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Geocoin / Cache Question


maporter
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Evening all,

 

Being a newbie - I have a quick question regarding Geocoins, if activated and placed in a cache, do they generally get passed around from one cache to the next and well tracked?

 

Or do they have a habit of disappearing off the face of the planet ?

 

Regards

 

Mark

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In a mad moment, I purchased an Mount Everest seven summits geocoin off of eBay the other night. I was toying with the idea of letting it loose in a new cache I'm planning in the near future, hence the reason for my question.

 

Needless to say I'd be pretty miffed if it disapeared within the first week, never to be seen again... :)

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What's the difference between a 'standard' coin and a 'special'?

It's my own categorisation.... but the US geocoins have been around for a while and are relatively common.

 

Recently there has been a proliferation of coin types e.g. the UK geocoin. There are far fewer of these in caches, in fact many never make it into a cache. I count these as 'specials'.

 

I'm not really into coins. I'll log them and move them as if they were a TB but won't go racing out to get one if it appears just to get a new icon. So I haven't really kept up to date with alll the coin developments.

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In a mad moment, I purchased an Mount Everest seven summits geocoin off of eBay the other night. I was toying with the idea of letting it loose in a new cache I'm planning in the near future, hence the reason for my question.

 

Needless to say I'd be pretty miffed if it disapeared within the first week, never to be seen again... :)

I'd put money on that disappearing fairly quickly.

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And then would a finder log the geocoin or the TB? :grin:

Ah, now there's an idea. A TB with two numbers (two tags, or a TB and a coin, or even two coins welded together with the tracking numbers facing outwards!). You have to log the number that isn't currently in the cache where you found it. And 50% of people who set out looking for it, will log "didn't find TB so-and-so in the cache". What fun!

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So be it,

 

Everest Geocoin Travel Bug has been born, he'll be released into the Lake District in the near future, needless to say the Geocoin will defaced (probably engraved with maporter), drilled and fitted with a travel bug.

 

That way hopefully it'll remain in circulation giving as many people who wish to, the chance to bag the Everest Geocoin icon on their User Stat's, rather than vanish into someone's personal collection.

 

As to regard the logging issue - log both I guess, afterall it both a trackable Geocoin and a travel bug <_<

 

Different I guess....

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Needless to say I'd be pretty miffed if it disapeared within the first week, never to be seen again... <_<

When we send out a TB or a coin, or place a cache, it is outside of our control as to what will happen to it. Caches get muggled, TBs and coins go missing.

 

I'd say that if you're not happy to accept the risk that it'll go missing, don't send it out, but keep it in your collection and take it along to events to show people, and let them log it. If you're prepared to see how long it lasts in the wild, go for it.

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OK, we've released loads of coins (more or less one of each icon) and so far, in our experience they get picked up much more than normal travel bugs, which is great!

 

Concerning getting pinched... This is a big problem in the USA, but I'd like to think not so much of one here (maybe because coin stuff hasn't caught on in the way it has there, or maybe because caching isn't quite as wide spread as there, or perhaps we aren't as materialistic, or this effect could all be in my mind and it could simply a perception or be because we haven't had many coins released here up until now - your choice!). In addition, we think some of the coins "disappear" from caches because people think they are really cool trades and swap for them (which was the case for non-trackable coins/signature items).

 

Anyhow, what we do is this. Drill a hole through them - about 2.6 mm according to the guy I get to do it (this defaces the coin, devaluing it, discouraging collectors as has been mentioned before). We then use this hole to attach a laminated label of significant size using a keyring loop (laminated prevents it disintegrating; significant size - c. 8 cm square - prevents it being overlooked in larger caches, or left in a pocket in error). This label includes details of the coin's mission, which we usually set as "local" to begin with and travel the UK after some months/a year (this enables local cachers to grab the icon if they want and gives the people in the area a feeling of ownership to try to encourage them to look after it; we also give our coins "personal names" to try to give them a little personality for the same reason). We then run a little solder round the inside of the keyring loop (available from most key cutters for about 10p each, but expect strange looks), this prevents the label "falling off".

