Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook  
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Maris-34dh over Maris-62.5 obverse.
Gallery Mint Museum Box706 EurekaSprings AR 72632 
OrderDesk:(888)558-MINT(6468)     Questions:(479)253-5055 
Website:www.gallerymint.com    EMail:GalleryMintMuseum

I absolutely LOVE your idea of creating this scrapbook.
This is a great way of answering questions that come up a lot. 
Ron Landis ...Sun, 30 Jul 2000 11:59:06
Maris-F over Maris-r reverse.
2002
ScrapBook Subjects
Page
Index
Links
Link: A GMM Deerhead Tracked To Its Lair
Link: Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
Link: [ This USA Bar REALLY Appeals To Me ]
Link: Craig Scholley's 1996 Peace Dollar Gift
Link: [ www.SmallDollars.com ]
Link: Wrong Color... but they sure are pretty!
Link: [ It's Always Something! ]
Link: Ron Landis "Favorites" Icon Created
Link: [ Traveling Companions ]
Link: An Imaginative Brockage
Link: [ Squaw Lake Bear Hunter ]
Link: Our First Glimpse Of The Horseman
Link: [ The Blue & The Gray ]
Enlargement scans available on WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM. 
12/31

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  • A GMM Deerhead Tracked To Its Lair
       I bought a GMM Deerhead at the second Annual C4 Convention on Oct. 12, 1996 in conjunction with the C4 sale called "The Scott Barnes Sale." As I recall Dennis Wierzba had a list of 10 GMM oddities. They were sold (i.e. auctioned) for the benefit of the club. The story about the deerhead was that it had missed hardening, such that it failed quickly in use. I don't know how many were made. Very few I think. Buell Ish...Saturday, November 23, 2002 12:10PM Maris 34 DeerHead Obverse Die
       How interesting! There was a Fall 1996 C4 Auction of really unusual GMM New Jersey creations in addition to the Spring 1996 NJNS Auction. The Deerhead specimen shown above is Lot#H from the C4 auction. The Deerhead (34dh) die is most readily identifiable by the fancy design just below the horse head (closeup here on the right.)
       Buell actually laid his hands on a six year old single sheet of paper. Way to go Buell! The full list of C4 lots sold is shown below. I understand all the references except the LargeDate Maris8 reference. I know that there are two 1786 obverse dies; 1) used with the NJNS reverse die and 2) used with the GMM Maris8F regular issue reproductions. The horse heads are distinctly different on those two 1786 dies but the size of the dates doesn't seem all that different to my eye. The description of Lot#1 from the spring NJNS 1996 auction also mentions the LargeDate die: LOT#1: In pencil on flip insert by Ron Landis "MY 1ST DIE LARGE DATE LARGE "A"". In ink on flip insert by Dennis Wierzba "MAY BE UNIQUE LANDIS WAS NOT SATISFIED". Date thicker and less regular, particularly the "1", than the final issued replicas. The thicker "A"s give a richer appearance. Well centered. Guess there are a few things left for me to learn... surprise! SURPRISE!! ;-)
       Here are a few measurements on my GMM Deerhead specimen: 147.7grains dry, 131.2grains wet in distilled water. Specific gravity: 8.952. Diameter: 31.86mm (largest 4:30-10:30 axis relative to obv.) x 31.33mm (smallest 2:00-8:00 axis.) The coin is rounder than I anticipated given how it is double struck off-center. It is a bit cupped (obverse convex.) Buell Ish...Monday, December 02, 2002 1:35PM
       Thanks to Buell we now know that there were two auctions of GMM NewJersey recreations in 1996; 1) 4/15/96 NJNS seven lots and 2) 10/12/96 C4 ten lots. The trouble is that I was primarily interested in tracking Lot#7 from NJNS but now we not only need information on that lot but on a number of the C4 lots... particularly Lot#B "Small 62.5 over large 62.5.", Lot#G "Large Date/Small Date 8 Obv." and Lot#I "Deerhead over 8F." Finding Lot#1 from NJNS has also moved up in priority in order to learn about the LargeDate Maris8F die.
       Is there anybody out there who can tell us anything about the remaining sixteen lots that we haven't located yet? Any help, memories, whatever... would be GREATLY appreciated. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    Maris 8 Obverse Die8 Maris 62.5 Wrong Sized Obverse Die62.5ws Maris 34 DeerHead Obverse Die34dh Maris 62.5 Obverse Die62.5
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    Maris 51 Obverse Die51
    Maris F Reverse DieF Maris r Reverse Dier
    Since the other GMM New Jersey dies are posted above I am including these two for the sake of completeness.




