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Tom Marringer’s Lord of the Rings Fantasy Coinage
October 23, 2007

With the revision of the fifth edition of Unusual World Coins now off to the printer, it is time to reflect for a moment on some of the stuff I have been exposed to during the production of this latest update of a 'fun' numismatic reference. Everyone wants a catalog for their stuff, even if it is out-of-the-ordinary stuff, UWC has provided that medium, and now with listings on the Web, www.numismaster.com does too! (via a subscription, thank you very much!).

As collectors of numismatic stuff, my co-editor Tom Michael and I often jump with both feet to support modern producers of UWC items. Yes, we do support the hobby we report on as book editors.

Mention of coinage in books has always been a welcomed treat while reading.

However, seldom has only three references in a famous trilogy created such a wonderful group of fantasy coinage, sadly now ended due to legal issues.



Tom Marringer, of Springdale AR, operated as the Shire Post Mint. He created at first a system of rubber stamps and postage labels mimicking postage stamps from the Shire and other lands in the J.R.R. Tolkien series. In time this operation was expanded to the creation of coins for some of the different lands in the Lord of the Rings series. The Shire, Mordor, Elves, men of Dale, Gondor and even the dwarfs were all eventually represented.

Sadly, there was a bit of a legal entanglement with the Tolkien Enterprises, the minting of LOTR material has now come to an end.

However, Tom does produce some items relating to other lands, such as Leif Erickson coinage from Vinland, items from Westeros, and a short series for Camelot and Arthur Pendragon.

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About the Author
George Cuhaj has been with the Krause Publications numismatic team since 1994. He is editor of the various editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins and the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. Prior to joining KP, Cuhaj was employed by the American Numismatic Society and Stack's Rare Coins, both of New York City. He is a Fellow in both the Royal Numismatic Society and the American Numismatic Society. He also is a life member and past board member of the International Bank Note Society. Cuhaj was elected an Allied Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society and has had his medallic work exhibited internationally.

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