People often ask me questions relating to reduction dies, which are a critical component necessary when making coin rings. Reduction, (also known as “compression” or “reducer” dies), are conically-pitched (or cone-shaped) pieces of round steel that are used in the process of folding over and then reducing coins to make into coin rings.
Oftentimes, people aren’t familiar with the best places to go to get these reduction dies, or the proper questions to ask the person offering them before making their purchase.
Here are a few key points to remember asking before buying any reduction dies. The following four components should be in place if you want to have reduction dies that will give you both long-term usage and better wear-and-tear resistance:
Question #1: are the dies made from wear-resistant and hardened stainless steel?
The Hardened Stainless Steel that I use is very tough, durable, and has some of the best wear and rust-resistance than most other types of metal that people are choosing to use.
I work with machinists who are true craftsmen at their trade and they are able to produce an ultra smooth, mirror-like finish to the inner die wall faces that allows for the least amount of friction and therefore easier reduction of even the largest and toughest coins. If you look closely at most others’ dies, you can see somewhat of a rough finish on the face of the dies, which can adversely affect their use.
Question #2: are the inner walls of the reduction dies fine-smoothed and polished?
This is a critical aspect of having a quality reduction die that shouldn’t be overlooked. Having an ultra smooth inner die-wall finish, (which is the part of the die that makes contact with the outer edge of the coin that you are either folding or reducing), allows for minimal friction and force needed to forge the coin. Damage to the outer reeded edge of the coin isn’t likely to occur as a result either.
Below is a close-up photograph of a one-sided reduction die that has a very rough and scored inner die wall finish; as seen by the heavy tooling and score marks by the red arrows:
Heavy tool marks and scoring by the red arrows on this poorly machined one-sided reduction die
CoinRingUSA’s reduction dies are some of the smoothest, finely finished and highest-quality dies available today on the market:
This leads to the next important question to ask…
Question #3: are the reduction dies precision CNC-machined?
You may or may not have heard of this term before, but the “CNC” in machining is an abbreviation for “Computer Numerical Control”. It simply means that computers control the use and operation of manufacturing tools such as mills, lathes, routers and grinders.
The key benefit to this is that it produces the exact same result each and every time. Even the best human operator will have small variations between finished results, whereas a CNC machine will produce exactly the same result every time it is run.
Where this can come into play with the reduction dies is having the ability to machine the exact same inner die wall pitch throughout all of the dies; down to thousandths of an inch consistently every time. The reduction dies that I offer are all precision CNC-machined.
Question #4: are the universal reduction dies double-sided?
This is mainly an issue of time, skill level, and cost to the person making the dies. (*** With the exception of the new “Swedish Wrap” extrusion dies that are single-sided), the issue with the photo below of a 1-sided reduction die is that it becomes difficult to continue folding over and reducing a coin, due to the fact that you only have one size diameter die opening to work with. You’ll often end up buying multiple 1-sided reduction dies if you go this route.
Notice that the conical pitch of the inner wall extends all the way from the top to the bottom of this 1-sided die
It’s much better to have a set of double-sided reduction dies that follow what I call a “Pairing Order”, which is simply having dies that have diameter sizes in sequential descending order, such as a die with a 1.4″ inch diameter opening on one side, and then a 1.3″ inch diameter opening on the other side of the same reduction die.
In the sizing example above, you would simply flip the die over after you’ve folded the coin over on the 1.4″ inch side, and begin folding the same coin down into the 1.3″ inch diameter side of your reduction die. This makes the task of coin ring-making so much more effective and time-efficient; as you in essence have “2-dies-in-1”.
All of the reduction dies that I offer are double-sided with the sizes precision-engraved on each corresponding side for easy identification, as shown below:
Lastly, the picture below is of a coin ring that I made recently using the double-sided reduction dies. Notice the amount of outer detail that has remained intact as well as the condition of the outer reeded-edge portion of the coin:
If you make sure that all of the aspects above are covered when purchasing your reduction dies, you will have coin ring tools that will produce a beautifully-finished coin ring that will last you a long time.
To see and purchase the Reduction Dies that I offer, click here.
If you don’t see a particular item that you’re looking for such as the specialty reduction dies or the coin center punch tool, it’s because I am temporarily out of stock due to high demand. If that happens, please reach out to me by clicking on the “Contact” tab in the upper right-hand corner and I will get back to you as soon as I am restocked, thanks!