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Setup.  The procedure of readying a press for the striking of a new coin or medal. It entails placing the dies in the press, aligning the dies, locking the dies in the chucks, positioning the collar (if any) in the collar plate, adjusting the pressure, taking a first blow, examining the struck trial, and resetting the dies and press until the alignment, pressure and feeding mechanism are perfect. This is the responsibility of the pressman and the foreman of the pressroom.

There are various methods and devices for aligning dies – keying, guide mark, notching, guide pin and bushing – the object is to align the axis of the obverse with the axis of the reverse. Adjusting the pressure must be done carefully not to break a die; too little a pressure will cause a weakly struck piece (die trial) – which is no serious problem –too great a pressure will crack or break a die. See pressroom practice, die alignment, axis, keying, die trial, weakly struck.

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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