 

Like most techniques, this is far from falible; if people really want to keep your coin (hole and all) all they need is a decent pair of pliers, but it should discourage all but the keenest thief. While I've seen a few coins released in a similar way to this or defaced in some other way, many people seem to dislike the "wanton vandalism" that this necessitates. So another way of doing it is to laminate a piece of card (with details and do not keep info on it) and glue the coin pocket to it. In order to protect this further (those coin pockets often get quite brittle), it is then a good idea to buy some small plastic case for this to fit it - I've done this with a couple of coins we've released for others and used small business card type pocket that I bought from our local Students' Union Shop for 40p.

 

Hope all this is some help and good luck releasing your coin - it's great fun and people really seem to get a kick out of finding a real coin in a cache, so we think it is well worth it!

 

Bambi.

 

PS If you need more info, drop me a line through my profile and I'll send you photos and/or sample labels as required.

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What's the difference between a 'standard' coin and a 'special'?

 

I would say a "standard" is one that is available to purchase all year round, while a "special" is one that has a limited edition - i.e. x number of coins and then that's it. "Standard"coins would include the USA coin, "special" would include the Seven Summit mentioned here as there is only 800 (I think) of each edition made and there will only be seven editions (one for each summit).

 

Bambi.

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If anyone's interested, please see my User Profile for further information regarding my plans, you'll find both the coin and my future planned TB's listed, photographs to follow later - Many thanks to all who have dropped in and left comments.

 

Regards

 

Mark

Edited by maporter
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another possible way of making a coin, or even a TB, less likely to be nicked, would be to embed/cast them within a large (10cm square by 5cm depth) block of clear resin - this way the tag/coin is visible, and you can engrave the mission/message on the resin block, along with any personal design/patterns you may desire. block can also contain photos/other items (such as button compass) as additional payload, and so long as it is transparent enough to clearly see the items, you can use any colour resin you desire.

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I must say, that's quite a cool idea. I was thinking of the drill a hole and attach stuff option myself, but this may have possibilities...

 

Many craft shops sell a two part resin. You mix the resin with a hardener and pour it into a flexible mould to set. Once the first layer is set, arrange your items on top and then pour the second layer on top of that. You used to be able to get a kiddies craft set and I used to have bags of fun with this, inhaling resin fumes and making highly attractive [sic] items.

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Very interested in doing this - have you done this already? If so, where do you source the necessary kit to mix and set the resin? Or is there some place that offers this as a service?

 

no, i haven't done this personally to a tb, but i have seen it done with feathers, leaves, seashells and the like, to make paperweights or jewelery - the resin is availible from craft shops, or online:

 

http://www.homecrafts.co.uk/html/product.a...=1493&cat3=4200

http://www.e-pastimes.co.uk/acatalog/Clear_Resin.html

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We have released all of ours, they do travel well at the moment but I would recommend labelling them somehow to let the person picking up know it can be logged as we had a problem with someone new to caching didn't know what it was so picked it up and put the coin number on his log for the cache he found it in, he also didn't log the coin til we emailed him. <_<:blink:

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I have lost TB's in the past. I think mainly beause they were probably too cute and cudly, so when I managed to get hold of a UK Geocoin via ebay I did not want to end up the same way.

Someone then placed a virtual Geocoin into one of my caches about 2 weeks ago which I thought was a great idea so I did the same with mine.

The profile page for my coin has 6 questions. Answer all 6 and you get the tracking number.

From there you are free to log it and place it into any other cache for the next finder to solve.

Not quite the usual way of hiding a coin but at least I know it's going to be safe.

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Oh well, here's my final solution...

 

That's really good! I said laminated, since with the number of coins I've released, at £5 per tag (plus the cost of the coin) I'd be broke by now (!), but your solution is loads better! ;)

 

another possible way of making a coin, or even a TB, less likely to be nicked, would be to embed/cast them within a large (10cm square by 5cm depth) block of clear resin

 

Like others, I really like this idea, but I wouldn't do it for coins. One of the really nice things about releasing coins is feeling them. Some come with an epoxy coating, but the others are really tactile, thing is, until you see and feel them, you won't get what I'm on about! :anibad:

 

Someone then placed a virtual Geocoin into one of my caches about 2 weeks ago which I thought was a great idea so I did the same with mine.

