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Eclectic Penguin

Announcing.... the 2009 South Wales Geocachers Geocoin!

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Well, I was going to hold back announcing the existence of this coin until at least I'd had a chance to handle bare metal myself but the pictures that Oakcoins sent me today just blew me away and I wanted to share them with everyone.

 

The coin is designed to celebrate the community of Geocachers in South Wales, United Kingdom (nobody dare say *England* :mad: ). For some time we've been talking about having a Geocoin minted. Towards the end of last year, based on comments and what was increasingly looking to be a very successful first personal coin (and far more successful than I even dared hope, the Eclectic Penguin), I took the bull by the horns and, along with some fantastic input from colleagues on our local forum, came up with the basic design for a coin.

 

We wanted our logo to be prominent (the Geocaching G stenciling the Welsh flag) - that's now on the tail side. I also wanted something that represented South Wales - and what better representative that the coal mining industry that dominated the principality of Wales for so many years until very recently? So a deep mine's pit-head gear was envisaged to represent this. Of course, being Welsh, I felt some Celtic input was required and as well as the Celtic knot pattern around the coin's head side, we decided to have "South Wales Geocachers" and "Geogelcwyr De Cymru", the Welsh translation on the head side (Geogelcwyr being a special translation made for us by a Welsh language specialist, translating Geocaching correctly to the correct spelling of the word possibly for the first time).

 

We haven't finalized the metals we're going to be minting. In the proof coins shown here, left is satin nickel, right is antique silver with antique coating. We may use one or neither in the final run. We're also undecided as to how many to mint at present.

 

We also have an alternative tail side die that we may or may not mint, based on an initial error in some artwork that had a sort of "negative image" effect on the actual dragon's body that turned out to be startlingly attractive.

 

I've blabbed on enough about the background of the coin - here's what Oakcoins have sent me this evening.

 

Heads:

 

6N-01854-FRONT.jpg

 

Tails:

 

6N-01854-BACK.jpg

 

For those unfamiliar with our national flag, you can find out more and see it on Wikipedia.

 

When they become available (and I don't even know if we're going to wait for our annual South Wales camping event in early May first or make them generally available earlier), I'll be using my Eclectic Penguin on-line shop to make them generally available.

 

Please forgive my vagueness about some of the final details - this is after all a community coin rather than a personal - but I just wanted to show you all what I and a couple of others who have seen this tonight think is a beauty.

 

No pre-orders as yet, but any comments are welcome.

 

The design of this coin has been a bit of a labour of love for me and at first glance of actual metalwork, I feel totally elated right now!

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Beeeeeautiful! I know you're not taking reservations yet, but I'll definitely pre-order when you're ready.

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Great design!

 

I'm definitely in for one! I like the Welsh dragon take on this!

 

You've got a reason to be proud!!! :mad:

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Thanks for the early comments - we may yet do a pre-order run on this, but we may also wait until our annual May caching event - it's not my ultimate decision as this is a community coin. I'll post here if that's going to happen - my Eclectic Penguin shop is already set up for such an eventuality.

 

Truth is - we still have decisions to make about the final makeup of the coin - metal colours, coatings etc. This was the first experimental run. As mentioned in the original post there's also another take on the dragon's outline that took people's breath away when we saw the artwork - we may well go with this as second version rather than an alternative metal colour. Sadly we couldn't do a test mint on both versions without doubling the cost of the proof coins.

 

As to costs - I'm well in the red at the moment as I'm about to announce my second personal coin (fully paid for and ready for sale as soon as they arrive on my doorstep). Not a penguin this time - but many locals here in South Wales, UK know them as the Pembrokeshire Penguins due to their plumage and quirky looks.

 

Puffin' for the next cache...

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Man. Another coin where I say "I bet I won't be interested in this" and then I see the coin and want at least two. I LOVE the reversal of the dragon's coloring in the "G". That is just AWESOME, and I'll be watching the thread for news of reservations/pre-sales/sales. Outstanding job!

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Wow! That side with the dragon is amazing, I love it!! Great design :-)

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I kind of thought the same way Jackalgirl did.

I may be new to coins, but I dont just collect any old coin or jump on every coin that I see coming out. Im very specific in what I look for, and as I saw the title to this post I thought there would be no way I would have any interest in this. But looking at it, its a really nice looking coin, alot more than I expected, great design.

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i like that ,, its very artistic,, the blue on the front is very simple and the dragon with the G is very creative.

i will keep an eye on this one!

great job

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Wow! that is spectacular! Congratulations on such a beautiful design.

