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Master of Coin

Game of Thrones coins

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Ha ha! Yes there is the one type that has that idiotic hole... but that same version exists with no hole, and there are four other types that we've come across. One in copper, one with two buttons, another with three, and there is a particularly deceptive one that is intermediate in size and does a much better job on the design. Fortunately that one has not seen much exposure and we clamped down on it quickly.



If you're interested in one of the experimental ones, please write to me via the contact page on the website:


http://www.shirepost.com/wp/contact-us/


I'd appreciate getting some fan-feedback on whether it's cool or not.



Be well!


Tom


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Ha ha! Yes there is the one type that has that idiotic hole... but that same version exists with no hole, and there are four other types that we've come across. One in copper, one with two buttons, another with three, and there is a particularly deceptive one that is intermediate in size and does a much better job on the design. Fortunately that one has not seen much exposure and we clamped down on it quickly.

If you're interested in one of the experimental ones, please write to me via the contact page on the website:

http://www.shirepost.com/wp/contact-us/

I'd appreciate getting some fan-feedback on whether it's cool or not.

Be well!

Tom

Yeah, I referenced the sudden disappearance of the bottom hole versions in a different post and noticed at the time that the few I saw available were considerably more expensive. Anyway, message sent regarding the prototype...

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Hey Tom,


I was looking at Faceless Man coins on eBay and I noticed one being sold other than by you, with quite a few sales, that has two 'shirt buttons', where yours have three. Is this an indication of a counterfeit, or is it possibly an older version of your coin?


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Good question! Yes the Faceless Man coin in particular has become so popular that distributors like Diamond Comics and Entertainment Earth are carrying it, so that numerous smaller sellers now have access to it. That started with the 7th pressing, so that some of the dealers are still carrying older versions.



I guess I need to publish a guide to the varieties! We are creating these the old-fashioned way, by pressing them between steel dies under about 120 tons of force. But dies wear or sometimes break. With a short-run piece this is usually not a problem, but we've had some disasters. So for a long-running piece like the Faceless Man, we make a steel "hub" by pressing from the original master die. This hub can be used to create identical "cloned" working dies... and in this way a design can be continued even beyond the catastrophe of a broken die. This is how the US mint can create BILLIONS of identical coins... they clone several thousand sets of identical dies from a single master. In their case they wish to make the results of each die indistinguishable and identical. But for us, we'd rather make them unique. So each time we clone a new die set off the master hub we make some small changes to it, so as to make it identifiable. I chose to vary the number of buttons under the cowl as the primary distinguishing characteristic.



So for the Faceless Man there have been FOUR working die sets so far.


Die 1 (the original master set) has NO buttons on the obverse below the cowl, and on reverse there is a missing "H" in Morghulis. Die 1 was used for all the coins of the 1st through the 5th pressings.


Die 2 has TWO buttons below the cowl, and a revised reverse correcting the spelling of Morghulis. Die 2 was used for the 6th, 7th, and 8th pressings.


Die 3 has THREE buttons below the cowl, and three dots surrounding the tiny VDVM symbol at top on reverse. It was used for the 9th pressing.


Die 4 was completely cut from scratch, oversize, and has FOUR buttons below the cowl. It was used for the chocolate coins and for some experimental aluminum ones.


Die 5 has been created, but not yet used. It is planned for the striking of the upcoming 10th pressing. But I'd prefer to hold off on describing the distinguishing characteristics so as not to give any advantage to the counterfeiters. They'll just have to buy one when they come out.



On the first page of this thread there is a mintage list that tells the number of coins from each of the pressings above. I still need to update it to the latest mintages on some of the other coins... but the Faceless Man mintages are all accurate. It has taken us years to refine the finishing process used on the most recent pieces... so the older ones may have a very different color or appearance.



I do still have examples of all the older die types #1 and #2... but not of all the pressings. We don't charge extra for the old ones... just mention when ordering and we can pick from old-stock. Whenever we start shipping a new one out we set the old ones back. There are still a few 5th pressings from Die#1, and a few 6th and 7th pressings from Die#2. We keep those around for completist collectors that are interested in such things.


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Wow, very fascinating and informative information to me! Interestingly, this also indicates to me that the cheap China counterfeit with the hole at the bottom actually matches NONE of your pressings exactly (of course, how I know that is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma... :commie: ). And you'll be receiving an e-mail from me today (EDIT: OR POSSIBLY TOMORROW, SORRY!) Tom, regarding the package I received yesterday!



:bowdown: or :dunno: or :ack: ???



