Shire Post mint gets authorization

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Straelbora
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Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Straelbora » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:34 pm

The Shire Post mint is a guy who has been making coins in the medieval style for decades. He's had a license for Martin's "Game of Thrones" for quite a while, but started with unlicensed Middle-earth coins. I have several of his Middle-earth coins, bought before the evil Saul Zaentz shut him down, so that the only 'officially' licensed coins were those cheesy ones with scenes from the films.

Well, Zaentz is dead and Tom at Shire Post mint worked out a deal with Tolkien Enterprises- he's got a Kickstarter project to get minting started up again.

http://www.shirepost.com/wp/

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/17 ... nav_search

I have to say, it's really cool to open up a little leather pouch and pour out Shire, Gondorian, etc. coins.

Check it out!
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Elleth
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:56 pm

Well I'm sorry someone has passed- but delighted Shire Post mint is back!
I've got a couple of Hobbit pieces, and they're lovely. : )
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby RikJohnson » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:06 pm

All the links are down so....
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Udwin » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:37 am

The kickstarter link worked fine for me.

I remember seeing the announcement about SPM getting the license a while back, and while it's a cool idea, I think I fall on the 'Meh, not for me' side of things.
At the time the only sample was the coin from Dale with Bard v. Smaug on it, and my first thought was, 'That doesn't look like it comes from Middle-earth at all.'...it looks like a modern commemorative coin, or a US state quarter. I know we're talking about cultures with varying levels of tech (and Dale might be on the more-advanced end of the scale), but that level of crispy detail in a coin just doesn't say 'ancient' to me.
Plus I'm always wary of novelty coins and the leaf-shaped Elven one screams 'fantasy coin!'
If it was me, instead of making up these dwarf, elf, mordor, rohan, &c. coins, I would've started with the few currencies that Tolkien actually wrote about--chiefly the silver pennies in Bree, and the silver Gondorian castar (divided into 4 tharni 'quarters')--and then expanded out from there. But I guess he has to cater to the casual fans to get the funding before he could theoretically focus on what hardcore folks might want to see.
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Elleth
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:46 am

I take your point Udwin.

I love the hobbit ones, and would have loved to see more in that vein.
Like you I'm less impressed with the others, but I suppose we all see Middle Earth differently in our mind's eye.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Greg » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:00 am

I would love some silver pennies and a castar...always thought that was an awesome concept.

I'm just glad hegot permission...it opens up the possibility for more craftsmen to be able to make and sell Tolkien-inspired works.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Straelbora » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:36 pm

Elleth wrote:Well I'm sorry someone has passed- but delighted Shire Post mint is back!
I've got a couple of Hobbit pieces, and they're lovely. : )


Any artist who ever crossed paths with Saul Zaentz rued the day. He's the reason your grandchildren will be paying his great-grandchildren royalties for anything related to Tolkien's work, other than the books.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elemmakil » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:26 pm

I've collected Tom Maringer's Middle Earth coins for years, and have some of his very earliest releases that used crude acid etched dies. I also have some very limited run mintages of certain coins as well (for example, I have two of the three gold Morgoth coins in existence; there is a story behind that) in addition to private correspondence with the man.

Most of the coins are really good and show great attention to detail, particular some of the later releases that even used tengwar numerals. The inscriptions tend to be fairly well researched, as well. I like them much better than most of his other releases.

I do agree with some of the objections raised with regards to certain designs, at least to some extent (the elven Leaf coins didn't hurt my head too much, but I agree about the "Dal Tun" "dollar" coin - it is beautiful but very modern looking.

I only hope he tries some updated designs to distinguish from his earlier mintages for those of us who collect - the earlier stuff has some value because of its scarcity, and I'd hate to see him re-release the identical coins (same design but with current year date is fine, but I'd be annoyed if he released a "1407" penny again...).
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Elleth
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:21 pm

Hunh - I'd not thought about the collectiblity aspect: new dates would be neat. :)

So.. what WOULD be circulating in Bree and the surrounding environs?
Not customarily Gondorian coinage I'd assume.

