How does one manufacture a congressional gold medal?

U.S. Mint demonstrates the production process
By , Coin World
Published : 05/18/15
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Machine time equals cost. Additionally, the more complex the design, the higher the tonnages and the greater the number of strikes required to fill the medal, according to U.S. Mint officials.

The U.S. Mint provided the following specifications for the congressional gold medal:

➤ Fineness of the gold = 0.9995 minimum by weight.

➤ Weight of gold of planchets in troy ounces = 19.77 +/- 0.2.

➤ Specific composition (besides the gold in the medal) = P (Phosphorus), Bi (Bismuth), Pb (Lead) 0.0001 by weight maximum.

➤ Edge thickness: The edge thickness of the blank is 0.275 +/- 0.005 inches but the edge thickness of the finished medal will be higher than that. We do not measure finished medals. 

➤ Diameter: After the gold medal is struck the diameter is turned on a lathe and some gold is taken off of the outer diameter. For example, the blank for the Kiowa Tribe Code Talkers congressional gold medal weighed 19.8 troy ounces. After the medal was struck and turned on the lathe, it weighs 14.14 troy ounces, which means that 5.66 troy ounces were lost due to being turned on the lathe.

That metal is subsequently reclaimed.

Public Law 110-420, the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008, authorized not only one gold medal for each of the 33 Native American tribes with members to be recognized, but silver versions for Code Talkers still living or their descendants.

Each of the silver medals cost roughly $2765 to produce, according to U.S. Mint officials.

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