    Maris g Reverse Dieg

    The Maris Plates (excerpt from SBpage32)
       Link:The Coins of Colonial and Early America, A Project of the Robert H. Gore, Jr. Numismatic Endowment University of Notre Dame, Department of Special Collections, by Louis Jordan. The level of information to be found there quite simply boggles this old man's poor tired brain. With-in that extensive website I found Link:New Jersey Coppers 1786-1790 and there I found Link:New Jersey Die Charts which gives you links to a circa 1940 photograph of the Stephen K. Nagy plate of electrotypes of NJ specimens on large zinc sheets. This plate is known today as the Maris plate because it was used to illustrate Maris's New Jersey book which, while certainly available from a multitude of sources, I found offered here: Link:Coins of New Jersey by E. Maris.
       Some of the individual electrotypes in those four photographs are extremely dark so I dropped the scans into my graphics editor and, if you are reading this from a Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook CD-ROM, you can use the following links to view the modified Link:Upper Left, Link:Upper Right, Link:Lower Left and Link:Lower Right quadrant scans ...or... the following links to view the original Notre Dame Link:UL, Link:UR, Link:LL and Link:LR quadrant scans from the CD-ROM.
       For your convenience here are links to view the WWW original Notre Dame Link:UL, Link:UR, Link:LL and Link:LR quadrant scans but be patient because they are HUGE files.

Deerhead / NewJerseyCent SBsubjects
Link:New Jersey Maris8F NJNS 1996 Auction
Link:Captured in Wax
Link:Nagy, Maris, NJNS Lot#7 And The Real GMM Deerhead
Link:A GMM Deerhead Tracked To Its Lair
Link:Landis Sample Featured In Coin World
Link:Once Upon A Time In Coin World

12/19
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"TURTLE HILL BANJO CO."
1996 Landis Carving #135
  • Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
    Click to visit www.TurtlehillBanjo.com    Regarding the "Turtle Hill Banjo Co." nickel: as you know that's the name of my business. I have a very specialized shop, with probably the largest inventory of banjos in the country. Ron and Joe have been here, and we've played music on a number of occasions. I teach the course on US tokens at the ANA Summer Seminar, and we usually play for the students there.
       This nickel carving came as a surprise. Shortly after I wrote an article on Ron and the Gallery Mint, it arrived in the mail as a gift from Ron. I had no idea he was doing it. David E. Schenkman...Thursday, December 19, 2002 5:52PM
    Link:Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
       Somebody famous (or was that infamous?) once observed that Ron uses the entire canvas provided by the nickel when he creates a carving. This Turtle Banjo Player carving certainly is a case in point. Thank you Dave for sharing your three Landis carvings with all us Landis fans.
       I have replaced the illustration of Ron's "The High Lonesome Road" nickel carving, in our previous SBsubject entitled Link:The Answer, Simply, Is Tradition, with a wonderful new scan provided by Dave. Be certain to go "back" and enjoy this additional example of Ron's genius. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

