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An Seamroige/Luck O’ The Irish, 999. Copper Bulion Coin (The Making Of)

16th July 2011:

As mentioned in my last post, This will be the story of my very own pure copper bullion coin(An Seamroige) from conception to creation! with the final goal of selling them on eBay.

An Seamroige (The Shamrock) "Front"

An Seamroige (The Shamrock) "Back"

It all started a long long time ago………

The Background:

As I had mentioned in my last post the idea was to design and then have minted a pure copper bullion coin, My reasons were varied:

  1. I wanted to invest in copper but didn’t have the facilities to accommodate a ton or so.
  2. There were so few copper bullion coins on the market.
  3. Copper, like Gold & Silver was steadily rising in price.
  4. I thought it would be a great idea that I could sell on eBay.
  5. Once again, I was bored and needed something to keep my mind off plans to take over the world!
  6. I needed to annoy my girlfriend (she has had it easy for too long now) and since Westminster Council had a month earlier spoiled my surprise birthday gift to her (an Ostrich, it was really for me but this way I could always use the “but honey I got it for your birthday!” excuse if she ever tried to get rid of it) I felt obliged to torment her in some other way.

The Begining:

The date was the 2oth of march 2011 (nearly a year after the initial idea), before I got around to searching for a mint that would help me with my coin.

This is he email I sent out to those mints I could find on the Internet:

“Hi my name is Colin and I am contacting your regarding making a coin.
I want to make an investment coin e.g 1 troy ounce (31.1g) of pure .999 Fine Copper, I have
the Copper bullion to supply if need be and I have a few designs in mind but they
will need perfecting.
My idea is to have something similar to the Maple Leaf / American
Eagle coins, but made from fine Copper.
Depending on price I will be looking (originally) for 1000-2000 of these coins.
I want them between 38-42mm(TBC), edged, with a name(TBC),statement of
weight & purity, the year and then a design on the obverse/reverse
(TBC).
Are you able to assist me with this? if so, at what cost?

Regards

Colin”

Like I said in my email, I had a rough idea what I wanted but the term “they will need perfecting” was a bit of an understatement!

Most of these mints didn’t even bother their arse to reply! but then low and behold on the 22nd of March I got a reply from John at the PobJoy Mint, his email below (Please note the costs and prices have been removed, partly because I don’t want anyone knowing what they they cost me and partly because it would be unfair to John and his company as his prices may have increased since my dealings)

“Dear Colin,

 

Thank you for your recent e-mail.

 

Funnily enough yours is not the first enquiry about copper 1 oz coins to arrive with me in the last week so I have already done a little bit of research.

 

As I understand the situation, copper is normally sold in AV rather than Troy so 1 oz would weigh just over 28.3 grams rather than 31.103 but it’s not going to make too much difference to price.

 

Let’s assume however that we do go for something very simple on both sides, which I can computer engrave I would charge £— per side for part tooling subject to sight of artwork regardless of quantity of pieces to be produced.

 

To strike a copper BU piece with diameter of 38.60mm and weight of 1 AV oz for a quantity of 1,000 – 2,000 supplied in a single order our price would be –p per round (milled) with the rounds supplied in plastic tubes of 20. This price is subject to copper not exceeding £6,000 per ton.

 

I would need to order copper strip from which blanks would be made and delivery would most likely take about 60 days from placing of order. It would not be convenient to use your metal I’m afraid as the copper has to be produced in strip suitable for our blanking machinery.

 

Payment for part tooling and dies to be made upon placing of order and cost of striking (which includes metal) to be paid in full prior to delivery.

 

All prices exclude vat and carriage which are additional and charged at cost.

 

I hope that this is of interest and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

John Smith
General Manager”

I will say for this project though I had a rough idea of a budget of £3K (it didn’t cost me that though)

We exchanged a few emails and he answered all the questions I had, I explained to John that in keeping with the spirit of Gold & Silver bullion coins I wanted a Troy oz coin rather than an AV oz and that it needed to be pure (.999 purity is the bullion standard). He assured me that both were possible and also sent me a couple of pictures of his previous work, I was sold! I had now found my mint!

The Design:

I had decided to give John at the PobJoy Mint my business, I knew the design I wanted (I had a whole year prior to perfect it) but I found it hard to put into words. Luckily for me and John I was a bit of an amateur artist and so I sat down with pen and paper and produced the uniquely artistic master designs below (These truly are the original designs I sent to John):

An Seamroige The Original Design (Front)

An Seamroige The Original Design (Back)

As with all works of art you need to have the artists eye and since I was afraid that John might be lacking this and unable to interpret my masterpiece I included some clip art that I scavenged from the net (not as good as my drawings but they would have to do):

A Shamrock, or translated to Irish An Seamroige

The Fighting Irish

So this is all poor John had to work with.