I'd expect like in historical Europe you'd see coins of approximately equal weight and varying purity from realm to realm across Eriador, and that a "silver penny" from Hobbiton and one from Bree might well be passed around interchangeably, even if they were issued by different parties. ("Oh look! A loonie!" : ) )

Is there anything solid in the lore with more detail?
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Udwin » Wed Nov 04, 2015 7:54 pm

Unfortunately, no. References to money are few but generally undetailed:

*Bilbo "gave a few pennies away" before his party;
*there's Bill the Pony and the "twelve silver pennies" he is sold for (apparently a worn-out pony would only be worth four silver pennies);
*"Butterbur…offered Merry another eighteen pence as some compensation for the lost animals. ...thirty silver pennies was a sore blow to him…”
*and then the aforementioned four tharni ('quarter') to a castar in Gondor.
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Odigan » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:07 pm

With as much funding as it now has, so many Stretch Goals have been unlocked that this is a seriously good deal. For levels three and above ($60) you get not only the pledge gift, but...

- Shire Post Mint Dragon coin
- Eight additional copper Shire pennies and bag with stamped wax seal
- One Gondor Crown in nickel silver
- One Brass Oak Doubletree
- One Gondor Penny in Copper

With two weeks to go I'm betting the bronze Haypenny will also get unlocked.

That's enough to make for a nice little purse.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Odigan » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:00 pm

Now that I've sounded like I'm pitching a sale, my thoughts.

I agree on the novelty nature of these coins, though I find them valuable as gifts for others who will appreciate them and for their collectibility. As a fan of numismatics its also fun to see what people come up with. Most of them aren't what I'd envision. The copper Shire pennies for example are just Middle-Earthy pine tree shillings. The Brumby penny of Rohan feels plausible to me, but I never envisioned Elves using any kind of coin, much less a leaf shaped one.

What would Rangers use? I'm imagining a system based on arrowheads. Six bodkins to the swallowtail or somesuch. Makes much more sense that it would be grounded in some useable (and valuable) commodity. When I've had need or desire for coins in my purse for events or the like, I just buy a bag of foreign coins very cheaply (many no longer being valid currency) and mist them with gold or silver paint if necessary or desired. Some already look like fantasy coins!
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Greg
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Greg » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:36 pm

We've developed a habit of taking a twenty to the bank and exchanging it for circulated gold dollars before going to the faire, etc. Limits our budget, and the shopkeeps think it's awesome.
Last edited by Greg on Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Elleth
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:38 pm

That's very cool!

There was one faire I visited (I think in Washington State?) that had a nifty "moneychangers" stall right by the entrance. You bought decorative slugs of copper for $1 each, spent them at the merchants onsite, and then they traded them in for cash at the end of the day. I'm sure more than a few went home every weekend as keepsakes to, which made a nice extra boost for the faire.

Grand fun!

I do really like the Shire pennies.. they do seem "real" in a way the others don't.
I wonder - would Rangers have their own currency? I would expect that when they used money at all, it would be in whatever was dominant in their local area.

Speaking of "using money at all" - my fella was reading a neat book a couple years ago: "Debt: The First 5,000 Years"
The main argument is that in a lot of preindustrial societies, you DO see barter, but you get a lot more "party A owes a favor to party B" mental accounting and mutual obligation that never quite gets discharged as it does in a market system. Rather there's a sort of rolling accounting on a continuum somewhere between Charles Ingall's tab at Mr. Olsen's store and Sir Whoosit's feudal obligations to Baron Whatshisface.

I suspect Middle Earth has a LOT of that in all societies - at least until you get to Dale and Gondor, and probably quite a bit even there.
The difference perhaps being in Bree that debt would be calculated in pence, while in Imladris it might just be understood that one had particular responsibilities.
(I expect even the elves would make some use of coinage, if only as a means of exchange with other peoples. It might be as simple as lovely cast bars with a weight stamp though.)
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Udwin
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Udwin » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:31 pm

Yup. My 'wallet' pouch always contains a number of either Sacagawea or Dead White Men gold dollars, plus some replica copper cents (and some cut up as 1/2 cents). But it only comes out at the market fair, since even 20 gold dollars gets heavy really quick!

My hobbit persona is sorely tempted by the Shire coinage (though I would really like some book-legit Bree Silver Pennies!) but I'm also completely uninterested in the Dwarf/Elf/Mordor/Rohan/Dale package, so I don't know if I'll back or just wait until they're available for regular purchase in the estore.
Personae: Aistan son of Ansteig, common Beorning of Wilderland; Tungo Boffin, Eastfarthing Bounder, 3018 TA

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