 

Beware! Virtual coins are now banned according to TPTB. You MUST have something solid that travels about and there should be only one of them (apparently). So called Virtual TBs are being locked.

 

Bambi.

 

Edit: Alibags has quicker fingers than me... Sorry!

Edited by Bambi&Thumper
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Beware! Virtual coins are now banned according to TPTB. You MUST have something solid that travels about and there should be only one of them (apparently). So called Virtual TBs are being locked.

Well then it's a big thank you to Alibags and Bambi & Thumper for telling me something that I did not know :anibad: Forget I mentioned my idea earlier....and it looks like I'm off to edit my coins profile now then ;)

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Hmm... I wonder if I could put a cheap USB memory stick with it's USB plug exposed in resin to accompany the geocoin? Could then include information and details on the stick about the coin.... it's mission and indeed an area for photo's/details of it's travels to be stored.... Although I guess it may also become a Virus Travel Bug too :anibad:

 

J

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I have lost TB's in the past. I think mainly beause they were probably too cute and cudly, so when I managed to get hold of a UK Geocoin via ebay I did not want to end up the same way.

Someone then placed a virtual Geocoin into one of my caches about 2 weeks ago which I thought was a great idea so I did the same with mine.

The profile page for my coin has 6 questions. Answer all 6 and you get the tracking number.

From there you are free to log it and place it into any other cache for the next finder to solve.

Not quite the usual way of hiding a coin but at least I know it's going to be safe.

OK guys. Consider my wrists as being well and truly slapped. My coin is no longer listed as being a virtual (Just in case the boys from head office are listening) :anibad:

I take it that the idea put forward by the Purple Pineapple (To laminate a picture) is acceptable, does anyone know?

My main reason for not wanting to let go of the coin for real is because of how much I paid for it and with my luck it would be bound to go missing sooner or later ;)

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As far as I understand it, the $1.50 that you are paying (which is included in the cost of the coin/TB dog tags) is for the number and the ability to track it. Thus you can scratch the number on any bit of old rubbish and send that out instead.

 

The only thing I would say, is if you do this make it very clear on the cache page and in the title of the "coin" what you are doing so that you don't annoy all your fellow cachers (call it simulated or pretend or something)...

 

Personally, I'd try to make a "coin" as similar to the real thing as possible. If I were going to do this, I'd scan the coin and then print it onto some shrinky plastic to make a thin hard plastic disk. But that's just me...

 

Bambi.

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As far as I understand it, the $1.50 that you are paying (which is included in the cost of the coin/TB dog tags) is for the number and the ability to track it. Thus you can scratch the number on any bit of old rubbish and send that out instead.

 

The only thing I would say, is if you do this make it very clear on the cache page and in the title of the "coin" what you are doing so that you don't annoy all your fellow cachers (call it simulated or pretend or something)...

 

Personally, I'd try to make a "coin" as similar to the real thing as possible. If I were going to do this, I'd scan the coin and then print it onto some shrinky plastic to make a thin hard plastic disk. But that's just me...

 

Bambi.

I'm not into this whole coin/icon collecting thing but surely sending out some sort of 'facsimile' coin is not in the spirit of the thing at all.

 

If I thought I was visiting a cache with a geocoin in and found what amounted to a photo of one I'd be extremely disappointed.

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I agree, and one of the best things so far about releasing a coin like the UK one is the logs we get, people saying how wonderful it is, etc. However, if that was my only UK coin, (it isn't) I think I'd be gutted if it went missing and, call me a cynic, that is distinctly possible. Its unfortunate, but its also life. :anibad:

 

Hence bambi's sensible suggestion that if you do this, try to get as good a replica as possible, and MAKE IT CLEAR on the TB page!

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I have to say that if a 'virtual' geocoin was logged into my cache I'd probably delete the log unless there was an actual object placed in it, I always thought the idea of being trackable meant that it had actually gone somewhere.

A representation of some kind I would leave alone as long as it's something that at least tries to look like the real thing(with an attached explanation would help) but certainly don't use the word 'virtual' in the description.

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As far as I understand it, the $1.50 that you are paying (which is included in the cost of the coin/TB dog tags) is for the number and the ability to track it.  Thus you can scratch the number on any bit of old rubbish and send that out instead. 

