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Process Set

Process Set.  Sample specimens of a multiple-struck medal selected from various stages of manufacturing to illustrate the physical change from raw metal to completed art medal. The set of medals are always shown together, often for a display for most dramatic effect. The first recorded showing of such a process set was by Tiffany & Co. in 1901 at the Buffalo Pan-American exposition where the jewelry firm displayed a process set of the Dewey Manila Bay Medal of 1898 among 196 medals the firm had manufactured since 1851.

A typical process set might contain six, or eight, or more different stages. An 8-piece process set is illustrated in the introduction (page xxxix) of Julian, Medals of the United States Mint. Such an 8-piece process set would typically include the following stages:

1)  blank

2)  first strike

3)  second, third or fourth strike

4)  fully struck up but untrimmed

5)  trimmed

6)  abrasive blasted

7)  oxidized

8)  relieved or finished medal.

Collectors would probably desire two-sided medals; for display, however, uniface process sets would have only one side struck, the other flat for mounting. A patina process set would show only those stages of finishing (perhaps the last four listed above).


O39 {1977} Julian, p xxxix, 8-piece Lindbergh Historical Club Medal, 1974.

O48 {1988} Stahl, p 114, 6-piece process set with skeleton scrap, Lincoln Essay Medal, 1924.

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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