Iron Coin Of The Faceless Man, Game Of Thrones, Set Of Nine Different Types Wow For Salesale: One archival "Faceless Man" Set Of Nine Types. Nine fantasy coins in a special printed bag... based on the fantasy novel series by George R.R. Martin, and the popular HBO series A GAME OF THRONES. Licensed by George R.R. Martin. "Circulated" condition.
Faceless Man Set of Nine
This is a set of nine different variations of the Faceless Man coin that have been made over the last few years, and includes the very first one. Some folks don't much care little for the minor differences between different batches of coins. But for others (such as myself) these variations make for the spice in the hobby.
History of the Iron Coin of the Faceless Man from Shire Post Mint.
I licensed to make coins for George R.R. Martin's universe in 2003, when the second book in the series was just out. The first coin we made was the Copper Star of Robert Baratheon. But from the moment that the Faceless Man coin appears in the story, we knew that we'd have to make it. When I say "we" I mostly mean myself and Greg Franck-Weiby, the engraver that was doing the actual design work in the die-face. George was providing little guidance... so we had to work within the bounds of the text. The coin must be small enough to hide on the body and evade close searching... it must have a man's "face" on one side which at first appears to be worn off... but then the story character realizes it was meant to be vague. I had been thinking in terms of a side-facing profile, but Greg was adamant that a profile, even when badly worn, is too recognizable to use for this... that it MUST be a facing portrait. The reverse side only bore "queer characters" that the bearer could not read. From 2003 to 2010 we debated the design of the reverse side. In 2010 we decided to go ahead and make the coin, using the phrase from the book, "Valar Morghulis, Valar Dohaeris" on the reverse. Greg had devised an "encipherment of the four letters VMVD that he used as the central vignette, which could easily be described as "queer characters". In the context of the story the phrases mean "All Men Must Die" and "All Men Must Serve" respectively, and those phrases are spoken during the ritual of giving the coin to another person, the first by the giver and then hopefully the receiver will make the proper response.
Greg also added a very small VM symbol on the top of the reverse side. His idea was that the symbols were a sort of "tagging"... as in urban graffitti. Someone would scratch the VM into a wall... implying a deadly threat... and someone else would have to "cancel" the VM by writing a D over it... marking it "Paid" so-to-speak. The faceless men were everywhere... but the iron coin itself would be rarely seen. When struck in brass, they are typcially found with the VM symbol cancelled by drilling.
I prepared annealed tool-steel die blanx with smoothly polished faced, set up for Greg to engrave the images. When he sent them back, I heat-treated them (W-1 tool steel) and started making the coins. I had a small supply of an ultra-low-carbon "pure iron" material left over from another project. I was able to roll that material down and punch the blanks from it.
Shortly after the first coins were made we found that we had inadvertantly left off the silent "H" in Morghulis. In the context of the story, this was no problem, since in our real-world medieval times there were no particular agreed-upon spellings of words. No one had written a dictionary yet! That original die-set was used for all the strikes from the 1st through 5th pressings, including the brass ones and the unreleased copper Geocoin.
But by late 2012, with the mintage over 3,000 pieces, I began to worry about the longevity of the die. And so I took those original master dies out of production and proceeded to "clone" them. After the fifth pressing was complete I struck two "hubs" (aka "transfer matrices") from them in annealed tool steel. After machining and hardening the hubs were used them to create a second "cloned" set of dies, almost exactly like the first. The obverse side differs only by the addition of two buttons below the man's cowl on die-2. If there are no buttons it is die-1. On the reverse side I removed the lettering around the central figure from the hub, so that the new die had no inscription at all... then I had new inscriptions cut by engraver Joe Paonessa... inserting the silent "h" back into the phrase, and using a more exotic lettering style. Beginning with the 6th pressing, released January 1, 2013, we are now using exclusively the second die set. The master die-1 set is now retired and will be donated to the coining museum that Greg's wife Karen is planning to open in Silverton Oregon.
When I recently looked through the boxes and drawers of older types on hand, I realized that we were down to a very low number in almost every category. So before the opportunity disappeared completely I decided to make some sets that would represent all six of the iron pressings, the copper geocoin, and two representative brass ones, one drilled and one not. Here is the mintage list for the Faceless Man coins that are included in this set:
Type Desc. Wt. Mat'l Reg. #pc Yr.
FM1 1st pressing 6g pure iron Medal 400 2010
FM1-GEO geo-token 36g pure copper Medal 40 2010 (Not Released)
FM2 2nd pressing 5.6g pure iron Coin 210 2011
FM3 3rd pressing 5.6g pure iron Medal 539 2012
FM4 4th pressing 5.6g pure iron Coin 1,576 5/2012 (blue)
FM4-BR drilled-brass 6g cartridge brass Medal 200 9/2012 (undrilled)
FM5 5th pressing 5.6g pure iron Medal 880 9/2012
FM6 6th pressing 5.6g pure iron Medal 3,000 12/2012
FM6-BR drilled-brass 5.6g cartridge brass Medal 200 1/2013
They're all here in a special printed bag... including the ultra-rare heavy copper geocoin... struck but never released. The fourth pressing coin is from the 70 that were set aside to receive a special heat-blued "rainbow toned" finish. They are special collector grade pieces with a full "royal blue" finish. This set-of-nine could be considered a reference set for a dealer who wished to be able to identify the different pressings, or a set for the advanced collector of such things.
So 24 sets... that's all I can put together! I'll keep one for myself, and three are spoken-for, but when they're gone; that's it!
$140/set. $7 shipping in US, $20 priority international.
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