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Electro-Chemical Etching and a hydraulic press for this coin, the coins I am doing that are retro I hammer them. This is only my second coin, my first is this one:




I am working on my first hand etched die but that will take some time :)


This coin is a merger of two 13th century German bracteate designs. The obverse being a bracteate of Duke of Bavarian Swabia Koradin minted in Schongau and the reverse represents a slightly earlier design produced by Princes Abby of Lindau showing a lime tree with seven leaves and 16 blooms, the lime tree being the Stadtwappen of the town of Lindau.

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I would part with a few examples gratis + shipping...these are all in pewter (about the size of a nickel but thinner). Pewter is all I have at the moment but I have some copper coming in very soon. If you can wait I'll send you the Hard Times Token in copper as that is what I wanted to mint it in. I wanted to mint a few examples just to see how they looked.


I would like to mint the other in silver but that's not cheap.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, I got a couple in copper. Its a bit harder process as copper is harder to work with, harder to cut blanks, harder to impress and needs to be annealed. I think I annealed these too hot which caused the metal to be a bit spotty and it scaled alot. Oh, and aligning the dies is hard, might get it right 1 out of 10 but I am fine with that to be honest. As long as I get the detail on the blank.







Pewter Hard Times 1/2 cent tokens



Edited by Drusus
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  • 2 weeks later...

Very cool and high quality. Even better, the difficulties you encounter with striking copper are very much those we see in early minted copper coins --the quirks are familiar. You could easily create a micro-market for your pewter and copper tokens, selling them for enough to cover your expenses and more.

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Thanks. The copper is a problem I am still working through as it is harder to get an impression on. I can get only a ghost image when its NOT annealed, once annealed I get a bit better image but the copper is spotty (not just scaling) and not even in tone after annealing. Its trial and error because I get so many different views on the best way to do it, a lot of it conflicting. The problem is either in the quenching or the heating but I just can't be sure at the moment.


What I am doing with the ones I have minted (save the few I am keeping and gave to people I know) is leaving them around town to be found on counters, in my kids school, at the YMCA, in restaurants and stores, etc...I dropped a handful of errors (not just a bit off center) in a field close to where I live. :) These coins are worth a lot if I were to price them in regards to the money I have spent through the years trying to get to the point where I am minting decent coins. I am going to try another run of coppers in a few weeks using a 20 ton press, see if I cant get a better impression. THEN I will be dropping copper coins that I far tougher than pewter and look a lot like a penny...leave it on a counter and someone might pick it up...On the counter because few people will bend over to pick up a penny these days. :)

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I'm with Frank on that one. Leaving them for folks to find is a really neat way of planting interest in the hobby.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi again,


been absent for a bit as I was moving to a new home. I have also been, when I find the time, experimenting. This time I got my hands on some Bronze and with more pressure I was able to get some good impressions.


The type of metal really makes the difference.


Here is my best example in bronze:








My previous press had a catestrophic failure that sent my dies flying at warp speed to lodge into the wall and the coin I was minting like a blade stuck in a door frame. The dies clashed and bent. So this is the only die I have right now. I have a new press (with a guage...imagine that) so its time to remake the hardtimes token and a few other die ideas. I just cant get a good impression on the bronze and copper with a hammer.




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Very nicely done. I don't know where you are getting your copper or bronze from. Have you checked out checked out this place http://store.metalliferous.com/departments.asp?dept=3186

They have the assorted metals in disc's so you might not have to cut them out.

And yes to annealing the materials, there are as many ideas, not all are useable with all metals. with copper, silvers fine or sterling heat to a dull red, quench in cool water as the redness disappears.

For bronze heat to a medium red, quench as soon as the redness disappears.

Brass you air cool only!

You have to change the water to keep the temp of the water down.

As for the scaling, you want to use a pickle to remove, Use a old crock pot, since the pickle works better when warm. You want Sodium bisulfate which is either sparex #2 or you can get it at any place that has swimming pool chemicals. It is what is used for Ph plus or to raise the waters ph. Do not use anything that contains ferrous materials in it, as a stainer basket, tongs etc. since it can cause flash plating with copper of the next items put in it.


I can recommend The complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight, but get the pro edition it will save you from get all three editions as you find the info very helpful.


Also check your local library for Oppi Untracht Jewelry Concepts and Technology the wiki of metal working before the internet, I say check the library as new or used they are in high demand and aren't cheap.

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