Re: [CentralTexasGeocachers] 1700 Finds milestone, 200 hides milestone and....
-Balde Runner (Dave)On Tue, Oct 23, 2012 at 3:29 PM, ROOKEEZ <cheesehead31aok@...> wrote:
Well I just logged my 1700th find the other day (10-21-12) and saw I now have over 200 hides too. I also read the paper on 10-21-12 and saw a geocaching story in the paper about ME! whooooppppeee!
Saint Joseph News Press 10/21/2012, Page E001
Cashing in on geocaching
Geocoins becoming an art and an investment
By SYLVIA ANDERSON
St. Joseph News-Press
Technology has produced a growing hobby for collectors that one St. Joseph man hopes to "cache" in on.
Steve Allen is a building inspector for the city of St. Joseph; but in cyberspace and in geocaching circles, he is known as Mo Pirate. He has become a major promoter in this area of his hobby geocaching, which is a worldwide game of searching for hidden treasures using a GPS device. And this month he became an award-winning geocoin designer at the United States Geocoin Fest in Colorado.
"They tweaked it a little from my original," Mr. Allen says.
Geocoins, for the geocaching novice, are trackable coins created by geocachers to commemorate special events or as a signature item to leave in geocaches. They usually
have a number on them which allows them to be followed.
For the annual Geocoin Fest held Oct. 5 to 7 in Denver, more than 1,200 people attended, some coming from as far as Australia.
Mr. Allen came up with a three-dimensional coin that looks like a pan for finding gold. Inside the pan are what looks like small pieces of gold nugget with blue water on the bottom. Then around the edge of the pan it says, "I struck it rich! Geocoinsfest 2012 Colorado." He made limited numbers of geocoins in antique gold, antique silver and a copper-like finish.
"Copper would be historically correct," he says. A history major in college, Mr. Allen has found designing coins with a historical bent has become his niche in this modern pastime. The first coins he made were for the Pony Express and the Pony Express anniversary. He has gone on to make one for the 75th anniversary of the Hindenberg, Amelia Earhart's 75th anniversary of being missing and his most popular to date: the Titanic's 100th anniversary, among others.
"(The Titanic) has a life ring with a magnetized path tag in the center of the ring to show the water, the ripples and the hull of the ship," he explains.
A "pathtag" is usually a smaller coin made of magnetic steel so it can stick to the coin. The life preserver has a real mini rope around its outside. There are brass crimps to hold the loop ends of the rope. Then the flip side of the coin shows the ship as it is about to encounter the iceberg. Three versions were made.
"You want to get it out to the public as fast as you can to see what they think," he says. But as he came up with new ideas, he modified the coin. And they are selling fast at around $20 a piece.
To make a coin can be a long, and tedious, procedure, he says, since it is usually done with a company overseas.
"I would like to have them done by a mint in the U.S., but unfortunately, they are all over in China," he says.
He exchanges designs back and forth over the computer, but he really doesn't know what it will look like for sure until he receives them in the mail. And you have to buy them upfront, hoping you can sell them at geocaching events, on eBay and geocaching websites.
Although he is only making enough money to support his hobby, it's possible it could lead to something more. Some coins, such as one called "Tranquility," are selling for more than $200 each.
"It's something I hope I can do when I retire," he says.
And who knows? With the way the economy is shaping up, his geocoins might serve him better than money in the bank.
Sylvia Anderson can be reached at sylvia.anderson@.... Follow her on Twitter:@SJNPAnderson.
Sylvia Anderson St. Joseph News-Press