Shire Post mint gets authorization

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Elleth
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:26 pm

Oooh.. on a lark I went looking for things that might work for "pocket change" - and lookie here:

http://www.sfjssantafe.com/SmetalsItems ... pId=metals

Real sterling silver blanks! Thin - but then, medieval pennies were also often thin.
And at around $1/each for approximately "penny size" discs - even the price of a pony isn't much at all!

Even blank they'd make fun trinket / "purse litter" - so much the better if there's some way to stamp 'em. :mrgreen:
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Greg » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:14 pm

If you (like Ringulf) have runic alphabet tooling stamps, you could make short work of that project.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:10 pm

Since I had my camera out (and part of this thread talked about using coins at ren faires) - I dug through my old Ren Faire stuff to find these.

washington-ren-faire-coins.jpg
washington-ren-faire-coins.jpg (134.83 KiB) Viewed 5415 times


The "silver" and Shire Post coin are just trinkets I've had a while - all the big copper slug coins exchanged for a dollar a piece at the entrance to a Ren Faire in WA State in the mid 2000's.
I've no idea if they still do it, but it was a grand delight! And you had some trinkets to take home if you didn't spend them all - which I presume helped cover the faire cost a bit. Win for everybody!

One of the neat things is that every vendor with a regular presence at the faire who ponied up got to advertise on one side: some are better than others, but the overall effect is really cool.

ANYHOW -

At some point I'd like to take on a Breeland "silver penny" project, but I fear that's a ways in the future.

Given the "collapsed state" of late 3rd Age Breeland, I rather think there's not much in the way of a sovereign issuing coins - but like the real early medieval western Europe, lots of places kept the silver denarius (castar?) around in all but name. Same general size and weight, purity differing depending on who turned them out and when.

For the pennies floating around Bree, I suspect they'd be either Hobbitish or Breelander in origin. I think Shire Post does the design (not necessarily metal) for the former quite well.. for the latter I'm thinking something much like an English silver penny c. 1100, but with an image of the hill of Bree on the back with some text about when/where it was minted, and .. I dunno for the obverse.

One idea is some town selectman for Bree (mayor? whatever. They have to have had a muckety-muck of some kind.)
Alternately.. perhaps like the WA faire (and our own Depression era), lots of different merchants of the town might have issued their own tokens. So A "Bree" reverse and a "Gristleshanks Silversmiths" obverse or something similar.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Manveruon » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:09 am

I love your musings on this! And I LOVE those coins! I've always said I wished the Colorado Renaissance Festival would do that. The faire having its own period-looking coinage could be beneficial on multiple levels. It would draw people in to the whole experience more than your typical modern money, and if you made it the only thing the food booths could accept, patrons would basically have no choice but to exchange their modern paper money for the tokens, which of course are sort of souvenirs in and of themselves - which means quite a few people would intentionally not spend all of them at the faire in order to have something to take home with them, thereby potentially making the festival a fair deal of of extra money. And the idea of letting vendors advertise on the backs of the coins is sheer brilliance!

As for coinage in late 3rd Age Middle Earth, those are some very interesting thoughts. Of course, historically speaking, it's pretty strange to have areas like Bree or the Shire without SOME form of larger government. Even the city states of ancient Greece where generally ruled by some kind of king, weren't they? To me, it seems likely that the power vacuum of having no sovereign in that area at that time would have led to some kind of tribal dynamic - but that's not how Tolkien presented it. So under the circumstances, coinage might well have been been dealt with like you're suggesting, similar to post-Rome Europe.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Peter Remling » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:27 pm

Manveruon wrote:I love your musings on this! And I LOVE those coins! I've always said I wished the Colorado Renaissance Festival would do that. The faire having its own period-looking coinage could be beneficial on multiple levels. It would draw people in to the whole experience more than your typical modern money, and if you made it the only thing the food booths could accept, patrons would basically have no choice but to exchange their modern paper money for the tokens, which of course are sort of souvenirs in and of themselves - which means quite a few people would intentionally not spend all of them at the faire in order to have something to take home with them, thereby potentially making the festival a fair deal of of extra money. And the idea of letting vendors advertise on the backs of the coins is sheer brilliance!

As for coinage in late 3rd Age Middle Earth, those are some very interesting thoughts. Of course, historically speaking, it's pretty strange to have areas like Bree or the Shire without SOME form of larger government. Even the city states of ancient Greece where generally ruled by some kind of king, weren't they? To me, it seems likely that the power vacuum of having no sovereign in that area at that time would have led to some kind of tribal dynamic - but that's not how Tolkien presented it. So under the circumstances, coinage might well have been been dealt with like you're suggesting, similar to post-Rome Europe.