I'm a :devil: ... prepare yourself!



------------------------------------------------------


On a somewhat unrelated subject, I just actually just read this whole thread for the first time and I find it somewhat interesting that GoT chose NOT to use your Faceless Man coin and to design their own (which are very obviously of a far inferior design) except for the fact that they likely wanted a larger coin. I am far from an expert on Hollywood or television productions, but generally I would EXPECT a production to produce their own items, however I do believe they did use some Abbeyhorn mugs, rather than designing their own, which surprised me personally.


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Hey Tom, long time no see. Just noticed you have a kickstarter up, which I'll gladly contribute to. Awesome stuff, I just need to decide the tier i'm going to pick. Have you guys thought about doing a Tully or Arryn coin? Wish we could have a set for all the Great Houses. Also is the Garth Greenhand coin for the 1/2 dragon set the same one that is currently listed? You guys sent me one of those a couple months back, and was wondering if they were the same. Once again I love the work Shirepost does, and am a great supporter.


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Hi Crimson:



Thanks for writing! Yes the Garth Greenhand is the same one... we had thought one of the larger "gold" pieces for the LCG card game would be enough, but there's been so many requests for more that we expanded the line. Yes we're actually in the concept-sketch stage for a "moon" of The Vale. It seemed appropriate... moon... moon door... It will be a large collector piece in pure silver. Thinking of featuring Petyr as Lord Protector of The Vale. Tully was considered... but simply fell off the end of the list for now. It would be possible if there was sufficient interest. Are you thinking specifically as a gaming coin... or??? We have a lot of choices in size and thickness and metal in the collector coins, but for the gaming ones we're restricted to just a few sizes in order to keep costs low enough.



As always, if you order through any of our platforms (online store, Etsy, eBay, Amazon) or pledge on the Kickstarter... be sure to send us a note mentioning Westeros.org with your forum name and we'll send you something a little extra!

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Thanks for the speedy response! I'm not looking to use the coins for gaming purposes, I just love the look of them personally. Its neat that your on the design phase of the Arryn coin. I know you guys are completely authentic to the details of the book, so I wanted to remind you that the moon door in the books is different than the one in the show. I think Littlefinger on a coin would be neat, but not for a Arryn coin. I hope you don't mind a couple potential suggestions. I think displaying the falcon with the mountains of the vale with a moon incorporated would be neat, and then maybe have a portrait of Jon Arryn on the other side or something.



A couple suggestions if you were ever to make a Tully coin. I know you guys like to incorporate historical figures in your coins, and not just the present characters. I think having Edmyn Tully would be a good choice. He was the lord that rose up against Harren the Black, and allied with Aegon the Conqueror. Aegon rewarded Edmyn by making him the Lord Paramount of the Trident for the aid. A trout jumping out a stream of water with the family mottoe around it would be neat on the other side. I apologize if I sound imposing. You guys do a great job with your coins, and I just wanted to give a couple suggestions that may or may not be helpful. Thanks again Tom!


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Thanks for the suggestions! We depend on folks like you and Elio to keep us canonical! We usually have a design think-tank session when it's time to come up with a new coin... taking all the suggestions and ideas and tossing out concepts. That would be a super simple sketch taking maybe 30 seconds showing the position of a main character or emblem, and whatever text might be appropriate. Woody, Don, and I will toss those around and usually settle on one or two that we like. If there's a difference of opinion I make the call, but usually there's a concept that just calls out to be made. Then we work on refining the image... exactly what will it look like and how will it be positioned within the circle (or other shape) of the coin. So these ideas you're throwing at us are great fodder for the mill.


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I'm still deciding on what tier to choose, but I was wondering if you guys could possibly do something similar to the Maester level, but have something where you can get one of each of the coins in circulated and uncirculated condition. If not, then maybe be able to choose between circulated and uncirculated.They both look great, but due to budget difficulties getting the options where you get five or 20 each is a little bit of a challenge for myself personally.


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Hi Crimson:


Thanks for the note! Check the updates! Yes we recently added the option for circulated or uncirculated in the Maester sets. We can do just about any combination on the coins. The real "stretch" for us is the treasure chests for the King level. I decided I wanted to actually make all the metal hardware from scratch rather than buy hardware store stuff. It's being an education! I've been having fun figuring out how to make the hinges. It seems like it should be simple, but it's actually a bit tricky to get the metal to curl around and form a tight barrel for the hinge pin. None of my books on blacksmithing, metalworking, or die forming give a clue on this. The key was recalling a particular scene in SCHINDLER'S LIST where the Ben Kingsley character is in a workshop making hinges and it actually shows the tooling close enough to see how it works. This is the only film I know in which the industrial scenes are actually for real. Those scenes were done in a real workshop!