Imagine my surprise when only a few days later John got back to me with the following designs:

Orignal Design (Front)

Orignal Design (Back)

Needless to say I was shocked, I was really, really impressed, It was full steam ahead! I asked John to send me the invoice for the making of the die so we could get started asap, but then disaster struck!!!!!! John asked me where had I got the images from? as we both didn’t want any copyright issues haunting us down the line! I explained I had harvested them from the net but wasn’t aware if they were copyrighted, a few hours later John was back with soul-destroying news! The Fighting Irish logo was copyrighted to an American football team (Notre Dame) and had to be scrapped!

I was devastated! all my hard work and artistic skills laid to waste!

I needed a new back for the coin but I was adamant I wanted a Leprechaun (In keeping with the lucky Irish theme) so I scoured the net and eventually came across this:

Free Clip Art

It was what I needed, a leprechaun, sitting on a shamrock (I didn’t need another shamrock) but I still wanted to make the design of the coin my own, so I sent it to John and asked him was it possible to replace the shamrock with an outline of Ireland.

Ireland Outline

“We’ll give it a go” said John, so off went the new designs to him, all I could do know was wait……………………….

………….But I didn’t have long to wait! within the week I had a surprise waiting in my inbox!

Finished Design (Back)

That was it! I was in love!! along with the addition of the year (2011) added to the front design, my coin was complete, On April 14th 2011 I signed off on the plans and paid for the die manufacture, John ordered the copper and the ball was rolling. All there was for me to do then was sit back and wait.

The Manufacture:

June 2nd 2011:

John had informed me it could take 60days from ordering the copper to him receiving it, so I was surprised today when he emailed me to say he had a sample in the post winging its way to me!

It arrived the next day, it was absolutely spanking!!! The coin was perfect in every way! better than I expected! The feeling of holding it in my hands was surreal, something that I have given birth to (I dont see why women complain so much), this was my baby!

I thanked John for his hard work and expertise and said proceed with full production.

On June 22nd 2011 I paid John for 2500 coins and on Monday 27th June 2011 I received them, perfect in every way 🙂

The Selling:

The next step was to start selling them, I bought plastic sleeves for the coins and on June 30th 2011 I listed them for the first time on eBay, Today (16 days later) I had to relist as I had sold the 100 I had listed 🙂

I hope this has been as much of an interesting journey for you, as it has been for me.

Now for the sales pitch!!!

Finished Product (Front)

Finished Product (Back)

You can buy your very own Lucky Irish Coin (in plastic sleeve) from eBay at An Seamroige or you can buy off me directly (Through PayPal) by emailing me at colinjmaloney@gmail.com

£3.49 per coin or £17.45 for 6 coins ( Thats 1 Free! )

Postage & Packing is free for the UK!

International Postage is £1.50 for 1st coin and £0.50 for each coin after.

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July 16, 2011 Posted by | Copper | 2 Comments

How To Make A Coin, 1 Troy Ounce Copper Lucky Clover (Seamair T-ádh)

06th April 2010
I have been absent from blogging for a while (I’ve been a busy beaver) so I have decided to come back with a bang and take on one of my biggest projects to date.
I will make (not personally) and design (personally) my own coin which I will then sell on eBay to those that are interested, before I get down to the details I will explain my reasons behind this endeavor and how it came to this conclusion, it all started a long long time ago……..(about 2 weeks ago).
I had recently started a new job which meant I had a little bit of extra cash floating about which I was unsure of what to do with (Serious! I normally have plenty of useless shit to squander my money on), So I started looking up about saving/investing my money, now a while back I dabbled in the stock market buying stocks and shares, It ended badly, every company I bought shares in collapsed or went into administration, it was like I had a God given gift to be able to personally destroy the economy just by buying stock in certain companies, 1 in particular went from £4.97 to 2p a share one week after me buying stock in it!!! I was gifted 🙂 .
So the stock market was a no no, and interest rates in savings accounts are utterly shite, that combined with my new found paranoia of the banking system ruled them out, what about a Government sponsored ISA I hear you cry!!! (for the un-initiated or those across the sea’s, the ISA is a British Government backed tax free savings account) The ISA did cross my mind but as you may or may not know I am Irish so therefore I have an inherent highly skeptical and suspicious attitude when it comes to the British Government, especially when they say they are apparently trying to help me! and more so when it involves money!
After much consideration and debate I decided that the ISA was yet another government scheme to control my finances and keep track of my comings and goings, therefore the ISA was knocked on the head!

