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Master of Coin

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  1. I'll be taking the Advanced Leather Bookbinding class at Little Mountain Bindery here locally. I would plan to practice the technique on some more common editions before taking on a first edition. Yes! Slip cases would be something that could be done without altering the original at all, yet would enhance (and protect) the edition. My most treasured volume is a 1st India paper edition, Allen & Unwin LOTR with the multi-color foil embossed slip case. The only downside of it, is that It is so gorgeous (and valuable) that I cannot bear to open it and read from it! I actually read from my beat-to-death paperbacks with covers missing.
  2. I'm taking a bookbinding class this spring... wondering if there is any interest in beautifully crafted and leather embossed rebinds of GoT volumes? Maybe with coins set in the covers?
  3. Well, if you're looking for something really special, this ETSY listing just went up: https://www.etsy.com/listing/207019113/22k-gold-3-dragon-coin-set-of-westeros?ref=shop_home_active_4 It is a set of three golden dragon coins, in 22k gold, each bearing 1/2 troy ounce of pure gold! Just FOUR of these sets were made! The hand carved steel dies for these gold coins are NOT the same dies used to strike the brass version, they were made only for striking gold and will never be used for anything else. (as an example... the dragon on the brass Jaehaerys Targaryen coin has a single tip to his tongue, but the dragon on the real gold coin has a forked tongue) These coins will not be reproduced, in exactly the same way. Even if we have demand to strike more sets, there will be significant and notable differences such that these four sets will remain utterly unique upon the face of the earth. These are not props... much too valuable to let actors handle them! They are the genuine goods licensed by George R.R. Martin himself. I met him in Santa Fe and we discussed over dinner what the size and weight and composition of the coins should be. These are the result. We did the brass version just so that more people could have examples... but THIS is how they were meant to be! The set comes boxed with the brass ones for comparison. And it's not six figures!
  4. The Strategy Game?? Is that the X-box video game? I have the board game and the card game.... Here is something that just popped up on eBay. I'm watching it. A one-of-a-kind Joffrey Baratheon golden dragon coin... with Jof's head carved into a skull! http://www.ebay.com/...a-/151418703535 This is a hand-carved mod of a licensed coin, so still licensed.
  5. Hi Lady Visenya: Yes the three dragons come in a 5x7 hard plastic case. The single coins all come in a 3x4 hard plastic case as well... of the type that sports-card and game-card collectors use to protect their best cards. They're not just loose coins! The cases have printed folders in them that sport information about the coin... its weight and metal, often the name of the engraver, and about the design of the coin and how it fits into the A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE storyline. We're working hard to provide ways for collectors to store and display the coins, even if they are not "coin collectors" in the standard sense of the term. But what we're doing here is unique in all of fandom, and we need to have some feedback on what people want. We have piles of mock-up albums in different sizes and layouts. All have their good points, but they all lack for something. We have not hit upon the perfect album design. The simplest and most flexible would be to work within a three-ring binder system... using pages such as the four-pocket pages made for storing postcards to hold the 3x4 sleeve for each coin. The only problem with that format is that the basic 3x4 package holds the coin in such a way that you can only see one side... the other side is depicted by a photo. Ideally we should make an album such that the coins are all labeled and described... AND you can see both sides of the coin without having to take it out of the holder. This is really quite difficult because all our coins are different sizes! We don't simply have a few standard sizes like most mints do... we go all over the map on the shapes and sizes of the coins. Some people have taken the 3x4 holders and propped them up on the sort of racks sold for holding small dishes... they have a groove at the bottom of each row. That is pretty easy and looks nice. Some people have bought two of each piece so that they can mount them in shadowboxes to show both sides of each coin.... a lot of work but totally awesome! The book-safe idea is very attractive for its flexibility. Some very nice book-safes can be found or made, and each one will hold from fifteen to twenty coins in their cases... so that groupings can be assembled in each volume. House sets would be a natural... though at the moment some houses have more coins available than others. It might be more natural to put all the silver coins together and all the copper coins together and so forth. Or a small collection could be held in a single COINS OF WESTEROS volume. There are many ways to go, and we'd love some feedback on what kind of storage and/or display options would be attractive. Have fun! Tom ps... a book-safe is a box made to look like a book, so it can be shelved on a bookshelf, but can hold some object or objects. Often seen in detective movies where it holds either a bottle of liquor or a small pistol.
