San Francisco Mint Coin Production Photos

7

Welcome back to the seventh and last article in a series about the U.S. Mint at San Francisco.

Several Photos Inside of San Francisco Mint
Several photos inside of San Francisco Mint – See nearly 80 more below

Actually, this last piece really isn’t an article. It’s all of the San Francisco Mint photos presented in a larger format and in the order they were shown in the previous articles.

This page also offers me a final opportunity to say thank you for staying with the series — there were tens of thousands of readers per article. Another big thanks to those at the Mint as well. These folks are really dedicated to their work. Larry Eckerman, plant manager since 1999, has assembled an astounding crew and steered the SF Mint through a sea of change, literally. David Jacobs, production manager, and Paul Lewis, industrial manager, described how it used to take over 1,400 hours for an arriving blank to pass through all of the production stages to become a coin and ship out. That time has dropped to less than 100 hours. That’s impressive, and speaks volumes about technical advancements and employee commitment.

I forgot to thank Linda Wargo earlier. She showed me the SF Mint’s labyrinth of underground vaults, giving me access to anything I wanted to see. And a special thank you to Tom Jurkowsky, U.S. Mint Director of Public Affairs. Tom kindly flew in from Washington to join me, walking alongside me during the entire several-hour tour. I think we both got a little workout in the legs that day wearing those slip on, steel-tipped safety shoes.

Let’s get to those pictures…

Below are several dozen inside photos of U.S. Mint at San Francisco. These include photos of the below ground vaults, blank preparation process, die polishing process, laser engraving of dies, pressing of coins, placing proof coins in lenses, packaging proof sets and quality assurance methods. Captions appear under the photos but for much more detail, jump to the articles the photos were first in by clicking on the linked titles at the top of the different headlines.

Under the U.S. Mint at San Francisco

S.F. Mint Vault Door
The main vault door below the San Francisco Mint
San Francisco Mint Vaults
One of the floors of vaults under the SF Mint
Presidential and Native American Dollar Coin Blanks
Bins of dollar blanks that are used to create proof Presidential $1 Coins and proof Native American $1 Coins:
Bullion Blanks for American Silver Eagles
Pallets of silver blanks used for bullion American Silver Eagle coins
Silver Blanks for Half-Dollar
Silver blanks used for half-dollars
Pallets of Coin Blanks
Pallets used to transport coin blanks
Bins of Stored Coin Blanks
Metal crates used to transport coins and blanks

 

U.S. Mint at San Francisco, Preparing Coin Blanks

San Francisco Annealing Furnace
Large furnace used to anneal coinage blank material (Tom Jurkowsky in background)
SF Mint Annealing Furnace Blank Feeder
Annealing furnace blank feeder
Conveyor for Annealing Furnace at San Francisco Mint
Conveyor transporting blanks from furnace to bins
Old SF Mint Annealing Furnace
Old Annealing Furnace. Department of the Treasury. Bureau of the Mint. U.S. Mint, San Francisco, California. (1873 – 07/11/1962)
Upsetting Mill at San Francisco Mint
Upsetting mill which puts a rim effect around the blank
Planchets Spit Out of Upsetting Mill
From the Upset Mill blanks are conveyed to a bin
SF Mint Burnishing Mill and Pellets
Burnishing Mill used to clean, shine and prepare blanks
Burnishing Mill Process
Burnishing process
SF Mint Burnishing Mill, Bowl Tipping
The burnishing bowl drop its contents
Burnishing Mill, Blanks Transferred to Drying Belt
After burnishing, blanks are conveyed onto a drying belt
Long view of SF Mint Burnishing Mill
Along with the drying belt are drying towels placed on the path taken by the blanks to the collecting bin
Blank Bin for Burnishing Mill
Burnished and dried blanks are conveyed into a storage bin where they are later collected and racked
SF Mint Employees Racking Coin Blanks
Blanks are racked into racking trays Xie Deng (left) Li Han Chan (right)

U.S. Mint at San Francisco, Preparing Coin Dies

Proof Coin Dies at US Mint in San Francisco
Two obverse coin dies for 2013 Proof America the Beautiful Quarters and four reverse coin dies for 2013 Proof Presidential $1 Coins
Coin Dies and Die Polishing Tools at SF Mint
Various tools used in the die polishing process
SF Mint Employee Polishing Proof Die
Yin Lau polishing proof dies
Polishing Proof Die for ATB Quarter
Yin Lau polishing a proof America the Beautiful Quarter die
SF Mint Laser Frosting Machine
Laser engraving is used to apply frost to achieve cameo appearance on proof coins
SF Mint Employee and Laser Engraving Machine
Monte Bolmer operating laser engraving machine
Inside Laser Frosting Machine
Actual die being laser engraved
Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Chamber at SF Mint
Robert Nyein preparing Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Chamber in Clean Room. The PVD Chamber is an environmentally safe method to chrome plate dies which extends their usage. Before entering the area, you dawn disposable garments in a vented room to control contaminants.
Coin Dies Placed in Physical Vapor Deposition Chamber
Robert Nyein adds dies to PVD Chamber
SF Mint Employee Operating Physical Vapor Deposition Chamber
Nyein operating PVD Chamber
Inside Physical Vapor Deposition
Inside Physical Vapor Deposition Chamber
Several Coin Dies in PVD Chamber
Several coin dies in PVD Chamber