    Click to visit the Turtle Hill Banjo Website Dave's Banjo Nickel Carvings
    Link:Treasures From The Past
    Link:The Answer, Simply, Is Tradition
    Link:Turtle Hill Banjo Co.
    Link:A Steve Adams Creation
    Link:Banjos Galore
    Link:Send In The Reinforcements!
    Link:Quite Simply Over The Top!
    Click to visit the Turtle Hill Banjo Website
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A Ron Guth photograph.
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Bar "Cent" Struck Over 1780 India Half Anna
30-32mm (irregular) - 12.8g (197.5 grains)
This USA Bar REALLY Appeals To Me
   This piece was struck over an AH1195 (1780) Copper 1/2 Anna from India (a Prinsep coin issued during the Bengal Presidency.) A positive attribution is possible because enough details of the host coin remain visible. The dies are nearly identical to those used to strike known Bar Cents. Either this is a new, separate die variety or an exceptionally well-made counterfeit. Sources and/or recommended reading: "Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia Of U.S. And Colonial Coins" by Walter Breen. - Link:www.CoinFacts.com's Link:Bar "Cent"
   R.S.Yoeman tells us; The Bar "Copper" is believed to have first circulated in New York during November, 1785, and may have been made in England.
   I know I have gone astray from the main theme of our ScrapBook more on this page than on any other to date... please forgive me. I find many things interesting in addition to the creations from the Gallery Mint Museum and this neat Bar Cent is so similar in many ways to the best of the creations TheGuys produce. Just think... people were striking unusual specimens like this over two hundred years ago.
   I am absolutely astounded and overwhelmed by the fantastic reference material Ron Guth is posting on his Link:www.CoinFacts.com website. Check out the links to his actual "web" of pages provided for you at Link:Colonial Coins. There are too many to tell you about here but I sure do like the specimen headlined on Link:Vermont Copper Coins. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
12/15
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  • Craig Scholley's 1996 Peace Dollar Gift
       eBay item 3300234349 (Ends Dec-21-02 13:10:02PST) - RARE Gallery Mint 1996 'PEACE' Dollar. This is of one of the rarest of the Gallery Mint creations, the 1996 dated "PEACE" dollar! The Gallery Mint created this special presentation issue utilizing dies that did not meet their standards for use on the 1796 Draped Bust Dollar reproductions.
       This modified obverse shows only twelve stars, the word "LIBERTY" was replaced with "PEACE", and date was stamped 1996 instead of 1796! In place of "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA", the reverse lettering reads "UNITED STATE OF MERRIMENT" and the olive branches on the left were replaced with holly.
       These were struck on the same planchets prepared for their uncirculated 1796 Dollar reproductions, with the lettered edge reading "HUNDRED CENTS ONE DOLLAR OR UNIT". All examples were counterstamped with the "COPY" on the reverse and were struck as business strikes, (uncirculated, not proof).
       The mintage was limited to only 85 pieces and were presented to a select group of GMM patrons, making this one of the rarest and most difficult "Type Coins" to find of all the Gallery Mint creations! >>>>>NONE WERE SOLD!!!<<<<<
       Both pieces in my collection, this one and another, show the same "rolling marks" on both sides. Those are the diagonal lines that show up so well in the photo of the obverse, but are fairly unnoticeable on the coin. Clifford Bolling...Saturday, Dec-14-02 13:10:02PST