  6. Thanks for the replies. This is interesting to me because different collectors have different collecting habits and it is challenging to know how to present items to different kinds of collectors. Would it help if we created a catalogue and album of all the different kinds, with places to put them? Or perhaps sets of all one house or all one denomination? Do we need to develop a frameable display option? My own preference is to mix lots of coins together in a wooden chest so that I can run my fingers through them while chortling demonically! That is why I got into making fantasy coins... because I WANTED THEM my precious! But then other people wanted some also. We have created a number of different experimental display options, including a book-like album with one coin on each "page", and biooksafes to hold sets of coins that can shelve right alongside your other GRRM hardbacks. But there are so many different modes of collecting and displaying that we are in a quandary as to how to present the options. We'd be happy to work with you to create a display option for your collection that would dovetail nicely with the other items you collect! Many thanks for the feedback! Tom
  7. Those are some impressive collections Pat and Becca! Pat's list of original art is especially impressive. But... I don't see any of the GRRM coins on those lists. We've been making these under license for George since 2003, back when there were only two books in the ASOIAF series, and HBO was not even a gleam in the eye. We currently have 32 different coins on the list... stags, stars, pennies, dragons, hands and more, including the Iron Coin of the Faceless Man. These are the ones George carries on his travels and gifts to cast and crew on the sets, and as tips to bellhops etc. They're available through numerous retail channels aside from our own online store (though if you order through us and mention your forum name we'll send you something extra!) I don't want to appear self-serving here... because it's true that I would love to sell you some coinage. But... as replete as those collections are, I don't see how any collection could possibly be considered comprehensive without at least a sampling of the coinage. What we're doing here for George is unique in all of fandom. There is nothing else as immersive or authentic anywhere, for any other author, film, or theme! The coins are struck under many tons pressure on hand-carved steel dies, some of them by world-renowned engravers. This is the real thing, and they're not very expensive, even though the silver coins are real silver. We're working on new ones all the time to bring the world of A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE to life in your hand. Editions are small by minting standards, as low as 20 pieces (the Blue Kraken) up to as many as 14,000 pieces (Garth XII Gardener Golden "Hand") but most are in the several hundred to low thousands range. A full mintage list is available here on the forum at: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/66827-game-of-thrones-coins/ As far as my own collecting habits... I specialize in collecting vintage machinery and presses, dies, and tooling as well as bars and bullion of various metals. (always willing to trade for nice pieces!) I have an extensive collection of about 5000 vintage handmade dies and master hubs dating from the late 1800s to around the 1990s when computer aided machining essentially overwhelmed traditional die-sinking methods. I also collect books by many authors, including GRRM, but I don't focus on collector grade books, because mine get dogeared and bookmarked and smeared by greasy fingers, and are used primarily for research to assist in making coins as close to canon as possible. I do own one collector grade book... a first India paper Allen and Unwin edition of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. It is pristine and sadly, I have never opened it beyond the title page for fear of damaging it, but it is a thing of beauty! Sigh! But I have worn out several paperback editions through rereading. Have fun! Tom
  8. Just to let you know, there's been a price reduction on the Golden Dragon coins... now $14.50 each on eBay or our online store. Also, there are two "defaced" versions of the Walder Frey penny... available by special request at no extra cost. The DEATH'S HEAD, and the CAETLYN'S CURSE, at no extra cost. Only forty of each of those were made. No Game of Thrones collection can be considered complete without at least a few of the licensed coins. There are 26 different ones. These are the coins that George carries around, giving to cast and crew on the set, to fans at cons, and as tips while traveling. Have fun! Tom
  9. We are now shipping orders for coins for Game of Thrones 4th season premiere parties. The most popular is still the Faceless Man, but Eddard and Joffrey are vying for second place. Have fun! Tom
  10. Just a heads-up to the collectors out there that are looking for limited edition things... A few months ago I mentioned in the "Game of Thrones Coins" thread in this forum, that the dies for the Eddard Stark silver pfennig (or half stag) had been badly damaged in a brockage incident and withdrawn from service. The mintage list in the first post of the above-mentioned thread is the official one and is edited as necessary. You can see that there were three pressings of that coin, in two different registrations. The total of all three together is just 774 pieces. And that's it... the dies are ruined and no more can be made. At the present time there are only about 15 singles left for sale, so I expect all of those to be gone before long. I am setting the very last ones aside to use in assembling a few "complete" sets. We have a new set of Eddard dies to replace the collapsed ones... and the new coin is very nice, with the new Direwolf head engraving on the reverse side by Joe Paonessa. But the original has the awesome direwolf rampant by the late Greg Franck-Weiby. If this piece is missing from your collection then there's not much time left to fill that gap before they are all gone. Oh... I should mention that the bagged Winterfell coin set carried by the HBO shop has this coin in it... but I do not know how low their inventory may be on those. Have fun! Tom
  11. Yes the larger 2"x2" flips allow the coin to roll around and they'll often end up upside down.... so we're going to the 1.5"x1.5" flips so they hold the coin better. We used to supply all the coins in the 2x2 flips and it was something extra to make the 3x4 with the descriptive folder. But our customer feedback has been telling us that people like the 3x4 format (which is the same size as used for sports and gaming collectible cards) so we're moving to eventually provide everything in those. In addition we're working on set packaging... either in larger 4x6 or 5x7 sleeves... or in a number of other formats that we're experimenting with. This is actually a new field of collectible so there is no established way that people collect them. Feedback is welcome, though we should probably take it to PM so that we don't bore people to tears!
