty Cents

753,511

21 26 32,064

One Dollar

268,105

25 11 14,338
Totals

84,569,636

871 773 Average - 102,882

The total dies used in the press room were 1644.

 

1956 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

78,685,535

211 171 411,966

Five Cents

9,399,854

120 87 90,820

Ten Cents

16,732,844

243 169 81,227

Twenty-Five Cents

11,269,353

189 247 51,694

Fifty Cents

1,379,499

53 36 31,000

One Dollar

209,092

52 28 5,227
Totals

117,676,177

868 738 Average - 146,546

The total dies used in the press room were1,606.

 

1957 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

100,601,792

348 226 350,529

Five Cents

7,387,703

57 37 157,185

Ten Cents

16,110,229

148 113 123,450

Twenty-Five Cents

12,770,190

158 189 73,603

Fifty Cents

2,171,689

36 44 54,292

One Dollar

496,389

12 6 55,154
Totals

139,537,992

759 615 Average - 203,112

The total dies used in the press room were 1,374.

1958 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

59,385,679

190 111 395,905

Five Cents

7,607,521

68 51 128,941

Ten Cents

10,621,236

130 77 103,119

Twenty-Five Cents

9,336,910

104 142 75,910

Fifty Cents

2,957,226

39 66 56,871

One Dollar

3,039,630

84 65 41,076
Totals

92,948,242

615 512 Average - 165,095

The total dies used in the press room were 1,127.

1959 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

83,615,343

341 185 317,929

Five Cents

11,552,523

115 77 120,339

Ten Cents

19,691,433

266 153 93,993

Twenty-Five Cents

13,503,461

183 211 68,545

Fifty Cents

3,095,535

69 61 47,624

One Dollar

1,443,502

39 55 30,713
Totals

132,901,797

1,013 742 Average - 151,455

The total dies used in the press room were 1,755.

1960 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

75,772,775

269 97 414,059

Five Cents

37,157,433

528 360 83,688

Ten Cents

45,446,835

589 335 98,370

Twenty-Five Cents

22,835,327

283 299 78,472

Fifty Cents

3,488,897

55 17 96,914

One Dollar

1,420,486

72 49 23,479
Totals

186,121,753

1,796 1,157 Average - 126,056

The total dies used in the press room were 2,953.

1961 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

139,598,404

164 96 1,073,834

Five Cents

47,889,051

234 188 226,962

Ten Cents

26,850,859

173 139 172,121

Twenty-Five Cents

18,164,368

178 273 80,552

Fifty Cents

3,584,417

38 28 108,619

One Dollar

1,262,231

71 32 24,509
Totals

237,349,330

858 756 Average - 294,113

The total dies used in the press room were 1,614.

1962 - Dies Used

Denomination

Good Coin
Produced
 Dies Used Pieces per
pair of Dies
Obverse Reverse

One Cent

227,244,069

562 489 434,434

Five Cents

46,307,305

451 317 120,592

Ten Cents

41,864,335

339 264 138,854

Twenty-Five Cents

29,559,266

468 662 52,317

Fifty Cents

5,208,030

70 59 80,745

One Dollar

1,884,789

59 41 37,696
Totals

352,067,794

1,949 1,832 Average - 186,230

The total dies used in the press room were 3,781.

Please direct all comments to: Patrick

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