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Force.  A back die; a male or positive die (similar to a hub) used for striking into a female striking die of thin gauge metal to form a shell or embossing. A force usually has some form of die alignment, to keep the die and force in register.

How made.  A force is made in one of two ways, by the same methods as normal

diemaking (machined, handcut or hubbed), but it can also be made from its mated die as well (by hubbing). The negative die needs to be as sharp as possible, the force does not need this sharpness but should be made with the thickness of the blanks kept in mind. If

they were a tight fit they would sheer the struck shell.

How used.  The intent of the force is to drive the metal of the blank into the die. The struck piece takes the shape of the die and the back of this piece takes the indistinct shape of the force. It is always struck with a die to make a shell or embossed design.

A special force is used in buttonmaking. Nicknamed a peg (perhaps because of its

domed top surface) it is the force that drives the thin metal into the deep design cavities in the die.

See also scrap force.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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