       This has been a fantastic GMM week! First a 1-of-61 14star dollar specimen and now a 1-of-85 peace 'dollar' specimen. WOW! I was a serious competitor for the 14star... and the eventual high bidder ...but I already have one of these peace 'dollar' specimens so I won't be in your face bidding against you. Here is your chance to bid on this current offering. Just use this shortcut Link:RARE Gallery Mint 1996 'PEACE' Dollar! By the way, this is a SUPER provenance specimen because Cliff bought it directly from Craig Scholley. Craig was the original recipient of this gift directly from Ron Landis. GOOD LUCK! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       Postscript: I showed all y'all the full text of the holiday greetings, that Ron Landis sent out to the folks who got one of these exceptional gifts, on our VERY FIRST ScrapBook webpage in a SBsubject entitled: Link:1996 Holiday PEACE Medal.
Click to visit www.SmallDollars.com www.SmallDollars.com Click to visit www.SmallDollars.com
   Our good friend and serious numismatic student Mike Wallace has moved his Link:United States Small Size Dollar Coins and Related Items website. Mike's numismatic interests are every bit as eclectic as the ol' FatMan's... so it is my opinion that you will consider it time well spent, and that you will definitely enjoy yourselves, reading Mike's various posted subjects.
   Mike gave us scans of his two Felix Schlag autographs, as well as his commentary on them, because he is dropping them from his website. I've posted them with Link:The Jefferson Full Step Nickel Club SBsubject since that is where I originally had a link to them on Mike's old website. Enjoy! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
12/12
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1796 "14 Star" PROOF Dollar - Strike #12
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1796 "16 Star" BU Quarter
  • Wrong Color... but they sure are pretty!
       I don't know how Bert (Skeetxcoins) took these colored coin scans. While they do not accurately reflect the actual specimens... they certainly catch a person's attention. I fiddled with both of the above scans, in an attempt to bring them back to a more normal color, and have posted them below with Bert's descriptive text.
       Both of these specimens are actual production errors (NOT pi鑓es de caprice) since they both have the wrong number of stars. They are distinctly different in one one regard however... the dollar is RARE (61 struck) while the quarter is COMMON (1,298 struck.) Regardless... both are fantastic Ron Landis creations. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       Postscript: Bert was so kind as to send me a copy of the letter that Ron Landis sent out after the "14 star" dollar error was discovered. I am providing it here for the record:
    DEAR GALLERY MINT PATRON
       We recently sent you the 1796 Dollar Proof reproduction(s). We appreciate your patience in waiting for this, the second piece of your pre-paid 1796 proof set.
       The original dollars of 1796 had 15 stars on all varieties. After months of engraving and set backs and our endless efforts for accuracy, I still goofed up and punched only 14 stars into the first proof die. Only 61 pieces of this variety were struck and sent before we were made aware of the error. This die has now been canceled and the 14 star version can no longer be purchased. A new die has been made and we are back in production.
       Our records indicate that you were sent one of these rare varieties. If you wish to return the piece(s) to be replaced with the more accurate 15 star variety please feel free to do so. You will be given a $3.00 credit towards your next purchase to cover your cost of returning the error via insured mail.
       You will be receiving the December 1996 issue of the Gallery Mint Report soon. More details covered in this newsletter will better explain all the setbacks that caused the delays in shipping this piece to you. Please accept our apologies again for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Our best wishes for the holiday season!
    Sincerely, Ron Landis, Chief Engraver

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       Here's a copy of the 1796 small eagle reverse draped bust silver dollar produced by the Gallery Mint originally as part of their 1796 Proof set. This coin was the first proof 1796 dollar minted, the obverse die has 7x7 stars for a total of 14. this error was discovered after about 60 coins had been shipped. some may have been returned, but most likely nearly all of these survive. This coin is a fantastic deep mirror proof, and like all Gallery Mint copies, is struck from hand-engraved dies, and has the authentic legends on the rim, 'hundred cents one dollar or unit' with ornamentation. Reverse is small letters style, copy stamp on reverse below eagle. Skeetxcoins...Thursday, Dec-05-02 09:13:20PST
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       Here's a copy of the 1796 small eagle reverse draped bust quarter dollar produced by the Gallery Mint originally as part of their 1796 mint set. This coin was the first 1796 quarter minted, the obverse die has 9x7 stars for a total of 16. Original 1796 quarters have 15 stars, and so do all later copies from the Gallery Mint. This coin is a gem BU, and like all Gallery Mint copies, is struck from hand-engraved dies. Reeded edge, copy stamp on reverse below eagle. Skeetxcoins...Thursday, Dec-05-02 09:21:57PST
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It's Always Something!
   eBay item 805572436 (Ends Dec-17-02 18:23:01PST) - 1857 SS Central America Silver & Gold Treasure. Here's a neat piece of history!! This 1/4 ounce silver medallion has an actual gold piece from the shipwreck of the SS Central America in 1857. This medallion is PROOF-LIKE in condition and sealed in a global certification case which gives interesting information about history as well as artwork of this ill-fated ship. The SS Central America was one of the LARGEST underwater treasuries discovered and this is a unique way to capture a piece of that history without paying thousands of dollars as many of the relics from that ill fated ship. recondo62@hotmail.com...Thursday, Dec-12-02 18:23:01PST
   This creation isn't my cup of tea but it struck my interest simply because it is ANOTHER promotion related to the "Ship Of Gold." I just wanted to show it to all y'all for grins. Who knows... perhaps it is precisely YOUR CUP OF TEA! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
12/11
  • Ron Landis "Favorites" Icon Created
       Now when anyone bookmarks any of our Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook webpages they should see this cool icon I cobbled together today... at least that is the way it is supposed to work! Please let me know if things don't work for you as expected. I have no clue if the Netscape browser can use this favorites icon but my Microsoft Internet Explorer browser sure does! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