I wouldn't make it the only coinage vendors would accept for two reasons: first you have to have one or many exchange locations all of which have to be manned by paid associates. Second it forces everyone to wait on another line to exchange the coinage. I'd make it available but not mandatory. You'll get the results you want voluntarily by those who want another Faire experience without pissing off those who don't.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Manveruon » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:19 pm

Right, but I don't mean all vendors, I just mean festival-owned food and drink vendors. Of course, that's assuming that the festival itself manages those booths. At our festival, the owner of the faire bought the faire out because he was originally one of the food vendors, so he runs all of the food at the faire. At other festivals that might differ.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:39 pm

Aha! I've found the reference to those faire coins. I had a vague memory they were a 90's thing that died out in the mid-late 00's because metal prices soared - it turns out that memory was mostly correct: here's some info: from coin collectors and more details from the makers at University of St. Hildegard

Fascinating history, that.

I think the same idea could work at faire provided the tokens used were closer in size and weight to their medieval / rennaissance counterparts. These copper slugs have a lot of metal in them for $1 tokens. I think it would still be largely a labor of love on the part of the faire organizer though: moneychanging at the gates and then settling back up with the merchants couldn't have been a minor expense. Add lossage that needs to be replaced every year, and while I think it COULD be a net gain for the faire that does it, it would take some sharp planning to make happen without turning into a money hole for the organizers. It would still be all kinds of fun though. :)

(edit - I think the "All Debts Public and Private" mean that a faire vendor would HAVE to take dollars if that's how the customer wanted to pay: and good business sense says the vendors would want to. Though yeah, I kind of wish faires were more authentic-y myself. )


Regarding currency in 3rd Age Middle Earth... after being re-reminded of how small Bree is in the books, I'm more uncertain than I was.

A couple thoughts though -

Of Coinage and Debt:
We have text evidence of silver specie physically changing hands, which implies that Bree has a functioning (at least partial) cash economy. One could imagine a situation not unlike the colonial Americas, where business was conducted in nominal currency, but accounts in some areas / times largely settled with barter or cash substitutes. You might have an account with a local merchant for supplies that counts your debt in castars all summer long, then debits that amount from what harvest you bring in come fall. Coin never changes hand, but the account books all settle.

Being travelers not known to the locals, the Hobbits had to pay their way with specie: again, not unlike the situation existing in colonial America.

That said, I could easily believe that if the population of mankind had crashed in Eriador - at least relative to the amount of minted metal on hand - that a completely cash economy was feasible. I don't know as there's sufficient text to guess.. but I rather suspect the "rare-ish specie" model to be the case at least in the remains of old Arnor.

Of Minting
Minting doesn't need to be a huge operation: I mean, an SCA chapter did it! One of Bree's "stone houses" belonging to a silversmith who mints pennies from silver is believable I think, but I'm mostly inclined to think minting remains a prerogative of town government. It just seems to match the "English countryside" feel Tolkien was going for. Probably something similar to the old seigniorage system: some silversmith holds permission from (whatever passes for) the local sovereignty: you bring in an ounce or two of metal from whatever source, the smith exchanges it for coin- keeping some for his trouble, of course. Those coins then enter circulation. After some decades (or centuries) of wear and tear, someone melts them into something useful or pretty, their grandkid needs coin, repeat the process.

So I'm coming to talk myself into a penny of Breeland having some combination of the following on it:

    - name of moneyer/minter/silversmith who made the coin
    - date of minting
    - some symbol of Bree or larger Bree-land (I'm thinking either the Hill itself, or the windmill of Brill, the professor's inspiration for Bree)
    - some mark or name for the town muckety-muck who approved the silversmith's permission to do the minting. They "mayor" (or whatever) at time of minting.
    - perhaps a nominal value, if that's not obvious from size/composition
    - perhaps an animal, like the wren on British farthings - just to get the "English countryside" feel
    - probably NOT an Arnorian / Athedanian star or reference to the older kingdoms


thoughts?
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Kortoso » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:51 pm

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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Rysgil » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:34 pm

I used to have some SCA coins made of copper. They has a $1.00 value and were accepted by merchants.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Kortoso » Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:20 pm

This fellow makes custom coin dies that you may make thine own coinage:
http://alphaofficium.weebly.com/
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Will Whitfoot » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:11 pm

Greetings all!

Tom Maringer here, owner of Shire Post Mint. New here! I realize this thread is a couple years old.

I'd be happy to answer any questions about the coinage.

But first I want to address the silver penny topic that came us several times. This was the particular episode that led me to start making coins in the first place! The Hobbits arrive in Bree and are forced to spend the outrageous sum of twelve silver pennies to obtain Bill the Pony. This let me to medieval English silver pennies... shillings... and other coin related thoughts. We also know that the Hobbits of The Shire used coinage (pennies are mentioned). Clearly, Frodo is not carrying Breeland silver pennies as he travels from The Shire. What with the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains being but a day's ride northwest of The Shire, I think that Dwarfish crafts, tools, and equipment have found their way into The Shire. I have been making the Shire silver penny (or "shilling") for quite a number of years, so that there are now five distinct types.... along with numerous other denominations. I propose that the Dwarves brought a screw press to the Mayoralty in Michel Delving in SR-1402, shortly after Bilbo leaves The Shire. We could certainly do some Breeland silver pennies as well, though I would imagine they'd be made in Michel Delving since it's unlikely any smith in Breeland would have a press of sufficient size.