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I have been looking at your updates on the chests, and they are amazing looking. If I had that kind of money to spend, I would be all in. Have you considered maybe doing a lock and key on the chests? I think that would be a neat innovation to add. Also of the newer coins, which do you prefer the circulated or uncirculated?


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Oh I like the circulated myself! I have always been an oddball coin collector in that I liked the really old worn coins, whereas most coin collectors want them as new as possible. To me... a coin that has just sat around in a bank vault it's whole existence has no "story"... no "life". Whereas I can hold a worn Louis XIII tournois dated 1615 and imagine all the hands it must have passed through... the adventures, the transactions... a piece of bread, a glass of wine, and the fact that the coin was there during many events of history. It was already old by the time of the French Revolution... and it was there during the tragedies of Sedan and Verdun.



And so for fantasy coins, it doesn't seem quite right when a coin that's supposed to be hundreds of years old looks bright and fresh as if it was just struck yesterday (as indeed it was). So... even though the "history" of the coin is fabricated... it is more supportive of the immersive fantasy for it to be "circulated"... even though it's extra work.



Thanks for the comments on the chests! This is our first round of treasure chests... so we'll see where it goes from here. They'll be numbered... #1 to #5 for the Kickstarter group, and I'm making one more... #6, for Oleanna Tyrell. This will be added to the Kickstarter rewards as soon as I get the chest done. The idea is that... in the story... Oleanna Tyrell travels around and sticks her nose in everybody's business. She's kind of a feisty old bird, and she's got a chest of "Hand" coins that she keeps in her carriage and uses on her journeys. Well... this will be Oleanna's chest, filled with Hands! Complete with Tyrell crest. I was hoping to put a thousand hands in there, but it turns out that it will only hold 850. A thousands is a nice round number, but 850 hands (equivalent to 425 dragons) is still a serious fortune, quite lot of money to be traveling around with... even for a rich old biddy with a troop of guards accompanying her.



So we've decided to make everything from scratch... including the hinges, handles and even the copper nails and rivets. Locks and keys is a cool idea... but that's a whole 'nother craft that I have never dabbled in. So not this time, but maybe at some point in the future, a year or three from now perhaps, we may be ready to craft our own locks and keys.


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You guys have great coins, but I was wondering if you guys made a slight error with the Greyjoy coins. I don't think Quellon was King of the Iron Islands. I think Balon was the only Greyjoy king. I think his father was actually a reformist kind of guy who was actually trying to make the Iron Islands more like those on the inland. Sad he had to die during Robert's Rebellion. Was just wondering if this was an oversight. Not trying to be nitpicky or anything, you guys do good work.


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The Kickstarter has funded.... just four more days to jump in! The stretch goal if we make $17k will be an exclusive two-faced faceless man coin for every backer! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1717678842/a-game-of-thrones-fantasy-gaming-coins-by-shire-po



Hmmm... I see what you're saying about Quellon Greyjoy. In the wiki here: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/House_Greyjoy it appears to say that Balon was the one who declared himself "king" while here: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Quellon_Greyjoy Quellon calls himself "Lord of the Iron Islands" rather than "king". Since he dies at the Battle at the Mander in AC 283, perhaps we can postulate that either: a) he was ready to declare himself King by that time, since Robert's Rebellion was almost achieved... or b) the coin was already in progress at the Pyke Mint, and on his father's death, Quellon's son Balon chose to edit the inscription and declare his father "king" as a way of legitimizing his plan to claim the seat for his own.

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The new coins are going "live" as we speak on the Shire Post website! We'll also be putting them up on the other venues as well... eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and some of the dealers will shortly be featuring them... including Entertainment Earth.


Have fun! Tom


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I don't know if it is because of my firewall at work or what, but your links won't load. I'll probably contibute, not only because I bought a Faceless Man coin from you and appreciate the product, but mainly because of your posts, and how you delve into explaining the process of manufacturing and coming to decisions on the coins. It is all very fascinating.


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Hi Freerider:



I just went through and checked some of the links. Everything I tried was working. Might be your firewall. Please try again from a platform outside the corporate system. Thanks for being willing to contribute to the conversation! For me it's all about the process and the craft. I must admit that I obtain a sybaritic pleasure out of watching metal squish into a new shape that I have imagined in my mind, and then to see it happen in the actual metal and hold it in the hand. I cannot stop! I must keep going and make more!

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