  12. Shipped yesterday! USPS should have sent you the tracking number. If not, I have it.
  13. Never got any interest in BwB pins. Oh well... too late now. I will be making some special sword pins designed to attach to badge ribbons. Shire Post Mint have a booth in the dealer room this year. Have fun! Tom Maringer
  14. Thanks for the comments Reek, and also for your purchases. So it's mostly to do with what is specifically mentioned in the books? I guess what I am trying to do is to create the mix of coinage that would exist in the pockets and purses of ordinary folk in the story. A description of the specific coins someone would carry in this place or that place is not really part of the story, but they have to exist in support of the tale. Yes dragons are on the drawing boards! George has decided on quite a large coin though... a full 1/2 troy ounce of gold. So there will also be brass ones. No schedule for when those might be available yet... still in the sketching phase.
  15. I would be very interested to hear people talk about why they choose the particular things to collect. I have been making coins for George under license since 2003. It's confusing to me why it is that the Faceless Man coin has seemingly gone viral, and yet the other coins I've done for the series... some of them very nice indeed, as well as very reasonably priced... seem to languish. I recognize that I may have a different view of things. Even as a child I was intensely interested in coins and I always tried to see detail in coins shown in films. And so for me... the coins of a realm are the thing that forms the most basic tactile experience that creates a sense of place. And it was always the sense of place that intrigued me about coins. I don't rate as a "coin collector" in the usual way. I prefer worn and weathered coins over fresh new-looking ones, and enjoy imagining the story that the coin could tell. And so ten years ago, when I started making Westerosi coins for George, it was with the goal in mind of creating the immersive sense-of-place. It's easy to come up with ideas... not so easy to turn them into actual pieces of metal. But with a dozen things on the list now, I think we've done pretty well and the coins have a very high 'awesomeness' factor. But I realize that not everybody's brain is wired the same as mine. I find it hard to understand why more fans are not buying the non Faceless-Man coins... Is it the numbers? Do I make too many of each?... or too many different? Is it the designs? Do you imagine the coins different? Is it the size? Are they too small to suit modern tastes? Is it the degree of tie-in of a coin to specific book/film people and events? ...so that there's little interest in coins of old long-dead kings? Is it because I still haven't made a Dragon coin yet? Is it the cost? Are they too expensive? Or... too cheap to seem like they could have value? Is it because we missed the "h" in "morghulis" there for a while? Is it because Instead of having "limited editions" I keep the same coin going, but keep track of the die types? ... that is information coin collectors love. But perhaps popular-culture theme collectors don't care? There's another thread in this forum: http://asoiaf.wester...-thrones-coins/ where I keep a running mintage list on the first page, and I announce new coins. Seriously though, I would appreciate any feedback.
  16. Goodness! If you were looking at the flickr page there were dozens of different. Everywhere from about 5mm to 40mm. But most in the neighborhood of 18mm to 30mm (call it 3/4" to 1 1/4") Weights also vary of course, from as little as two grams up to ten or twelve. The ones with the mother-of-pearl backings tend to be heavier. For a BwB pin I would be thinking about 25mm (1") and maybe five or six grams, brass. I silver solder the stud-pin on the back and provide a standard clutch. That is a common size pin and will wear well on most fabrics, except of course the very lightest.