I heard some negative comments about the Elvish Hollin coins. I wanted to show that Elves are "different", they think differently than most of us. So their money, such as it is, would be different in a marked way. So I decided that their currency would never be round and would have various shapes, with the value determined by the metal of which it is made. The rising denominations being copper, silver, gold, mithril. There are some new ones for Imladris in the shape of a crescent moon. And others are planned

On the Daler of New Dale... yes the "fabric" of the coin is more modern. It is described as a fourth age piece, issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of DOS (Death Of Smaug). I feel that modern style collared coinage is appropriate for fourth age pieces. In the real world such work began to appear circa 1700. But for the other coinage, I'm continuing to work in medieval broadstriking style.

And we're planning more issues, including several more fourth age pieces that comemmorate historical events. But we can also step backward and do some older coinage, such as the Arnoran coinage of Argeleb II that would have circulated in The Shire before the Hobbits got their own mint.

Be well and let me know if you have any suggestions... always looking for new ideas. After all, Hobbits are friends to Rangers!

Will Whitfoot
(Tom Maringer)
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Elleth » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:48 am

Welcome! What a small world. :mrgreen:

As fate would have it, I ordered one of your other pieces this very day, and am hoping to add some more Shire pennies (shillings, as you say) to my purse in the near future.

I'm quite curious to see what your future plans are!

PS - you might also be interested in this thread - Hunting the castar

For what it's worth, I do think it's likely someone (or several someones) in the Breelands are also making coins, albeit perhaps on a smaller scale than in Michel Deving. It seems traffic in the late Third Age along the great road is not what it once was, and we know the Hobbits of the Shire and of Bree don't have much contact with each other in Frodo's day. And yet there's enough of a cash economy both Bill Ferny and Butterbur are completely familiar with pennies.

Hence I strongly suspect we're in a post-Roman Dark Agey kinda world, where coins of roughly similar weight / size / purity are trading across Eriador, but with no central issuer.

Certainly the death of Smaug, reopening of Erabor, and resurrection of Dale stood to shake things up though.
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby celegon » Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:58 am

Will Whitfoot wrote:Greetings all!

Tom Maringer here, owner of Shire Post Mint. New here! I realize this thread is a couple years old.

I'd be happy to answer any questions about the coinage.

But first I want to address the silver penny topic that came us several times. This was the particular episode that led me to start making coins in the first place! The Hobbits arrive in Bree and are forced to spend the outrageous sum of twelve silver pennies to obtain Bill the Pony. This let me to medieval English silver pennies... shillings... and other coin related thoughts. We also know that the Hobbits of The Shire used coinage (pennies are mentioned). Clearly, Frodo is not carrying Breeland silver pennies as he travels from The Shire. What with the Dwarves of the Blue Mountains being but a day's ride northwest of The Shire, I think that Dwarfish crafts, tools, and equipment have found their way into The Shire. I have been making the Shire silver penny (or "shilling") for quite a number of years, so that there are now five distinct types.... along with numerous other denominations. I propose that the Dwarves brought a screw press to the Mayoralty in Michel Delving in SR-1402, shortly after Bilbo leaves The Shire. We could certainly do some Breeland silver pennies as well, though I would imagine they'd be made in Michel Delving since it's unlikely any smith in Breeland would have a press of sufficient size.

I heard some negative comments about the Elvish Hollin coins. I wanted to show that Elves are "different", they think differently than most of us. So their money, such as it is, would be different in a marked way. So I decided that their currency would never be round and would have various shapes, with the value determined by the metal of which it is made. The rising denominations being copper, silver, gold, mithril. There are some new ones for Imladris in the shape of a crescent moon. And others are planned

On the Daler of New Dale... yes the "fabric" of the coin is more modern. It is described as a fourth age piece, issued to celebrate the 100th anniversary of DOS (Death Of Smaug). I feel that modern style collared coinage is appropriate for fourth age pieces. In the real world such work began to appear circa 1700. But for the other coinage, I'm continuing to work in medieval broadstriking style.

And we're planning more issues, including several more fourth age pieces that comemmorate historical events. But we can also step backward and do some older coinage, such as the Arnoran coinage of Argeleb II that would have circulated in The Shire before the Hobbits got their own mint.

Be well and let me know if you have any suggestions... always looking for new ideas. After all, Hobbits are friends to Rangers!

Will Whitfoot
(Tom Maringer)


wow I just looked at your site, those are some really beautiful coins. I hope to order some one day when I have some spare coin of my own lol :D
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Iodo » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:33 am

Welcome Will Whitfoot

I to only just looked at your website, for the first time, AMAZING work :P
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Re: Shire Post mint gets authorization

Postby Kortoso » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:15 pm

Welcome Will!
There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.

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