Black Diamond ... before and after!
Traveling Companions
   Did you recognize "BLACKIE" (L-81)? I have been told my lying down like this is not polite, but I have been standing for longer than I care to remember. For 25 years, they have had me standing in Philadelphia, standing in Denver, and even standing in San Francisco. You don't know how many times I have wanted to get off my feet, even for just a couple of minutes. The raised ground wasn't that bad, but it didn't last that long. Then we got flat ground and all I can say is "God Bless Monticello". Right now I would like to go home with someone who likes Buffalo and understands the need for a "Take Five" once in a while. Just remember, you will look a long time to find another beautiful 1937 host nickel with a "Double Full Horn". Cliff Kraft...Tuesday, Dec-03-02 17:56:57PST
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   Quite sometime back I asked Cliff to carve me a Dahl Sheep on a nickel. When "Black Diamond" arrived I found he had a traveling companion... the SUPER Dahl Sheep carving shown below. At first I thought the horn tip peaking over his nose was awkward but then Cliff sent me the picture he worked from and... I should have known ...he got it just right! He also included the two sheep scans shown here on the left and right. I just couldn't let them go to waste... they are definitely COOL! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
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12/7
  • An Imaginative Brockage
       eBay item 804820470 (Ends Dec-15-02 13:40:07PST ) - Gallery Mint 1793 Large Cent/Hobo Token ERROR. This is a Gallery Mint Museum COPY of a 1793 Liberty Cap Large Cent (reference Sheldon 13), which is also a FANTASTIC error coin. Before the piece was struck, a 1997 Gallery Mint Hobo Token was centered on the unstruck planchet. Then the piece was struck, producing a Gorgeous Mated Brockage strike on both the Large Cent and the Hobo Token. As with all Gallery Mint products, the Large Cent is struck on a planchet of the original specifications (Pure Copper), and the Hobo Token was overstruck on a Jefferson Nickel, using the same technology as that available to the early U.S. Mint (i.e., on a Screw Press). Gorgeous Red (and White) Uncirculated! Mark Honea...Thursday, Dec-05-02 13:40:07PST
       I find this a particularly pretty pi鑓e de caprice because of the combination of nickel and copper. Additionally it makes dramatic use of the obverse (Indian) from a GMM Hobo Token modeled after one of my favorite numismatic pieces... the Buffalo Nickel. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
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Master Hunter Award!
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Loren
Squaw Lake Bear Hunter
   This is "LOREN" (L-80) who doesn't look it, but is one of the nicest, easiest going bears I know. He is from B.C., but works as a pepper spray tester in Alberta. Not the greatest job, but it has its good points, I just can't think of any right now. "LOREN," who collects used aerosol cans, will sit for hours after work with tears running down his cheeks and tell you what a great day he had. He did apply for a job in a breakfast food commercial, (dragging a tent away from a camp site,) but didn't get the part. They wouldn't tell him why, but we believe it was because of the big hairless spot on his behind from when he tried out for the Nair hair removal commercial, which he didn't get either. His life's ambition has been to play football for the Chicago Bears. I had to tell him that it would never happen. He just wasn't good enough. He has his own helmet and is just waiting for someone, anyone, to send him in. If you know anyone who will give a good, but not great, football player a tryout, please let us know. Our hand carved ball player is hosted on a 1936 AU Buffalo Nickel, and fills it rather well. Clifford L. Kraft...Tuesday, Nov-19-02 18:14:31PST
   I have lost count of how many Squaw Lake bears I have captured alive... I am definitely a proponent of catch and release. While bear hunting one must keep in mind that it is a fine line between whether the hunter is hunting the bear or the bear is hunting the hunter. Acquiring legal Kansa Territory import licenses for all these bears has been no small task. In fact, I'm starting to worry that the Parks and Wildlife folks will be inspecting my property to ascertain whether or not I am providing adequate facilities for all my charges. Keep the Critter Carvings coming Cliff!
