Minting and casting in one token12.12.2017

On December 12, the Saint Petersburg Mint celebrated its 293rd birthday. The history has only preserved the year of foundation of the Mint – 1724, in was then that Peter the Great issued a decree about the Saint Petersburg Mint foundation. Although Peter had planned the mint in Saint Petersburg since the beginning of the 1720s. On February 27, 1721, “His Royal Majesty, being in Senate, noted, «For the monetary business to be more profitable and for better order maintenance, gold coins in Saint Petersburg should be minted in the fortress”.
For many generations of the Saint Petersburg Mint employees to be able to celebrate the Mint’s birthday, Decree No. 240 “About setting the day of the Saint Petersburg Mint” was signed on November 19, 1991. Since then, a double holiday is celebrated in Saint Petersburg – the Birthday of the Saint Petersburg Mint and the Day of a Coin Maker – the main professional holiday of the Mint employees. Every year connoisseurs and collectors look forward to the day when the employees of the Saint Petersburg Mint demonstrate two new tokens traditionally struck for the Mint’s birthday since 1994.    
Many people still remember the token issued on the occasion in 2007 – with a turning insert – the Guardian Angel of Saint Petersburg. To create the angel’s figure, double-sided modelling was carried out; two computer programs were developed on its basis, and a master model for the jewelry production was created with their help.
Sergey Kornilov, Head of the Artistic Bureau of the Saint Petersburg Mint, has been the author of the tokens for many years. Andrey Brynza, an artist of the Design Center of Goznak created the sketches of the tokens in 2015 and 2016.
In 2017, two tokens that differ from each other with a unique and typical detail for Saint Petersburg – artistic iron gates, were struck at the Saint Petersburg Mint according to sketches created by Sergey Kornilov, an Honored Artist of the RSFSR. The building of the Mint within the territory of the Saint Petersburg Mint is depicted on both the tokens, but on one of them it is covered with a stylized fence “in front of the Tsar’s porch” created by Architect L. Benua according to the model of the fence of the Summer Garden.  
The gates are made using the casting method and are a moving element – they can open and close.
In the upper part of the tokens, relief images of commemorative coins struck at the Saint Petersburg Mint in 2017 are depicted; they are dedicated to holding FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017 and FIFA World Cup in 2018 in Russia.
On the token reverse, there is a relief image of a replica of the “poltinnik” coin of 1924, Goznak’s logo and the angel of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral.
The tokens with the diameter of 60 mm are made of copper-nickel alloy. The insert on one of the tokens is of copper-zinc alloy.  
Sergey Kornilov said that they start thinking over the idea of the annual tokens in summer already; in autumn they discuss the idea with the technologists and then start fulfilling it in metal.  
“Our tokens were initially made and still remain experimental products, with the help of which we polish up new technological methods.
The tokens of the Saint Petersburg Mint are complicated products, and co-operation with technologists starts at the sketch creating stage already.
It was on the Birthday tokens of the Mint that we practiced inserts of various metals, cut-through inserts and many other technologies in order to apply them in mass products later on. That was the case of the bi-coloured coins – the tokens had been their technological ancestors.  
This year, the combination of minting and casting was a result of our experiment. It turned out to be an interesting token with complicated, multilevel minting and firm attachment of the gates to the token. Our technologists coped with all the technological difficulties, including very fine casting – the gates were made using this jewelry method.  
When creating the tokens of 2017, we wanted to accentuate belonging of the Mint to the history of Saint Petersburg, the history of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Thus there appeared an idea to show a view of the Saint Petersburg Mint from the side of the Imperial shrine, via Benua’s famous fence. We remade the sketches many times – all the elements of such a products should be located in the composition very accurately, so that such an architectural and theater action as a token with attached gates represents, was perceived harmoniously.    
During the production, we had to look for a consensus with the technologists because it was important for them to decrease the relief. Nevertheless, for me it was important to preserve it. However, we always find common language, a joint solution, and it happened the same way this time – we decreased the relief in some places, preserved it in other, and the integrity of the artistic image remained”.
Today the colleagues congratulate Sergey Kornilov and the team with a creative success, and all the employees of the Saint Petersburg Mint with the Day of a Coin Maker.
On the occasion of the Mint’s birthday, all the minted tokens will be given to the employees of the Mint today.

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