You've got a guaranteed sale in me!

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VERY nice coin! If I was still living in Bristol I'm sure I'd have cached in S Wales by now <_<

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Very nice! I especially like the dragon superimposed on (under? in?) the geocaching G. Excellent concept. I'd love to see the negative error version as well. <_<

 

CF30

 

P.S. Lookin' forward to your next personal as well! :(

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I really admire the G superimposed into the dragon. Nice job!! :(

 

It is a variant of the Leatherman variants <_<Here and was done by Ian Studlyone

as a logo for the South Wales Geocachers forum :D

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For an idea of the alternative die for the tail side, here's the artwork (minus the "trackable" text which would also be added):

 

jan12artwork.jpg

 

It also gives a great feeling of how the 2D rendering of the 3D side actually works - and how you can only guess/hope that the 3D die comes out as well as you hope (which it did!)

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Great coin! Count me in for two of the antique silver :(:D:D

I love the dragon! And now that we know the correct spelling for the welsh word for geocaching, could you give us a hint on how it is pronounced as well ? <_<

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Great coin! Count me in for two of the antique silver :D:D:D

I love the dragon! And now that we know the correct spelling for the welsh word for geocaching, could you give us a hint on how it is pronounced as well ? <_<

 

Geo gel cwyr = Geo -gell - coor I think :(

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Just to add a point of interest to artwork on the front of the coin. The pit-head gear on the front of the coin is heavily based on the pit-head gear of Tower Colliery, the oldest continually working deep level coal mine in the UK and possibly the world. Tower Colliery was the last deep level mine of its type to close in South Wales (January 2008) signifying the end of an era. The mine was due to close in the mid 1990s as part of a massive blanket closure of the Welsh coal mining industry by the then Conservative Government, but under the leadership of union Branch Secretary Tyrone O'Sullivan, was the subject of a massive buy-out by the mine's workers.

 

The workers went on to prove the fact that the pit was still financially viable (despite claims otherwise to justify its closure) and kept it running for over 10 years until the remaining coal seems became hard to work.

 

Ask anyone in the UK to mention an industry that represented South Wales in the 19th & 20th century and most would probably think of coal mining (or farming) - much of the other heavy industry that formed the basis of the economy during that era in South Wales was as a result of the coal (tinplate and iron was also significant - it was 4 times as cheap to bring the ore to the coal compared to taking the coal to where the ore was mined/quarried elsewhere in the world).

 

Coal is still mined in South Wales, but today using smaller drift mines or in a number of large open cast "strip" mines.

 

In the end we decided not to name the actual pit on the coin - rather leave the pit-head gear represent the mining industry which was so significant in our area for so long.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Simply outstanding work. A great coin with a great story and great design. Well done! Thank you for sharing the photos with us. I'm partial to the antique silver as it shows more depth on the face. Can't wait to see these in hand. Keep us updated as things progress <_<

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Prononciation of the Welsh word:

 

Geo-gel-cw-yr

 

Geo (obvious - the same as english, but with a hard G as in gun

gel - again has a hard g rather than the softened g in in the word "gell"

cw - Pronounced as the Qu in Queen

yr - The yr in pyramid

 

 

The translation:

 

Fistly, the singular for the word is Geogelcwr.

 

Geo - acceptable use of a term in modern translationswith a latin route and means the same in the english word.

 

celc - cache (the reason the c becomes a g is explained below)

 

wr - associates a male with the work or job that preceeds it. farmwr is Welsh for farmer. Strictly spleaking, the female geocacher would end with ess rather than wr - but the use of the male only form is now perfectly acceptable use in modern Welsh translations.

 

So, the plural becomes Geogelcwyr (gwyr being the plural word that describes a number of men).

 

But why the g instead of the c? Well, welsh has a form of mutation called a "treigliad" which mutates the way some words are pronounced depending on what comes before. In this case I believe this is the "Treigliad Meddal", the soft mutation. This is a simplistic explanation - for a detailed one, see this PDF provided by the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/...ar_allrules.pdf

 

I hope I got this right - I speak the language fluently but I don't think I'd pass any school exams in written welsh any more...

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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since the really stunning part is the back, i think the back should be the front and the front becomes the back. ;-)

 

the best art seems to always be on the back!

 

rsg

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Back<->Front...

 

Curiously, that's how it started out, but I think Oakcoins started calling it the back during the design phase because that's where the tracking number usually goes - and I guess this also dictates its orientation in the little pouch as the "back" always isn't obscured by Oakcoin's manufacturer's card so that the tracking number can be read through the packaging.