 

The only thing I would say, is if you do this make it very clear on the cache page and in the title of the "coin" what you are doing so that you don't annoy all your fellow cachers (call it simulated or pretend or something)... 

 

Personally, I'd try to make a "coin" as similar to the real thing as possible.  If I were going to do this, I'd scan the coin and then print it onto some shrinky plastic to make a thin hard plastic disk.  But that's just me...

 

Bambi.

I'm not into this whole coin/icon collecting thing but surely sending out some sort of 'facsimile' coin is not in the spirit of the thing at all.

 

If I thought I was visiting a cache with a geocoin in and found what amounted to a photo of one I'd be extremely disappointed.

 

Personally, I completely agree and all the ones we've released are the real deal.

 

However, we have this as a standby. We have the tracking numbers and photos, so if they do go AWOL, we can release a replica if we want to keep the coin running. Not sure we'd do this now though, as we have an excellent source of coins (the UK Coin Club - Thanks Team Maddy!) and so far all the cachers who've handled our coins have kept them moving - Thanks Guys!!

 

Bambi.

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Thanks for this thread and the tag/soldered keyring idea.

 

I have a few coins that I want to release, I intend to set up some new caches and release them in them for FTFers and I had been worried about them becoming

'collected' (Like "Ali Baba and the 40 collectors" I think).

 

The laminated block is a great idea, but as someone said, coins are tactile and you'd lose this. However I didn't know they existed before, now I do, and there must be other purposes for them.

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It looks like a good idea to have a laminated card as explanation, along with the coin. I don't like the spoiling of coins really: it just seems to devalue the coin slightly for the "legitimate" finder. How about obtaining a coin holder with room for a small info card?

 

For what it's worth, of 12 trackable geocoins I've released in the last year, 10 are still travelling. One of the missing ones was in a cache that was muggled (despite being extremely difficult to find). The other was the only geocoin I released in the USA: this was stolen almost immediately, despite being hidden in a tricky puzzle cache high in the mountains.

 

HH

Edited by Happy Humphrey
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I don't like the spoiling of coins really: it just seems to devalue the coin slightly for the "legitimate" finder.

 

I think spoiling the coins is part of the deterrent for them being half inched. Much better to find a coin and log it in it's spoiled state than not getting one at all because it's gone walkies. That's not to say I don't agree with you - nice shiney un spoilt coins are very nice to fondle <_<

 

J

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It looks like a good idea to have a laminated card as explanation, along with the coin. I don't like the spoiling of coins really: it just seems to devalue the coin slightly for the "legitimate" finder. How about obtaining a coin holder with room for a small info card?

 

I was involved with the Delaware Coin Release project (check out the Delaware Geocaching Profile) and they didn't like the idea of drilling coins either. So, they sent us a coin with a piece of paper as info, in a zippy bag. Unfortunately, by the time it arrived with us, the bag had a hole and the print out was smudged and dog-eared... <_< So we retyped the info and laminated it and glued the coin pocket to the info and placed the whole lot in a convenient little plastic pocket we found in our Students' Union for 40p and released him at the w/e...

 

For what it's worth, of 12 trackable geocoins I've released in the last year, 10 are still travelling. One of the missing ones was in a cache that was muggled (despite being extremely difficult to find). The other was the only geocoin I released in the USA: this was stolen almost immediately, despite being hidden in a tricky puzzle cache high in the mountains.

 

Sorry to hear about the one in the States, but that does support my thoughts that they are more likely to disappear over there. We've released a similar number (drilled and tagged) plus a few for other people and so far they are all still travelling (touch wood...). However, the longest any of these have been out is about 4 months, so we'll see...

 

Bambi.

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Wow - that works really well - much better than I'd imagined. How thick did you make it and how long does the resin take to harden?

 

Cheers

 

J

That was just a trial, the real ones will be nicer.

 

It can be as thick as you like. That one is about 15mm thick.

 

I used a plastic top off an aerosol as a mould.

 

The resin set over night.

 

Then I had to sand the face flat with a belt sander and then polish the faces using a buffing wheel...10 mins in total to sand and polish.

 

EU and UK coins getting cast tonight! <_<

Edited by The Mars Bars
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