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Shire Post Mint's 8th Kickstarter Campaign - Elder Futhark Runes!

Shire Post Mint's 8th Kickstarter Campaign - Elder Futhark Runes!

For years, people have suggested that we create a set of Elder Futhark metal runes that can be used for divination. We extensively researched rune variations and their cultural associations. The hand-engraved designs use a pleasing hammered textured background on both sides. We are using pure metals (copper and silver) that are finished with a consistent and expertly applied antiqued patina. The Deluxe sets include unique additions like a treasure chest, giant coins, and more.

Visit the Kickstarter Page to support this project! Campaign ends June 4, 2024

The Process

Crafting Metal Runes
Historically, runes were carved with one chisel, one hammer, and a rock. The designs of the rune reflect the rune carving process and the limitations of the material. To keep with the historic stone-chiseled look, the designs were engraved by Mintmaster Woody Maringer using traditional engraving tools. 

Close up of hands hammering and engraving onto a steel die

The runes were selected and laid out by Ben Meehan, then Woody Maringer hand-engraved the runes onto hand-hammered steel tooling. The hammered texture is classically indented on the rune side and inversely raised on the backside for two unique and satisfying textures. Use it as a worry coin! 

Striking the Coins
The designs (or dies) are cloned (or hobbed) in reverse, then the design is struck into each solid metal coin, exquisitely preserving each swing of the Mintmaster's hammer when creating the design. The antique coin press used to strike these designs was historically run on steam power before being converted to electric. Coins are hand-placed inside the coin press and struck one at a time. 

An antique coin press painted black and gold and a detail of a metal rune coin just after being struck
The copper we use is 99.9% pure, the silver we use is 99.9% pure. Because our coins are never cast or plated, they will not be damaged by heavy handling. In fact, our coins look the best when they have been handled for a while! 

Forging the Shired Bronze Objects
Available as add-ons or in the Deluxe Sets, we have crafted 2 new objects, the Giant Vegvisir Coin and the Shired Bronze Altar Dish. Both of these use metals that are left over from our coinmaking process. We melt them down in precise ratios, and cast them into molds. The Giant Vegvisir Coin is struck with an impression, tumbled, and antiqued. The Shired Bronze Altar Dish is tumbled and finished with felt feet on the bottom.

Metal Casting Process for the Shired Bronze Altar Dish by Shire Post Mint

The Treasure Chests
treasure chests are crafted from tornado-harvested Box Elder originally planted and tended by the woodworker Tom Maringer himself. Because the tree lived a full life, its wood is full of character. The box design has been refined to be Tom’s perfect treasure chest shape. The hinges are handmade using brass. It uses a unique removable curved pin closure developed by the woodworker.

We hope you join us! 
-The Shire Post Mint Team
[most of] The Shire Post Mint team! [left to right: Amber, Jammie, Helen, RJ, Niki, Sayrah, Chris, Ben, Woody. Bottom row: Juno!

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