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Topic: Ren Faire Coins?
Message: Posted by: skyfire (Nov 26, 2013 05:20PM)
I'm just wondering if anyone ever does any Coin routines at a Ren Faire or any other type of a period setting. If so what coins would you use and where could I find some period coins, or at least seemingly like period coins?

I would like to do a coin vanish or two, but of course it just wouldn't feel right if I whipped out a Kennedy Half Dollar and did a 5 minute coin routine.

Thanks to those that answer...
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Nov 26, 2013 06:08PM)
If you type keywords like "reproduction medieval coins" into your favorite search engine, you will get plenty of options. Most of these will be pewter, but many will have options for plating the coins to color them gold, silver, bronze, with or without patina.

Another option is to use borrowed coins only. That way, it negates the need for a period coin. You use one owned by the spectator and all is well. If you don't want to break character, ask to see a few coins, look for a handful that contains the coins you want to use, and just pick them out of the hand. Give them back when done, of course.

Message: Posted by: Habbrock (Nov 28, 2013 09:37PM)
Reproductions work great. I have King Edward pennies that are about the size of a dime and pieces of eight that are about the size of a quarter. Almost no adjustment time needed to use them.
-Jason Porter
Message: Posted by: Lion Dope (Dec 9, 2013 07:20PM)
I go to a local coin dealer and root through his "junk box" for old- looking coins. I get them for next to nothing.
Message: Posted by: malaki (Apr 11, 2017 04:13PM)
I have been looking for a decent picture of Mongolian, 13th century bills. These were the first successful use of paper money. Were I to get images that I could clean up or reproduce graphically, I would like to run off enough reproductions (perhaps even on paper made from mulberry bark. 'Twould make the period basis for many routines! Alas, all of the images I have found have been seriously wanting...

I have been given an actual coin from the Yuan Dynasty (13th century, reign of Kubilai Kahn). Surprisingly, it was about the size of an old Eisenhower dollar, but only a single-sided casting. Not an easy coin to find, either. I have been contemplating the feasibility of making a mold of the coin and casting reproductions of my own, once I get my forge up and working.

As it is now, I use the coins most suited, via size and color. A Scotch & Soda, featuring a Kennedy half and a 10 Yen coin doesn't raise too many eyebrows, for I speak as a magician who loves to collect coins. I refer to them as a pocket-sized art gallery with portraits on one side and animals or architecture on the other. The 10 Yen coin features a dragon, which seems to also render the non-period-ness to go almost unnoticed.

The potential problem of using period coins or reproductions of such is the size compatibility with your existing apparatus, for these have been made to fit modern currency. If you cannot find a close match, you may be destined to remake some equipment. Same with my wish to use period paper money. It is not at all the same size, shape or thickness of the money that the manufactured apparatus is designed to handle. I am a tree, I will bend to the challenge. I think that the money printing press would look great in wood, brass and silk! The merchant's traveling wallet could also guard against theft by making a changing wallet out of leather. The nice thing about making your own equipment is the fact that you can decorate it as you wish, it will outlast anything on the market, and be suited to your performance persona and handling as well!
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Apr 12, 2017 12:09AM)
I got these a few years ago, but never really did much with them:

They are about the size of a nickel and they sound like real coins when the clink together. Not like pewter replicas, if you know what I mean. If I ever do end up going to another SCA event, I plan to use them for part of my Endless Chain routine. (I normally have 6 Kennedy half dollars and I provide the money for both myself and my victim to bet. Then I say if he can win them all, he can keep them all. And I win them all.) I also had an idea for the schtick of performance in a medieval venue, where I would put a hat on the ground and pretend to be sneaky as I toss a few coins into it. Of course, being non-modern money should make it clear I am not trying to get their cash, just trying to set a scene. But I so seldom go to events these days, it just isn't likely to happen.

Regarding the Mongolian paper money, that sounds fantastic! I do understand the issues of trying to find something that was once apparently common but now seems almost unknown. I once wanted to put together a routine that used Indulgences. Good luck finding a decent picture of the real thing, though! I ended up creating my own and bringing in some creative license. You may find yourself doing something similar, Malaki. I would be delighted to see what you end up with, regardless.

Message: Posted by: Intrepid (Sep 13, 2017 03:33AM)
[quote]On Apr 11, 2017, malaki wrote:
I have been looking for a decent picture of Mongolian, 13th century bills. These were the first successful use of paper money. Were I to get images that I could clean up or reproduce graphically, I would like to run off enough reproductions (perhaps even on paper made from mulberry bark. 'Twould make the period basis for many routines! Alas, all of the images I have found have been seriously wanting...
If it is like the Chinese bill of the 14th C, it's size would be too large for most convention paper money tricks, but I'm sure there are other uses. Perhaps the bill is something Marco Polo brought back from his travels.
Message: Posted by: malaki (Oct 19, 2017 11:52AM)
Sorry to take so long to respond - I apparently forgot to subscribe to this subject and it took me this long to find it again.

I had seen pictures of the bills in the past, but never a shot of someone holding the stone printing plate! That thing is HUGE!!! (thanks for the picture to bring this size realization home!)

I can already tell that I will be scaling down the bills to be of a more common size, that will not require a three ring binder. I figured that, even if it is a slightly different size or shape, I would have to make my own equipment for any specialized effects. I found some reasonably clean images of bills with google today that I may be able to clean up for use. I figure that if printed onto yellow parchment, it may look reasonably close to what mulberry wood pulp might look like.

I too thought about using indulgences, but they do not look very much like money, even though they were basically official IOUs for your soul, according to the Catholic Church. This, as a matter of fact, was the main impetus to Martin Luther posting his list of grievances on the door of the church. For some folks this is still an open wound, from one side of the matter or the other, so I felt that it posed more questions than using a period item was worth. Especially if I had to first explain them to an audience.

I will let you know once I have something to show for my work. At lease, as old as the bills are, I will not have to worry about any couterfeiting charges!

About the dragon coin...
I got out my reading glasses after making that last post and realized that there was a Viking trademark on the coin. Oops. They still work, even though they are not real coins, and smaller than halves. They still look far more period than a half dollar. They actually rattle in the Okito box better than the halves, so I will not be making a box to fit the coins - the boxes I have work just fine. I am presently working on a routine about 5 dragons that I will use with the Okito coin box. Could be interesting...

Thanks to all who replied!