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That's a really beautiful coin and I'd love to buy one, so please keep some for sale at the event as we're planning to attend!

 

Cheers, or should I say, diolch!

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Thanks for the Welsh language lesson :laughing:

Edited by Chur

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I've been reading all the marvelous comments about this coin and have decided to add a "credits" list to the design of this coin as it really has been a community effort.

 

Original Coin instigator: Eclectic Penguin

 

Geocacher who came up with the original concept - and substantially what was ultimately used (pit-head gear & South Wales Caching logo): von-horst

 

Original designs for the South Wales Geocachers logo on the back (the G with the stenciled flag): Studleyone, on the request of Matrix based on the public domain Leatherman Geocaching logo

 

Celtic ring on the front: Eclectic Penguin - with a huge thanks to Llanelli town's Welsh Things shop for allowing me to research and photograph various Celtic patterns on jewelry they sell. I'm hoping to convince them to actually sell the final Geocoins... That would be interesting, I think!

 

The "wireframe" outline behind the logo of the dragon: Eclectic Penguin - literally in a dream!

 

Welsh translation for the correct spelling of "Geogelcwyr" (though the word Geocelcwyr had been in use for at least a year previously): soon to be added - I' didn't make a note of her name - but definitely needs to be credited :laughing:

 

Putting ideas into marvelous artwork based on my descriptions and scribblings: Oakcoins and their talented mint artists

 

Major feedback for tweaking the design to the final one you can see: contributors to the South Wales Geocaching Community forum

 

Valued input from a professional graphic designer about finer details and tweaks: Derick Murdock

 

Finance: A small group of dedicated South Wales Geocachers who have pledged or already given significant sums of money towards the coin's production (and at the moment, much to my discomfort, MasterCard... :laughing: )

 

Much as I'd love to bask in all the praise given so far, I have to say that in this, I'm only as much of a contributor as many of the others mentioned here - and I feel like an orchestra's conductor and point the baton to the rest of the orchestra during the applause because, without any of the others who have helped in the design of this coin may not have happened as it did.

 

Besides - we're only part way there!!! - I still don't even have the mint proofs - but I felt it fair to credit all the people I feel who contributed. I'll update this list when I remember more people I've forgotten to credit at the moment and when there are more to credit in the future.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Multiple post deleted due to the fact the forum appeared to crash when I posted the original message.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Multiple post deleted due to the fact the forum appeared to crash when I posted the original message.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Welsh translation for the correct spelling of "Geogelcwyr" (though the word Geocelcwyr had been in use for at least a year previously): soon to be added - I' didn't make a note of her name - but definitely needs to be credited :laughing:

 

Tortoiseshell I think was the first to "coin" the phrase and Elizabeth (Reality Minus Three) was involved with the mutation IIRC :laughing:

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I've been reading all the marvelous comments about this coin and have decided to add a "credits" list to the design of this coin as it really has been a community effort.

 

Original Coin instigator: Eclectic Penguin

 

Geocacher who came up with the original concept - and substantially what was ultimately used (pit-head gear & South Wales Caching logo): von-horst

 

Original designs for the South Wales Geocachers logo on the back (the G with the stenciled flag): Studleyone, on the request of Matrix based on the public domain Leatherman Geocaching logo

 

Celtic ring on the front: Eclectic Penguin - with a huge thanks to Llanelli town's Welsh Things shop for allowing me to research and photograph various Celtic patterns on jewelry they sell. I'm hoping to convince them to actually sell the final Geocoins... That would be interesting, I think!

 

The "wireframe" outline behind the logo of the dragon: Eclectic Penguin - literally in a dream!

 

Welsh translation for the correct spelling of "Geogelcwyr" (though the word Geocelcwyr had been in use for at least a year previously): soon to be added - I' didn't make a note of her name - but definitely needs to be credited :laughing:

 

Putting ideas into marvelous artwork based on my descriptions and scribblings: Oakcoins and their talented mint artists

 

Major feedback for tweaking the design to the final one you can see: contributors to the South Wales Geocaching Community forum

 

Valued input from a professional graphic designer about finer details and tweaks: Derick Murdock

 

Finance: A small group of dedicated South Wales Geocachers who have pledged or already given significant sums of money towards the coin's production (and at the moment, much to my discomfort, MasterCard... :laughing: )

 

Much as I'd love to bask in all the praise given so far, I have to say that in this, I'm only as much of a contributor as many of the others mentioned here - and I feel like an orchestra's conductor and point the baton to the rest of the orchestra during the applause because, without any of the others who have helped in the design of this coin may not have happened as it did.

