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Re: [sca_moneyer] Digest Number 198

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  • jklessig
    ... wrote a many things that I mostly agree with, and some that I question. ... I disagree. While not major wear, the dies I used for runs of largess coin for
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2002
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      > From: Gryffri of Newmarch <Gryffri@...>

      wrote a many things that I mostly agree with, and some that I question.

      >Subject: On hardening die face and period practices
      >The questions of the hour of course would be; what metal are we striking
      >where it becomes imperative to harden the face of our mons dies? Is our
      >reproduction of the moneyer's art supposed to at least attempt period
      >These are very important questions because:
      >Silver, gold, copper, pewter and other soft metal coins of appropriate
      >thickness do not interfere with cold roll steel die faces in any
      I disagree. While not major wear, the dies I used for runs of largess coin
      for my reign, showed some visible (to my eye) evidence of wear, even though
      all that was struck was pewter, a little copper, and a very little silver.

      > Period dies were not made of high carbon steel and were not

      Do you have evidence to support this?

      The reason I ask is that some where I have a reference that stated that in
      come cases hard bronze die masters were created, out of which iron or steel
      dies were made by striking. These dies were then touched up and used for
      the coining. I don't remember where this was, and could very well be one
      of those "archeological flights of fancy" that we often run into.

      >Then there is the question of method of engraving. We use
      >pewter because it is a inexpensive alternative to producing silver
      >The most difficult part of reproducing the moneyer's trade in my opinion
      >is that of reproducing the punches needed for lettering and the die
      >maker's mark. Punches were hardened and made in reverse patter for
      >striking into steel. The art of producing the tool set of the moneyer
      >is the leading consideration in the ability of the moneyer. Many hours
      >have been spent on the creation of a set of punches only to have some of
      >that work destroyed from over hardening or a slip of the file, or simply
      >the inability to reproduce a particular size of punch to get uniform
      >lettering size. The rotary engraving tool is clearly a 21st century
      >invention that produces a 21st century die. Anachronists should
      >consider that coins and their dies produced in this manner modern
      >fashion will be assaulted at any A&S gathering as "pure crap." (Speaking
      >from my own attempts) This is because the resulting coins are often
      >judged by the numismatic expert who simply states the coin resembles
      >nothing produced in the SCA period and the method used to produce it
      >also fails to meet these simple standards. "whack" I found myself
      >knocked silly for spending so much time trying to get a pretty coin out
      >there circulated that left me realizing, "We are historical
      >If we use period coins as our guide for reproducing our own versions of
      >coins that possibly could have been designed and circulated, then what
      >we realize is that the methods those coins were produced become very

      I think they were using the simplest methods they had, to achieve their
      desired results. Would they have used dremels and vibratory gravers, (If
      they had them) I think so. But they would also have then created coins
      that looked like they used them.

      > This is the challenge. The art of coining was a secret not
      >well documented because it was indeed a state secret.

      State secrets would not often be shown in wood cuts, and there is NOTHING
      in coining that would not be fairly obvious to a jeweller. In fact what is
      the difference between a matrix/patrix and a top and bottom die except the
      thickness of the metal that they stamp, and the intended use of the
      object(s) created?

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