"A Superior State of Affairs" and a Copper Country Coin
"A Superior State of Affairs" and a Copper Country Coin
"A Superior State of Affairs" and a Copper Country Coin
"A Superior State of Affairs" and a Copper Country Coin

"A Superior State of Affairs" and a Copper Country Coin

An original novel by Tom Maringer and a solid copper coin.

A Superior State of Affairs:

It is January, 2017. The Copper Country, on the shores of Lake Superior, is socked in by the biggest blizzard of the century. Beneath a heavy blanket of snow, the simmering separatist movement in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (the U.P.) is coming to a boil. Ever since the United States merged with Canada and Central America and formed the new "North American Federation," the state government had given scant attention to the problems of its northern outpost. Digger Puttonen is a freelance geologist who grew up poking around the old copper mines. Possessed of an uncanny ability to "find" things, he and two other Michigan Tech graduate students formed a small partnership called the Midnight Mining Company and developed a radically new technology based on an enhanced understanding of the laws of physics. George Frederick Sherman, a ruthless Chicago industrialist, gets wind of the tiny company through his computer people. He quickly sees how important it is, and decides that he must gain control of it before the government does, at any cost. The only flaw in his scheme seems to be a couple of his own employees, Steve Sanders and Eileen Donovan, a pair of computer geeks who have fallen in love with each other and seem to be just too damned smart for their own good. Kicked out of his own laboratory by Sherman's machinations, Digger Puttonen is trying to drown his sorrows in beer at a local tavern when he meets Arne Harjaala, an old-time miner down on his luck. Arne tells Digger an unbelievably tall tale of a mine disaster, yet Digger's sixth sense tell him the story is true, no matter how impossible it seems. Digger's quest to find out what happened to Arne leads in unexpected directions.

Copper Country Coin:

A solid copper bullion coin honoring the famous Quincy Mine in Hancock, Michigan, located on the scenic Keweenaw Peninsula. The piece was minted from a massive blank weighing 36 grams of pure .997 copper. On the obverse is a high relief image of Arne Harjaala with pick, oil lamp, and pipe. The reverse side depicts the still-standing Quincy #2 shaft-house, a National Historic Site, viewed from the south.

This coin was made in 2006 and is historically significant in the bullion trade as it was the first ever use of troy ounces as the weight designation of copper bullion. The use of the troy ounce in denominating the weight of copper was intended as an offhand joke, as troy ounces are generally used only in reference to precious metals. The fact that the 36 gram weight is almost five grams over a troy ounce made the piece even more ludicrous, and was intended to be representative of the fact that you get more than your money's worth when you visit the Copper Country! Even though it was a joke, it has now, years later, become commonplace for copper bars and rounds to be designated in troy ounces.
This is a fine piece of mining-related exonumia, a great addition to any collection of Upper Peninsula minerals or artifacts, and a historically significant bullion piece.

This Copper Country Bullion is struck from solid copper, measures 3.3 cm in diameter, and weighs about 36 grams. Coin artwork by Gary Carlisle and Stan Peterson.

Coins are struck one at a time in the USA using antique machinery and traditional coining techniques. A colorful description is included with history and facts about the coin.