Somewhere along the line of my paranoid ramblings on the Internet I came across a beautiful word, now I had heard of this word before but had never paid much attention to it, as generally when you hear it an automatic siren goes off in your head saying “Your Out Of Your League Here!” but I was soon to discover I wasn’t and this is just what I needed, That beautiful word was BULLION.

Yes you read correctly, I said Bullion! Gold, Silver, Platinum…..etc Bullion!

Bullion is a mass of metal(usually precious metals), when mined and/or refined these metals are cast into bars or ingots and are processed or sold on from there. Precious metals is what I was after so I started to research about buying bullion in the UK(its actually quite easy and depending on the metal, quite cheap).

The reason I decided bullion would be my investment has a lot to do with not only the state of the financial industry today but also to get back to the old way of life and have an emergency life line, let me explain.

Gold and Silver have been around since the beginning of recorded history(and long before then), they have been used to buy/barter goods and services since that time and will continue to do so indefinitely, if the entire world came to a halt tomorrow and all the governments crashed and burned how would you buy/pay for food, clothes, services..etc?? Cash would be worthless as its only worth the paper its written on, without a government to honor the cash you may as well wipe your arse with it as it is completely useless, Cash is only an I.O.U from the government! Before 1976 if you were to look at any  British note it used to say somewhere “I (the bank of England) PROMISE to pay the bearer on demand the sum of £ in Gold”, Now, I don’t know about you but that word “Promise” scares the poo out of my bum especially when its a bank/government doing the promising!!!! Ordinarily paper money was based on gold, the idea was you would put your gold in the bank and the bank would give you these promissory notes (Cash) to carry around and trade for goods and services (I’m sue it beat carrying around a kilo of gold in your pocket) and if you decided you wanted your gold back you just went into the bank with your note (cash) and got it back, simples! I decided to put this to the test last Thursday I went into HSBC with my fiver and demanded (as it used to say on the note) my equivalent gold back, after an hour of being ridiculed by staff and then the banks manager I spent a further 6hrs in Belgravia police station explaining that I was NOT in-fact mentally unstable but just wanted my gold that was promised by the Bank Of England on my £5 note, after much negotiation and the threat of spending Easter behind bars I gave up my quest to have the BOE honor its promise, Unless you like the idea of being pounced on by 6 armed police officers and being dragged out of you local bank I suggest you do not try this at home.

So bullion it is then, Bullion is something you can hold in your hands, something that has come from the earth, something that honest men did a hard days work to dig out, to extract, to refine and to make not just a printing machine printing paper! Bullion is something you can hold, you can feel the energy from it, its your wealth in your hand and you control it. Banks can always print more money but once all the precious metals are dug up they’re gone! there wont be any more to make. I suggest you get some while you still can.

What I then decided to do was put 20% of my salary each month into precious metals and to diversify as much as possible i.e Gold, Platinum, Silver, Palladium, Copper, Brass, Aluminum etc.. 20% of my salary is not a lot of money (its a lot to me but not a lot when it come to precious metals) so I decided that Silver and Copper would be my main investment and the the odd bit of gold and platinum here and there, the reason being is that gold is very expensive (nearly £800 an oz) and platinum is almost twice as much where Silver is cheaper (£20 oz) and Copper cheaper still, my reckoning is soon Copper and Silver will go through the roof so I am stock piling now, even if it doesn’t hit the roof supplies will eventually run low and price will rise.

Before we get to the where and what to buy I want to give you the heads up about spot pricing, Spot pricing is the current market value of the precious metal that you would see on sites like Kitco or the like, this will not be the price you pay you will pay this plus a percentage as this is for huge amounts of raw material and to get to the finished product theres fees, middle men, agents etc… E.G at the time of writing this Gold is at a spot price of £740.52 per 1 Troy Ounce (31.1grams) but to buy it from a dealer it would cost you £767.87 per ozt, and the price gets higher per gram the smaller the gold you buy, likewise with the other metals but to make matters worse, if or when you sell it the dealer will pay you a price below the current spot price so if you bought the oz for £767 and decided to sell it back to the dealer an hour later he would probably offer you only £720 for it, if even that. So remember when your buying it you should plan to hold on to it for a while but trust me once you hold a pure bullion bar or coin in your hand you will not easily give it up, it is a refreshing, electrifying feeling, it elevates you to the realms of the gods……

***UPDATE*** The date is 16th July 2011, I wrote the above post over a year ago and a lot of things have changed (Gold, Silver & Copper has increased in price) but i finally got around to designing my coin and it is actually selling on ebay as we speak (An Seamroige).

I will be writing a full blog over the next few weeks about the whole process from design to production so stay tuned.

July 16, 2011 Posted by | Copper | 1 Comment