Geocoin


Geocoin
A 2004 USA Geocoin

A geocoin is a metal or wooden coin minted in similar fashion to a medallion, token coin, military challenge coin or wooden nickel, for use in geocaching. The first geocins were developed by Jon Stanley (aka moun10bike) as a signature item to be placed in caches.

Many of them are made to be trackable on various websites to be able to show the movement around the world and visitors to be able to leave comments when they find the coin.

The largest Geocoin in the world

A geocoin typically has a diameter of 1.5 inches to 2 inches and a thickness between 2.5mm and 4mm. Coins with the size of 1 inch are called microcoins, because they fit into microcaches (e.g. film canister). The smallest geocoins with a diameter of 0.5 inch are called nanocoins, and have been sold since 2009. If the diameter is larger than 3 inches the geocoin is called macrocoin. It has the famous saying of "thats not a coin its an anchor".

Contents

Signature Items

Personal geocoins are a personal signature item that normally bears the geocacher's handle and personal design. For example it was Jon Stanley's (aka moun10bike) original manufacture of a coin that started the hobby in the geocaching game. It has a stylized mountain bike and his caching handle, and on the back the geocaching logo.

Geocoins are often minted by caching organizations and companies. Though not specifically a personal signature item they are a form of signature item for the organization that developed them. Groundspeak produces coins on a regular basis for their company and for the employees to give away at events.

Reviewer/Moderator/Lackey Coins are another form of signature items over the years these have their own following. Many of them have taken the time to create their own signature item.

In the first few years the number of coins that were a signature item for a geocaching group, or individuals far outnumbered the coins that were made to sell. However now they tend to be smaller percentage as the industry has a number of coins manufacturers that develop coins for events, holidays, or special coins. The cost to make a personal coin is fairly high.

Tracking websites

When a cache listed at geocaching.com contains a geocoin, an icon (often unique to the type of the coin) is shown on the cache page's "Inventory" section. This icon will also appear in the inventory of any cacher holding one as well as in each cacher's historical trackable item listing. Icons will also remain in the inventory of cachers who log the 'discovery' of a geocoin's number without physically removing it from a cache. "Icon collecting" -- the act of having these icons listed in one's trackables listing—is an associated hobby. Many people bring geocoins with unique icons to geocaching events so that others may see the coins and use the tracking number to collect the icons online, and it is not uncommon for collectors to activate some or all of the coins in their collections in order to have a matching online collection of icons associated with their geocaching.com accounts.

Other websites for trackable coins include the 2005 Canadian geocoin , Utah geocoin, Oregon State coin, and sigitem.com.

Theft

It is not uncommon for activated, released geocoins to go missing, whether because a cacher is unfamiliar with the logging and tracking process or due to outright theft. Some geocoin owners will purposefully attempt to destroy the resale value of the coin by drilling and tagging it with an extra tag, marker, or other item that is intended to underscore the fact that the geocoin is meant to travel, not to be kept.[1] Another somewhat controversial anti-theft measure is to create a copy of the geocoin, releasing the copy and keeping the original.[2]

History

  • September 30, 2001 The first trackable geocoin released was the Moun10Bike Version 1 Geocoin #002.[3] The Moun10Bike Version 1 Geocoins are the most sought-after geocoins in existence. They are all displayed on geocaching.com as owned by Moun10Bike and he has strictly forbidden their sale; however, unscrupulous or ignorant persons may list the coin for sale on auction sites such as eBay, fetching prices in the thousands of USD. When he finds that a coin has been sold without permission, he has the coin locked so it is no longer trackable.[4]
  • 2002 March The first geocoin that was produced and sold to the public to collect and release was the Canadian geocoin. [5]
  • 2003 The first USAGeocoin was released for sale, making it one of the first geocoins that one can buy, release, and track online without minting an exclusive personal design. The proposed 2002 design was never made.[6]
  • 2005 Geocaching.com permitted any geocaching.com user to purchase tracking numbers for approved designs, fueling a sudden surge in number of coins. Minimum purchase was initially set at 1000 tracking numbers.
  • Fall 2006 Groundspeak reduced the minimum purchase of tracking numbers, and the minimum number of coins minted to obtain a unique icon, to 250. The drop in the cost to create a geocoin with a unique icon fueled a 'geocoin craze' with hundreds of new personal, group and increasingly purely commercial designs minted.[7]
  • February 17, 2007 The First Annual Geocoinfest was held in Temecula, CA. This event brought hundreds of geocoin collectors together for the first time in a mass event, with many exclusive coins being given away or traded.[8]
  • March 4, 2009 Geocaching.com further reduced the minimum number of codes for purchase to 50, and the minimum number of coins eligible for a custom icon to 50.[9]

Notable Geocoins

  • First Geocoin: Mount10Bike Coin September 30,2001
  • First Geocoin for sale to public: Canada Geocoin Spring 2002
  • Largest Geocoin (production run): Generic Coin Ø5(~120mm)
  • Largest Single Coin (not a production run): It was handcrafted for the Geocaching event "Nordseetaufe 2010" in Germany. It weighs about 40 kg with a height of 97 cm and a width of 62 cm. This macrocoin was built after the official Event-Geocoin that has the shape of an anchor with a red and white rope. However it was not a run of a specific coins, but a coin that was made to resemble the coins that were made. It later had a coin number assigned to it.

