This question asks how a party can move 10,000 pounds of gold coins quickly, to remove them from a treasure vault before the Waterdeep authorities arrive and demand their share.
Currently three answers (here, here, and here) and a comment on a fourth answer from the author of one of the three answers, suggest using the spell Fabricate to turn the coins into solid ingots, the better to count as a single object for the application of spells like Reduce. So far, no one has expressed any objection to using the spell like that.
Because my objection is longish, and rather than start a comment dialog that will be moved into chat on three separate answers, it seemed better to ask this as a separate question. Am I misunderstanding the Fabricate spell; can finished coins actually be used as the raw materials for ingots?
You convert raw materials into products of the same material. For example, you can fabricate a wooden bridge from a clump of trees, a rope from a patch of hemp, and clothes from flax or wool.
That seems pretty straightforward to me - 'raw materials' in, 'products' of those raw materials out. The examples make sense - a clump of trees is used to make a bridge, a patch of hemp is used to make a rope, and flax or wool are used to make clothes.
But all the answers on the linked question assume that you can use the spell to turn coins into gold ingots; that is, that coins are somehow 'raw materials' that are used to make the finished 'product' of an ingot.
Now, I don't doubt that you could melt down coins and use them to make an ingot, or even that people have actually done that at some point. But that doesn't seem like the normal production of finished goods that the spell assumes, whereby the product is much more highly processed than the raw materials. A coin, as I see it, is hardly a 'raw material'. Since 5e coins are apparently pure gold, one must first mine the ore, extract the gold, purify it, and then hammer it into sheets that are just the correct thickness to be cut into coins. If they are to be actual coins, and not just circular pieces of gold, they then need to be minted, or have figures, words, and numbers impressed on them with hand-crafted and possibly engraved dies. This level of processing can hardly result in what I would call 'raw materials', and while a solid gold ingot has been subjected to some of the same processing, it seems like objectively less.
For full context, the DM asking the question has made this heist a central theme of their campaign, and it appears that they want the players to succeed, but also to have to work over many sessions to come up with a functional plan that challenges their resources and creativity. If a DM wants the spell Fabricate to work in such a way to serve their greater campaign narrative, then good on them. I am not asking whether a DM should allow this or the merits of doing so.
It doesn't seem to me like this is what the spell, RAW, actually does, and that is what I would like answers to address.
Related, but for 3.5e, Can I use fabricate to turn gold coins into ingots worth three times as much gold?