 

Besides - we're only part way there!!! - I still don't even have the mint proofs - but I felt it fair to credit all the people I feel who contributed. I'll update this list when I remember more people I've forgotten to credit at the moment and when there are more to credit in the future.

 

It's a very nice coin, I really like the back also. I think it's great that you have acknowledged everyone involved in your project, you don't see that here often :laughing: Kudos to all involved.

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As an exile from the Valleys* I'll be up for ordering a few of these. What a great design!

 

*Sirhowy, to be precise!

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As to costs - I'm well in the red at the moment as I'm about to announce my second personal coin (fully paid for and ready for sale as soon as they arrive on my doorstep). Not a penguin this time - but many locals here in South Wales, UK know them as the Pembrokeshire Penguins due to their plumage and quirky looks.

 

Puffin' for the next cache...

 

Although I like the dragon side (a very strong design) I'll wait for the puffins. :laughing:

You can not buy them all. :laughing:

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Tortoiseshell I think was the first to "coin" the phrase and Elizabeth (Reality Minus Three) was involved with the mutation IIRC :D

 

The name I was struggling to remember was Heddyr Gregory (pronounced Heather), a reporter for the welsh language Wedi3 programme (daily seen on the welsh language channel S4C between 3 & 4pm) - who have now confirmed that they will be coming to cover Geocaching at our annual event in May for a 10 minute piece to camera!

 

It's correct that Tortoishell was involved with the creation of the original Geocelcwyr, Heddyr came up with the same word but also added that the correct spelling and prononciation was Geogelcwyr.

 

I intend to finalise a "credits list" for the coin - I was going to go back to edit the original one but I don't think this forum allows you to modify posts after a period of time.

 

The coin's proofs arrived today and I'm simply blown away! I'll attempt to photograph them this evening and post the best pictures here.

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Just to add a point of interest to artwork on the front of the coin. The pit-head gear on the front of the coin is heavily based on the pit-head gear of Tower Colliery, the oldest continually working deep level coal mine in the UK and possibly the world. Tower Colliery was the last deep level mine of its type to close in South Wales (January 2008) signifying the end of an era. The mine was due to close in the mid 1990s as part of a massive blanket closure of the Welsh coal mining industry by the then Conservative Government, but under the leadership of union Branch Secretary Tyrone O'Sullivan, was the subject of a massive buy-out by the mine's workers.

..........

 

Coal is still mined in South Wales, but today using smaller drift mines or in a number of large open cast "strip" mines.

....

 

I visited way back in 2003.

Went to the "Celtica" village, walked the labyrinth, then had to miss King Arthur's labyrinth....

but I got the chance to drive into a mining village / valley...

 

Took me back to the movie "How Green is my valley".

 

I also loved hearing the Welsh Celtic dialect being spoken.... so musical...

 

Now, I'm trying hard not to buy coins, but my arm is twisted slightly on this one...

 

Question is where?

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Question is where?

 

The question at the moment is more of "when?" - the coin is still under development and is about to be ordered on Monday so it's still going to be about 3-4 weeks before the initial run of this coin will be made available.

 

I only got the proof coins yesterday after discovering that Parcelforce, the UK's main parcel delivery company's latest policy is not to even attempt to deliver any items that need customs payment - and spend as much as 2 weeks before informing by letter that such a delivery is in the depot waiting for payment and then have the cheek to charge even more for the service of charging for the customs payment than the actual payment itself.

 

As to the coins - they're amazing! Also, very difficult to actually capture their essence with pictures, but I tried.

 

pithead.jpg

 

dragon.jpg

 

The dragon image captures the true colours of the coin - the pithead's image has been slightly altered to show the different ways the antique coating brings out some of the shadows on the pithead gear.

 

They both have their merits - some people love the slightly antique tarnished feel and look of the antique silver while others like the sharp pristine look of the satin coating on the other coin.

 

The text is quite readable on both - it's hard to make out on the photoigraph because you can only light the coin from one angle when taking a picture, but when its in your hands, it glistens and you get different effects depending on how you're holding it.

 

I'll post here the moment they become available (we're minting 150 of each metal colour initially - more if they're successful). Between now and then I have my latest batch of penguins to send (I've spent most of this morning stuffing envelopes with the new glow in the dark version) and within 2 weeks, there'll be my new puffin coin which I'm about to announce on the forum...

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Just a brief announcement - these coins are almost here. I'm currently tracking them and they're now in Heathrow Customs so I expect them to be available for sale on-line sometime next week.

