The jewelry factory “Adamas” invited us to see how it makes medals for Olympic Games “Sochi-2014”. This must be interesting, let’s check it out.
Everything starts from a furnace for smelting bronze and silver. By semicontinious casting they smelt a thick leaf. It will be used for making workpieces of medals – square plates which will be heated to 180C and allowed to stand for two hours to remove the internal stress inside the medals. After that they will be slowly cooling.
After the cooling the workpiece goes to a lathe where such a washer is cut out. Another lathe provides more precise turning. Upon these operations the diameter of the workpiece becomes 100 mm, thickness – 10 mm.
They look so good after the turning.
Now the washer should be secured inside this device for making holes.
These technological holes will serve to secure the medal on machining attachments.
Then the medal is secured on this thing.
This process is called high speed milling. The special machining center applies patterns and symbols of the Olympics.
The reverse side of the medal.
Then the official name of the Olympic Games is engraved in three languages. Besides, they mill a pocket for a ribbon.
The obverse side of the bronze medal of Paralympic Games after the milling process.
Now they are making four holes for crystals.
Maker’s marks are applied on silver and gold medals. Then all the medals are tested and sealed.
Surface-grinding machine is used to polish both sides of the medals.
Ultrasonic bath will help to get rid of all impurities.
The next operation is drilling a hole for the pin that will fix the ribbon.
Rumbling is the next stage, it will provide the medals with a marketable condition.
The medal rubs against metal balls of different sizes in the water with a detergent.
Grinding machine helps to prepare the surface of the medal for polishing.
The polishing machine.
And another ultrasonic bath.
The last stage is an assembly – the metal part of the medal is connected with crystals.
Now they should stay in the fridge at the temperature of -35C – it will help the crystals to be easily inserted into the grooves of the medals.
At the normal temperature the crystals will enlarge and stand tight in the medal.
What about the crystals? They are cut out of such sheet of polycarbonate (it looks like glass but has superior properties).
It is as thick as a medal is.
They use special cutter with protective coating for the crystals.
They cut out crystals of different sizes.
The polycarbonate is cooled by a jet of compressed air to decrease friction and deformation of the
Such a sheet they get as a result.
And these are ready crystals.
Patterns will be applied to the crystals with a laser.
It happens behind this door.
This equipment costs some dozens of euros and it’s usd for processing crystals.
The program helps to choose a proper pattern.
The laser applies the pattern right in the centre of the crystal.
This orange thing is used to remove combustion products of the laser engraving.
And here’s what they get.
Here the medals were designed.
Such pins help to fix ribbons in the medals.
These ones are mounted manually on the obverse side of a Paralympic medal to form symbols SOCHI2014 in the language of Braille.
The very place where the medal design is created.
“The capital jewelry factory. Just an ordinary factory. For twenty years already”.
Gold medal which is actually silver inside! It is six grams heavier than an ordinary silver medal.
Paralympic medals a bit heavier.
Silver Paralympic medal.
This bronze medal approximately weighs 585 grams.
They will make 1300 medals in general. It normally takes twenty hours to make one. Such pettern is applied on a medal.
Various Russian patterns.
Even patterns of Dagestanian masters are present.
These variants of medals remained only on sketches.
Medals of previous Olympic Games (Salt Lake City, Turin, Vancouver).