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Exactly three years ago, on July 1, 2016, for the first time in the history of independent Belarus, a trifle rang in the wallets of its inhabitants: after the denomination, coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 kopecks, as well as 1 and 2 rubles . Despite the fact that a whole generation had no experience of paying with metal banknotes – before that.

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the last time Belarusians used them back in the days of the USSR, when Soviet rubles and kopecks were in use, citizens quickly got used to the new monetary reality. To tell and show how Belarusian coins are minted, the National Bank of Belarus for the first time organized for journalists, including Belt correspondents, a visit to the Moscow Mint – a branch of Gopnik JSC, where an additional circulation of circulating coins (as experts call them) is being made right now. or change coins.

The Moscow Mint is one of two Russian mints, along with those operating in St. Petersburg. It was founded during the Great Patriotic War in 1942 to issue orders and medals. Now about 90% of Russian state awards and 100% of Russian token coins are made here. For the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

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a workshop for commemorative coins was created at the enterprise. In addition, investment coins made of precious metals are minted here, as well as banknotes of some foreign countries. Getting to the enterprise is not so easy: the entrance to it and especially the exit from the territory are distinguished by special security measures.

The history of coins goes back thousands of years – the first of them are said to have appeared around 685 BC. Initially, they were made of gold and silver, then they began to be made from non-ferrous metals. Now the vast majority of small change coins in the world are minted from steel, and Belarusian ones are no exception. And different shades of coins are achieved by spraying a thin layer of a certain non-ferrous metal or alloy onto steel by galvanic method.

As Sergei Bove, chief technologist of the Moscow Mint, said, first of all, the enterprise receives from the customer – in this case from the National Bank of Belarus – the source material: images of coins with technical specifications.

On the basis of this “source” in the tool shop of the Moscow Mint, a mother liquor is made: a cylinder with an engraving applied to it, it is also called the original instrument. The mother liquor is under special consideration, stored in a special sealed container to exclude any unauthorized access to it.

On the basis of the mother liquor, a working tool (stamp) is made for each side of the coin, which goes through a strict quality control procedure: the maximum deviation from the standard is allowed no more than 0.02 mm. And with the help of this stamp.

coinage is directly minted. But before mass minting begins, a test sample is made, which is also approved by the customer. During this entire process (before the start of mass minting), all the comments of the customer are taken into account, and the necessary corrections are made.

Steel blanks for making coins are brought to the Moscow enterprise from one of the factories near Moscow. The production is almost completely automated; at the same time, change coins of various denominations can be minted here.

We came to the Moscow Mint, when two-ruble Belarusian coins were being made here, as well as Russian coins with a face value of 10 and 5 rubles. The company has installed automatic lines of Russian and Swedish manufacturers. Belarusian rubles are minted on imported equipment.

However, the process of making coins on different lines differs only in small details. From a two-ton container, the blanks, which are delivered to the Moscow Mint in exactly the required size and weight, are reloaded into a bunker, from where they enter a special distribution station.

From it, along the coin circuit, in which an air cushion is created, allowing the blanks to literally float through the air, they are fed under the stamping press. The minting speed is very high – about 10 units per second. The minted coin is fed upwards through another coin pipeline and enters the unloading station. In the control cell, the adjuster evaluates the quality of the coins, the damaged ones are immediately rejected. Defective coins are handed over to a special workshop, where their engraving is completely deformed.

High-quality coins departing from the unloading stations are collected in special metal boxes, where up to 50 thousand of them are placed, and the weight reaches 250 kg.  The employees of the enterprise have not paid attention to the fact that they make money for a long time.

therefore they treat coins as ordinary products, they consider their number to be tons, not monetary units. Nevertheless, the enterprise has a special attitude towards Belarusian rubles. “Due to the increased responsibility of the order, Belarusian coins are unloaded into containers of a smaller capacity,” said Sergei Bove.