 

In the end we went for the combination shown originally - satin nickel and antique silver, both of which have their merits. £7 each (about $10 USD) - 50pence more expensive than the penguins and puffins I produced but this reflects the increased cost of the antique and satin effects required, not to mention the 3D die required for the pithead gear (which looks marvelous IMO).

 

One further announcement - the coin is going to be inextricably linked to a Mystery cache soon to be hidden in South Wales (naturally) in the United Kingdom. Once we get the cache approved and published, I'll announce it here on this forum as well.

 

Realizing of course that most of the people reading this will not be able to actually find the cache because of geography, it'll also be a cointest with a 2009 SW Geocoin *and* a limited edition gold Eclectic Penguin as a prize for the first person who provides me with the exact coordinates of the cache. I'll politely ask people who can actually make it to find the cache to decline taking part as the cache will contain numerous unactivated Geocoins too, provided by several of us in the South Wales Geocaching community.

 

As soon as I have them, I'll be making them available on my cart at:

http://www.eclectic-penguin.org.uk/cart

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I can now announce that these coins are now available for sale on http://www.eclectic-penguin.org.uk/cart

 

This is not a pre-sale order - I've been reliably informed that the coins will be in my possession tomorrow morning, so I can confidently start selling these coins alongside my other coins and there shouldn't be any additional delay in processing the orders, should people wish to mix orders for this coin with some of my other creations!

 

We're very proud of our first community coin - not just because we feel that we've managed to blend quite a bit of our local culture and history into the coin's imegary, but because we all think they're gorgeous coins (some of us dare to admit that we're coin collectors too!) - and of course because we've managed to get them minted in time for our event in a month's time, not always an easy process when many people's opinions are concerned!

 

Only a subset of the coins are being made available at present,- on-line as we need to ensure that enough will be available on the day of the event (May 2nd) for which they were originally devised.

 

Some details: The coins are 42mm (1.65 inches) in diameter. One side shows a coal mine's pithead gear, something synonymous with industry in South Wales during the 20th century. This is embellished with a celtic knotwork pattern around its diameter and "South Wales Geocachers" written in both English and Welsh within the celtic pattern. On the other side, the Welsh dragon, our national flag is shown stencilled in the Geocaching 'G' - this is also the logo for the South Wales Geocachers. Behind the logo, the flag's outline is shown in wireframe (not part of our logo but "makes" the coin as far as I'm concerned!)

 

Each coin have their own EV (event) serial number and the coin run has its own icon. This icon will soon also feature as part of the solution for a mystery cache hidden in South Wales (which will also feature as a cointest on this forum for non Wales residents - more about that announced in another thread very soon!)

 

Two versions are available, both of which have their unique selling points!

 

1. Antique silver

SWGantiqueSilver.jpg

This has an old looking sheen to it and the enamel used enhances the shadows in some of the coin's details.

 

2. Satin nickel

SWGsatinNickel.jpg

This version on the other hand has a pristine shine to it that seems to twinkle and bring out the finer detail as the coin is handled.

 

It's hard to show the difference between the two types in photographs (beleive me, I've tried) - but they both have a different and distinctive look when placed side by side.

 

In numerous tests (with coin collectors but mostly with members of the public), preferences are very much divided between which coin finish is preffered - it's all down to the beholder at the end of the day - I love them both - but I've been deeply involved in this coin's development since last December!

 

The detail on the coin is breathtaking. The following two detail images illustrate the precision that's gone into minting these coins (metal colour is not representative as I couldn't get my main flash gun to work tonight and resorted to using an anglepoise lamp with low energy bulb to light the coin - they're both silvery in colour in real life):

 

swgDetail01.jpg

 

swgDetail02.jpg

 

Each on-line sale will have an information sheet about some of the imegary used on the coin and why we chose to use it.

 

A note too about the coin's finance - numerous Geocachers from South Wales have invested significant ammounts of money into this coin's pre-production and it has been agreed that any moneys above and beyond the manufacturing costs will be fed back into future activities of the South Wales Geocachers, be they events or future coins.

 

Although I've invested more time and effort than anyone else into this coin, this is not "my coin" - I feel very much that this coin belongs to the South Wales Geocaching communuty, and I look forward to selling it both at our event and here online.

Edited by Eclectic Penguin

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Just ordered one of each finish of these stunning coins . I only saw them for the first time 10 minutes ago and I just had to have one of each . Well done to all who worked on the coin .

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Coins arrived through the letter box this morning, they are FANTASTIC. Many thanks Hywel and everyone else involved in the coins evolution. :o

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