Using Gold Obelisk Award as an example, these are the steps to make it:
1) Create a model for approval. Replicas of the model are created in silicone, plaster and resin. A mold master finally determines how many pieces are needed to make the mold. The parts are marked and cut for replication.
2) Reverse steel mold parts are cast from a perfectly finished model, and each interior surface is polished to a mirror finish. Adjustments are made for a tight fit, and vents are added to aid in filling the mold. Small handles are added to each part of the mold
for handle safely.
3) A foundryman assembles the parts and pours molten zinc into a small cavity while wearing insulated gloves. The metal cools, the molds are disassembled, and the sculpture is removed.
4) The surface of the obelisk is polished using a palm sander to remove seam lines, a flap wheel to smooth the surface, and a
high pressure-polishing machine to create a mirror finish.
5) The pieces are inspected and degreased.
6) The Gold Obelisk Award is electroplated in four metals: copper, nickel, fine silver, and finally 24-karat gold. During electroplating, electricity is used to attract microscopic metal particles suspended in a solution in the electroplating tanks to the surface of the Gold Obelisk. The tanks also contain metal anodes to regulate the amount of metal that coats the surface.
7) A clear lacquer coating is applied.
Now we have a perfect award.