Coin finishes

  • Antique Finish: A finish applied to copper, gold, or silver to give it a darker look. This finish is used often to have the fine details in a coin stand out more clearly.
  • Foggy Painting: Paint finish simulating metal applied surface. Can have gloss, shine or lustre but lacking definition (foggy details).
  • Matte: see Satin Finish.
  • Misty: Silver or gold finish simulating effect of unpolished areas of a proof coin.
  • Proof-like: Effect attained on high quality die stuck coins by high pressure and multiple strikes producing mirror finish background with satin finish relief areas
  • Satin Finish: A finish giving a matte (non-glossy) look to the metal. A misused term as traditionally (in fabric) a satin finish often has a level of gloss associated with it.
  • Silver: 1. plated with silver 2. .999 solid silver 3. silver-like nickel plated (shiny nickel).

Collecting terms

  • AE: Artists Edition: type of SE; a version of a retail commercial geocoin only made available to the designer of the coin.
  • LE: Limited Edition: Typically a different version (color, metal, etc.) than the main run of coins. Produced in a limited quantity one time only.
  • RE: Regular edition not produced in a limited in number thus may be reprised according to demand as dies are held by the mint for minimum of three years.
  • SE: Special Edition: Typically a different version to the main run of coins but unlike LE, XLE or XXLE no limit on the number minted, and they may be reminted at any time.
  • XLE: Extra Limited Edition: Same as LE only fewer.
  • XXLE: Extremely Limited Edition: Same as XLE only fewer.
  • HTF: Hard to Find; refers to ease of acquiring through purchase or trade not total mint numbers
  • VHTF: Very Hard to Find; refers to ease of acquiring through purchase or trade not total mint numbers
  • Proof Coin: 1.the sample coins provided by the mint 2.Effect attained on high quality die stuck coins by high pressure and multiple strikes producing mirror finish background with satin finish relief areas.
  • Sample Coin: The sample coins provided by the mint. Some sample geocoins do not have tracking numbers.

Geocaching terms

  • Activated/Unactivated: Geocoins with tracking numbers that have been registered on their associated websites are said to be "activated", whereas geocoins that are still unregistered are termed "unactivated". Activated geocoins that have been left in a cache are meant to be moved from cache to cache like a Travel Bug, whereas unactivated geocoins may be placed in geocaches to be found by others and kept as trophies. Unactivated coins may be also traded or given to other cachers like a calling card, as prizes, as awards, or merely sold and collected.
  • Custom Icon: 16 x 16 px or 32 x 32 px GIF files that are associated to the coin or coin series by geocaching.com trackable coins.
  • Micro: A geocoin that is smaller than ~1.25 inches in diameter. Generally recognized as a coin that would fit inside a 35mm film canister.
  • Non-trackable: A geocoin produced without a tracking number.
  • Personal: A geocoin produced or designed by an individual or team of geocachers featuring team or cacher's nickname ("geonick") prominently on the coin.
  • Pathtag: Pathtags are similar to geocoins. They are about the size of a U.S. quarter. Instead of being released to travel, they are used for trading, collecting and personal signature items. They are trackable at the www.pathtags.com website but not at geocaching.com.

See also

References

  1. ^ Releasing drilled coins with flips. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)
  2. ^ Inventive coin "copy" ideas. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)
  3. ^ Moun10Bike Version 1 Geocoin #002 - The Actual Activation Date is September 20, 2002, but the first coin was placed in a cache on the 30th, as reflected in the first log. (Geocaching.com - requires registration)
  4. ^ Note From Moun10Bike on the forums about the eBay auction policy. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)
  5. ^ Groundspeak Thread about the Canadian Geocoin Concept,Production, and sales. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)
  6. ^ Groundspeak Thread about the USA Geocoins History. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)
  7. ^ Groundspeak's Current Coin Tracking Policy, Coin Tracking Requirements. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)
  8. ^ GeocoinFest 2007 Cache Listing. (Geocaching.com - requires registration)
  9. ^ Current Coin Tracking Policy. (Geocaching Forums thread - requires registration)

External links


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