   By the way... Cliff Kraft has been carving some commission carvings as of late and he is really good at it. Below is a two stage progress scan of a neat Corgi memorial carving and a carving for a birthday boy on a really sharp 1992D Jefferson Nickel from a Mint Set. Wish I had received such COOL birthday gifts when I was ten years old... no such luck! I always got things like a plastic comb or ruler that were handed out free by the downtown Emporia merchants as advertisments. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
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Ross' Rex
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"Birthday Present"
11/30
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1850 Genuine $10
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2002 "Ship of Gold" Commemorative $10
  • Our First Glimpse Of The Horseman
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM    Monaco Financial ran a two page spread in the November 25, 2002 issue of Coin World telling us about the Forty-Niner Horseman Ship of Gold Commemorative issue. I immediately went to the WorldWideWeb and found their website: Link:Monaco Financial but they didn't have anything posted yet about Ron's Horseman dies or the specimens struck, from gold recovered from the S.S. Central America, by the Royal Canadian Mint. I did discover that their firm is an official ingot dealer for ingots from the S.S. Central America and I thought the logo, shown here on the right, was pretty neat.
       When I EMailed the folks at Monaco I got an immediate response from Mr. Adam Crum and he was so kind as to attach four different views of their commemorative specimen... the two shown above on the right and these two views (available only on the ScrapBook CD-ROM): Link:Obverse and Link:Reverse.
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       We have discussed these Baldwin & Company 1850 TEN DOLLARS - Horseman Type recreations previously on October 19th in SBsubject Link:Keep Your Eyes Open!. Michael Bozynski was so kind as to send me a copy of the Coin World article so that we could keep current on this interesting Landis creation.
       One brand-new piece of information gleaned from all this activity is that Ron created his obverse die with an 1857 over the 1850 original date. This is not only new information to me but it is also very COOL in my opinion. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       Postscript: I found this reference to an interesting American Plantation token that evokes for me the general feel of the 1850 Horseman... Link:American Plantation Tokens. There were restrikes of this 1688 token done in 1828, from the original 140 year old dies, so there could easily have been specimens around to influence the engraver of the 1850 Horseman... stranger things have happened for sure.
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    WWW-Link:Monaco Financial
      WWW-Link:Ship Of Gold - Historical Relics, An Epic Story and Own a Treasure  
    WWW-Link:Ship of Gold - Journey Through History
    SB-Link:Keep Your Eyes Open!
    SB-Link:Our First Glimpse Of The Horseman
    SB-Link:Still Watching For The Horseman
    SB-Link:Presented by Monaco Financial, LLC
    SB-Link:A horse is a horse, of course, of course
    SB-Link:Brother... Can You Spare A Fifty?
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The Shire Mint
The Blue & The Gray
   Here's a picture of my original blue press, next to my newest aquisition (and current workhorse striking machine) a gray 50 ton Zeh and Hahnemann. Its got a 3horsepower/3phase motor and one of those horizontal transfer shaft arrangements. Will Whitfoot...Thursday, November 21, 2002 1:00PM
   Tom Maringer, AKA Will Whitfoot, is the creater of a great website entitled: Link:Shire Post. The Shire is the mythical country of peaceful agrarian little-people that Professor Tolkien created in his literary masterpieces. Tom is a most imaginative and energetic fellow who is busy establishing another private mint in Arkansas. He has created both postage stamps and coinage based on the fantasy world of J.R.R.Tolkien. For those of us interested in private mints you can see many of Tom's neat creations here: Link:Shire Coinage. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
   I think my iron coins are the really unique things being created here at The Shire Mint. The high purity (.999 fine) iron is the key ingredient of course, and I finally found out the manufacturer is Thyssen Steel in Germany. The pure iron is actually a very interesting material to coin, as it is astonishingly soft and work hardens very very slowly. Where copper stops moving after a couple or three hits, the iron just keeps going and going. It strikes UP very well, the caliper thickness of the Eye of Sauron coin is almost TWICE the thickness of the blank. And of course, it takes a very nice blue-black color chemically. Will Whitfoot...Thursday, November 21, 2002 1:00PM