  17. I hope that BwB'ers occasionally stop by the Game of Thrones Coin thread in the "Objects of Ice and Fire" subforum here http://asoiaf.wester...-thrones-coins/ That is where I continually update the mintage listing of the different coins from A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE and their varieties. Also, I am hereby announcing the release of two new coins! A large silver "moon" from Casterly Rock, and a copper "star" from the iron islands! The Casterly rock piece is the largest coin yet, a full silver-dollar size weighing 22grams of pure silver. (seven tenths of a troy ounce). As you probably know, the moon is equivalent to seven stags in Westeros. The engraving was done by a new engraver, who would like to be knowne as Arion the Wanderer. (SCA members from the Kingdom of An Tir may know him and his work by that name).The obverse features a crowned lion rampant while the reverse is a view of Casterly Rock with the sea and crescent moon in the background. Issued for Tommen III Lannister back in the days before Aegon's Conquest. A Lannister could really pay his debts with a pile of these! Just 70 examples of this coin have been struck. The dies are being reworked so that there may eventually be a type-2, but there can never be more of this type 1. The blanks were made from a 100 oz bullion bar of pure silver, by melting, pouring, rolling, punching, annealing and tumbling. The Greyjoy "reaver" copper is the second entry from Joe Paonessa, who previously engraved dies for the "Kraken" coins from earlier this year. He did the coin in the "cartwheel" style pioneered by Matthew Boulton in 1790 for the London Mint, involving a heavy rim and incuse lettering. The portrait of Balon is just stunning and the reaver ship on reverse is likewise very realistic looking. The blanks were made from 1/4" thick copper punchings, so they have a somewhat bulging and random edge, rather like genuine medieval coins. No two are exactly alike. Also... the new Shire Post website is nearly ready to go. We're still working on all the redirects from the old site... but for BwB here is a sneak-peek direct link to the new opening page. http://www.shirepost.com/wp/ If there are any serious problems on it I'd love to hear about them so I can get them fixed before it goes live to the public. Be well! Tom Maringer http://www.facebook....gerFantasyCoins http://www.facebook.com/tom.maringer http://www.facebook.com/bwbfanclub Also... thinking about doing metal BwB pins. Here is a flickr page with some pics of pins I've made in the past: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157624771749642/ just as examples of the kind of work I'm talking about.
  18. Nice collection! By the way, the Dothraki coins are back on the store! I just completed a batch and have left several of the silver strings as full armbands, as well as cutting up a couple for pairs. But these things are coolest in the form of the full armband. George and Parris gave one of these to Jason Momoa. I'll have at least a couple with me up at WorldCon next month.
  19. Ah.... so hopefully there will be free wi-fi everywhere in the hotel. Okay I'll be keeping an eye out for news. By the way, I can furnish some small prizes for drawings or games or whatever and would enjoy helping with the events. I don't have a display table so I'm not tied down. Tom
  20. So WorldCon will be my first con of any kind ever. How do I find out where the party or meetups is/are going to be??? Tom
  21. I just have the books and calendars, some of them signed by George. My 2012 calendar is inscribed "To Tom, Master of the Mint". And of course I picked up the boxed DVD set of season 1. Aside from that my collection is unique in that I have the only steel dies and other tooling in existence used to make the Game of Thrones coins! I also have a variety of freaks and trials and errors of the coins... stuff that mostly goes in the melt bucket under the press. (people that visit the mint get to pick something from the bucket... if they get there before I melt them!) The newest coin, the silver Kraken stag of Balon Greyjoy, was just finished today! As ever, the idea is that carrying small everyday type objects from a mythical place tends to create a sense-of-place in the mind which makes the fantasy seem more real and therefore the experience more enjoyable. I have focused my efforts almost entirely on coins because they are examples of such everyday objects that would be common in the universe of the mythos. And well... just because I always liked coins. My family traveled a lot when I was a child, and all through Europe I was always rummaging through change looking for all the kinds of coins. And they all had a different feel and sound in the hand, so that you could close your eyes and feel the money in your pocket, and know what country you were in. I want to extend that feeling to the mythical realms. Fantasy coins are not meant to be set in a collectibles case and looked at... you should get your fingers on them, and hopefully even carry at least one of them around!
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