U.S. Mint at San Francisco, Coining Press Room

SF Mint Blank Wash Room
Herby Lam and Linda Lau in blank wash room
Sey Ting Yen towel buffing blanks
Sey Ting Yen towel buffing blanks
Michael Yu racking buffed blanks
Michael Yu racking buffed blanks
Linda Lu racking blanks for the press
Linda Lu racking blanks for the press
Blank staging area in Coining Press Room
Blank staging area in Coining Press Room. These are blanks in line to get pressed
Die Vault Storage Area at SF Mint
Die vault storage area at San Francisco Mint
Coin Dies from SF Mint
Coin dies from SF Mint
Die Tooling Kit
Die Tooling Kit
David Atienza assembling die tooling, photo 2
David Atienza assembling die tooling for obverse of an American Silver Eagle
2013-S Proof Woodrow Wilson Presidential $1 Coin Installed into Collar
2013-S Proof Woodrow Wilson Presidential $1 Coin Die (Obverse) Installed into Collar
2013-S Proof Presidential $1 Coin Die (Reverse) and Die Tooling Parts
2013-S Proof Presidential $1 Coin Die (Reverse) and Die Tooling Parts
SF Mint Employee Assembling Tooling for 2013-S Proof Presidential $1 Coin Reverse Die
SF Mint employee assembling tooling for reverse of Presidential $1 Coin die
2013-S Proof Presidential $1 Coin Die (Reverse) Installed
2013-S Proof Presidential $1 Coin Die (Reverse) Installed
Carlos Dumpit loading magazine for coin press feeding system
Carlos Dumpit loading magazine for coin press feeding system
Planchets for 2013-S Proof Native American $1 Coins
Planchets for 2013-S Proof Native American $1 Coins
Laser machine for die collar engraving
Laser machine for die collar engraving
Machine Shop at San Francisco Mint
Machine Shop at San Francisco Mint
San Francisco Mint Coin Presses and Operators
San Francisco Mint Coin Presses and Press Operators at work Frank Romero (background), Michael Yu (middle) and Michael Lu (front).
William Tan operating coin press
William Tan operating coin press
Internal view of Coining Press at SF Mint
Internal view of Coining Press at SF Mint. Notice the coin in the middle.
Another view of the internal components of a Coin Press. This one shows a coin in the center that has been struck.
Another view of the internal components of a Coin Press. This one shows a closer look at the pressing area by the coin.
2013-S Proof Native American $1 Coins produced on coin press at SF Mint
2013-S Proof Native American $1 Coins produced on coin press at SF Mint
2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins produced on coin press at SF Mint
2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins produced on coin press at SF Mint
Lynn Lobb inspecting bullion product
Lynn Lobb inspecting bullion product
Trays of 2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins
Trays of 2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins
Trays of 2013-S Proof Native American $1 Coins produced at SF Mint
Trays of 2013-S Proof Native American $1 Coins produced at SF Mint
Newly produced 2013-S Proof America the Beautiful Quarters
Newly produced 2013-S Proof America the Beautiful Quarters

U.S. Mint at San Francisco, Packaging Coins and QA

SF Mint employee operating packaging line 054
Don Bishop operating packaging line
Presidential lenses assembled at SF Mint
Presidential lenses being assembled on packaging line
52. Coins being inspected on packaging line
Coins being inspected on packaging line
Automated packaging line at SF Mint
Automated packaging line – up to 80,000 lenses per day can be produced
SF Mint employee operating packaging line
Robert Medrano operating packaging line
SF Mint employee at end of packaging line
Garfield Kincross colleting lenses at the end of the packaging line
Lenses awaiting final cartoning at SF Mint
Lenses awaiting final cartoning
Lenses with cartoning machine's robot arms in the back
Lenses with cartoning machine’s robot arms in the back
A portion of the cartoning line at SF Mint
A portion of the cartoning line – Primary Carton Assembly
Internal view of cartoning line at SF Mint
Internal view of cartoning line
Another section of the cartoning line at SF Mint
A portion of the cartoning line – Case Packer
Finished Proof Set Cartons at SF Mint
Finished Proof Set Cartons at SF Mint
Insertion of finished cartons into shipping container at SF Mint
Insertion of finished cartons into shipping container
US Mint Metallurgist
Micky Fernandes, U.S. Mint, Metallurgist
Exploded view of coin blank
Exploded view of a blank used by San Francisco Mint’s metallurgist
SF Mint employee performing a chemical analysis of silver
Jonathan Okorley performing a chemical analysis of silver
Quality Assurance Lab at SF Mint
Quality Assurance Lab showing chemical analysis equipment
No Longer Used Chemical Exhaust Hoods
Chemical Exhaust Hoods
Inspection station for measuring product
Inspection station for measuring product
Close-up of machine inspecting a lense
Close-up of machine used to measure product, in this case a lense
SF Mint employees operating inspection machine
LaTonia Johnson and Loretta Dickerson operating inspection machine
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thePhelps

Thanks for the pictures! It looks like quite the tour and an awesome day. Jealous!

Stan

Thanks for a very interesting article!

JanetM

I loved the articles and photos. I’m jealous too!

Henry

So jealous of your visit! Some years ago they had an open call for visitors and I missed out (I live in SF) …

Coin Monger

Great photos. A very sterile environment. Very automated with the latest technology for producing coins. I think mints generally have had leading edge equipment at their disposal.

Joe

Sorry to see it end.

ben

I worked as a pressman at the San Francisco branch of the U.S. Mint back in 1974-75 for the Bicentennial Proof Set Program. It was a totally different process of pressing blanks into coins. Like the difference between a Volkswagen bug and a Porsche. Wow! Wish I could find some pictures of the presses we used back then.