The Eye of Sauron, Pure Iron coin.
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  • Featuring the EYE of Sauron on Obverse
  • Pure .999 iron (NOT steel)
  • 6.0 grams
  • The fiery mountain of Orodruin on reverse
  • Inscribed in archaic Angerthas Runes
  • Udun Mint
  • Denomination: One Tooth
   
   This coin was minted about the year 2985 of the Third Age after the goblins and wargs (large wolves) had formed an alliance. Before that time orcs and goblins used the canine teeth of wolves and wargs as small denomination money. But the high council of the wargs complained to the Nazgul about the fact that wargs were still being killed for their teeth. Therefore Sauron authorized the minting of these coins to take the place of the wargs teeth in circulation. The Iron Crowns that had circulated among orcs since the days of Morgoth were becoming scarce... and the value of these "teeth" were set at 1/10 the value of the iron crown. It is an interesting fact that in the black speech of orcs the word "tooth" also means "tenth" or "tithe" in the context of the orkish practice of raiding villages to extract all but 1/10 of the goods from the populace... leaving them just barely enough to survive, and therefore be available to raid again later. The inscriptions are in the archaic Angerthas runic form. On the obverse above the eye it says "OBEY" while below is the inscription "MORDOR". There is NO significance whatever to the entirely coincidental fact that the phonetic transcription of "Obey" into Runic closely resembles "NRA" in Roman letters. The reverse inscription names the mountain "ORODRUIN" and a sharp-eyed observer may note the pyroclastic flow running down the mountainside, and the door of Sammath Naur on the face of the mountain. The coin has a darkened finish that varies from blue-black to gray-black to brown-black and sometimes even a purplish-black.

The Iron Crown Of Morgoth, Pure Iron coin.
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
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  • 1 1/8 inch diameter
  • 13.5 grams
  • From the First Age of Middle Earth
  • Pure metallurgical grade iron
  • black finish
   
   Not a Shire issue, but an ancient coin from the reign of Morgoth in Angmar some 5000 years ago. Generally referred to as an "Orkie" in Hobbit lingo, they are fairly common in The Shire and surrounding districts and are seen in a large number of designs, but are generally found in very rusted condition. This group seems to be of one of the earliest varieties, and was found sealed in a clay jar with oil, and are in astonishingly fine condition given their extreme age. Inscribed in primitivistic Angerthas runes. (See appendices of Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" for Angerthas syllabic value table.) The iron crown of Melkor shown on obverse with the three Silmarils, and the dragon (thought to represent Ancalagon the Black) spouting flame on reverse above the battlements of Thangorodrim. (Note, this is an image of Ancalagon as a young dragon, only partly grown.) These coins were issued by Melkor as a medium of exchange for his slaves and minions, for purposes of gambling, purchases of weapons, and rot-gut liquor.
   Clearly Tom, in addition to working hard, is having a wonderful time with his Tolkien Network website. You can access Tom's many imaginative creations, including his pure iron coins as shown above, by going to Link:Shire Post Online Store. Tom's pure iron coins are listed under "Oddball Coins" for some reason... they don't seem "odd" to me but "artistic license" and all that! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
12/19/2002 ... Ron Landis is in the hospital!   Please consider sending him you best wishes!
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