Greetings all and welcome to final of the 2022 series, Artisans and Crafters of Bryn Gwlad (and friends). Monthly we interview populace about what they create, and why they create it or do it ! This being our Last month in the year we are ending with a Bang !! Now on to the The interview !
This month we are chatting with HL Rüdiger der Münzær aka Rüdiger The Moneyer ! He is a Highly skilled crafter, and talented artisan in the field of researching and creating coins of the medieval ages from the very beginnings of coining. I hope you all enjoy this little dive into his Art as much as I have enjoyed Hearing about this !
- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE SCA ? I have been in the SCA since 2014.
- WHAT IS THE ART FORM OR SERVICE YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH US TODAY ? I study and demonstrate the arts and sciences of moneying – creating coins. This is parts blacksmithing, design, silversmithing, and working in areas less than an inch diameter.
- DID YOU START DOING THIS BEFORE YOU CAME TO THE SCA ? I experimented with making my own coins shortly before joining the SCA. I made my first coin in July of 2015 – about 6 months after I joined the SCA and connected with the Inter-Kingdom Moneyer’s Guild on Facebook.
- IF YOU DID THIS PREVIOUS TO THE SCA – DID THIS HELP TO DRAW YOU TO THE SCA ? Somewhat – I did not know what I was doing and it pointed me to better resources.
- TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT THIS ENTAILS, AND THE CREATION ASPECT OF IT. Making coins is both art and science. Creating a coin die is easy, and can be done in a beginners class that I teach whenever I am able. Coin dies are pieces of steel that hold the image to be impressed into the coins. Most coin dies are made with punches and engraving – punches artfully dent metal, and engraving removes material, but both create relief, or height, on the finished coin. Punches are unique to each moneyer, handmade for their needs and inclinations. Using a mix of punching and engraving, make the image you need. Do the same for a reverse die, and you are ready to strike coins.
To make blanks, the fast method is to melt pewter blobs, hammer them flat, strike, and round out with shears. A similar method may have been used in period. For large batches, making sheet is most efficient and consistent, but requires lots of hammering to flatten by hand. Doing this with silver is difficult and time consuming, but shows up in multiple period depictions of moneying.
Striking is as simple as aligning your two dies, putting a blank between, and hitting the top die with a hammer. Congratulations, you are a moneyer!!
- HOW WOULD SOMEONE GO ABOUT BEGINNING DOING OR RESEARCHING ON THIS ? Essential research would be utilizing the information in the Inter Kingdom Moneyer’s Guild on Facebook. Someone (including myself!) have asked many questions and collected many resources there to save headache of individual research. The easiest place to start is in England, as many researchers and scholars have focused on their minting history. Barring this, Stah’s book on the Zecca mint of Venice offers a great overview, and Challis “A new History of the Royal Mint” covers the workings of the mint in England monetary policies of kings in articles written by experts on the topics from Pre-Norman Invasion England to modern day. A cheaper and lighter reading option is “Collecting Medieval Coins: A Beginners Guide” which includes pictures of many different coins from different cultures as well as a basic overview of the different issues.
- HOW CAN THIS BE SHOWCASED IN THE SCA WHILE ATTENDING EVENTS AND THINGS? I consistently bring my striking setup to events. If you ever see me – I wear a green cote with yellow hood – I am striking, teaching, or willing to strike and teach. You can often hear me at an events, I will be on the edges so I don’t bother people with the noise, You can pick me out of a crowd because of the large stump I drag around for striking.
- IF SOMEONE WANTED TO LEARN, AS A BEGINNER WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE ON A STARTING POINT? Talk to your local Moneyer and join the Inter Kingdom Moneyer’s Guild on facebook -the group is willing to help. I will also talk your ears off about getting started and history/techniques. However, the hardest die to cut is your second die. Getting started is fun, exciting, and I will personally help you make the first one. After the first die, you are in the driver seat, and lots of people get lost with the ways of doing things and choices they have, even with support. The Ansteorran Moneyers Guild cuts dies and plans out coins for our royalty so there are plenty of opportunities to cut dies.
- TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE JOY AND COMMUNITY YOU GET FROM THIS AND MAYBE SHARE SOME THINGS YOU’VE DONE. Moneying is a dying art – as with anything in the SCA A&S community, we preserve a lost or dying art in our game – we are lucky enough to make coins for our royals, events, and baronies, and our Kingdom. We preserve an art form that was present in daily life of our ancestors, and something that creates a direct connection from the game we play to the past we study.
Wow what an amazing Artisan !! This sounds like such an amazing Art form ! So Keep your eyes open and don’t hesitate to stop and see what the Moneyers of Ansteorra are doing !! And yes reach out I know that He and his moneyer associates will be glad to share their information and skills with y’all !!
I would like to thank all of the Artisans and Crafters who have given of their time and art to share with us this year – Happy Holidays and Thank you All !!
Sigrun Sveinungsdottir I Biarka. Halberd MoAS