West Kingdom Moneyers Guild; A Short History
The West Kingdom Moneyers had their start in the principality of Cynagua about the year 1988. Prior to that time coin making had been generally an individual effort that gained small notice and little traction.
The person responsible for the sudden leap of interest was Emmerich of Vakkerfjell. Having joined the Society in ’82, like most people he noticed that everyone was doing something, he decided that he too would showcase a lost art or skill. His honest and enthusiastic spirit was influenced by Duke Frederick of Holland in a chance encounter, and follow-up conversations where Flieg gave him a coin from his reign in the East kingdom. His initial work was in the field of casting though. He offered his talents to the Princes of Cynagua in the form of War medals for events like the old Burro Creek War. Though a founder of the Shire of Vakkerfjell, Emmerich relocated north to the Shire of Crystalmist. He managed to get in on the tail end of their formation and organization as a Shire of the West kingdom.
Once established in his new surroundings, he set out to develop coin making from the research he had done. In no time at all there were some positive results. Emmerich’s first court coin presentation was 100 copper struck coins for the then Prince of Cynagua Rolf the Relentless (1985).
By 1988 the first pseudo-guild workshop was done in the Vakkerfjell area, there were six people in attendance. From this small group the Cynaguan Moneyers moved quickly to serve their land. It was just a matter of time before the idea of a Kingdom Guild started to become more fact than fancy.
The Twelfth Night celebration of ’90 in which King Jade was crowned is most memorable. At a revel held shortly after his coronation, Ellis inquired of his majesty why the “Moneyers of his realm were not an official Guild of the West Kingdom”. To which his majesties reply was, “I declare that the Moneyers of our realm are indeed a Guild of the West”. Thus the word of the King being law, they promptly seized the opportunity, though it would be a number of years before their Charter was finalized and sealed.
Since that time they have made substantial strides in art and craft. They have expanded their scope of coverage to include the Coronets of the Mists and Cynagua, and all the Crowns of the West. Granted there have been low times when their numbers have been small and people have occasionally been missed. (For which they deeply apologize) Despite these slips or perhaps more likely because of them, they have grown and flourished in many ways. Each Moneyer has had the opportunity to learn and participate in the Western Moneyers Guild experience. It has been quite some time since they have missed a deadline, order, or Royal. They are after all a volunteer organization, and like any branch of the Society they grow and contract over time.
Today their numbers are strong and their confidence in service to the Kingdom is evident at most events. The Guild invites those willing to learn, to join the Guild, and serve with them a craft with very ancient and noble roots.
The oath of a Moneyer contains these words, “To what ever lands I roam or Lords I serve my craft goes with me".
The Moneyers Guild of the West hopes to serve the western lands for many years to come, and they invite the kingdom to bear witness to their continued endeavors.
Taking the Mystery out of the Moneyers Guild Activities
Often enough the activities of the guild are lost in an enigmatic fog of misunderstanding or perceived secrecy. Lets set the record straight. It has been the desire of the Guild since its inception to do one thing in particular, "Presentation Coinage". To accomplish this a Guild representative will often be on hand once finals in a Coronet or Crown Tournament are over. The representative will approach the heirs, often with a letter praising their victory in the Lists and containing contact information. The Guild will try many time to reach heirs, if for some reason this is impossible the Guild will construct appropriate artwork for their coin. This usually involves a name, title, persona, and arms check. Elements from the Heirs arms and their names will be incorporated into the coins device. The final coin will reflect this research.
If the heirs are available to discuss these details, the Guild will endeavor to match a persona specific or fantasy specific design. The limits to this design are threefold.:
1. The die cutter assigned to do the work is an artist, as such there are always limitations to what can be incorporated into a masterpiece 3/4" in size. The final coin will reflect as much design as is possible that the die cutter can do. The Guild often says you can reasonably expect to get 75% of what you want.
2. As mentioned above our coins come in ONE size for all heirs. The reason for this is to adopt a medieval standard and keep expenses down. Remember that the Guild GIVES these coins to the heirs for FREE. All Crowns will receive the Pound English, (240 coins), while all Coronets receive a Half Pound (120 coins). Any additional coins must be ordered to cover costs. Three quarters of an inch, or the exact size of a standard medieval penny is the Guild standard, and it is referred to as a "Penny". Larger coin sizes must also be specially ordered, the larger coin size that the Guild produces is called a "Groat" or four penny piece, and measures 1". The guild can do "Siege" coins in two sizes as well.
3. Time line; where possible the finished coins will be presented in a court setting as soon in a new reign as can be done. If for some reason the next available court is beyond the reach of the usual gathering of Moneyers, a courier will be warranted to dispatch the reign coins in court or in private. If a real emergency exists the coins can be shipped.
The Moneyers Guild endeavors to place reign coins in the hands of each Royal that it can. The historical nature of Monarchs having their own coins was upheld since Roman times, and throughout the Middle Ages. It is entirely possible an archaeologist could uncover a Society coin in a thousand years. I wonder what they would think about a Viking King from Northern California?
What does it take to make coins for the Kingdom?
Lets examine that in detail.
First get some of your good drinking buddies together...
Get a positive attitude going...
Roll out some metal
Use team work
Make lots of plate
Make a design
Cut your design into a set of steel dies
Know your technology
Put the smack down
Sort the coins and count them
Take the time to enjoy the view
Take them to court...repeat...repeat...repeat