Blue Waters Mint is operated by Bill Turner in Cypress, Texas. We began operation in 2004 and remain a small business.
In today's world most mints use computers and expensive equipment to create the designs found on coins, called the dies. Presses are capable of churning out thousands and tens of thousands of coins in a run. This is not the case for Blue Waters Mint.
Blue Waters Mint coins are handmade. We are very fortunate that a very respected and talented artist etches our designs by hand. We are fortunate to have talented mint masters that utilize manual screw presses to mint our coins by hand, one at a time, examining each piece for quality and specs.
The result is we mint in very small numbers, usually 100 of each coin, and all the coins are created with love and care by hand. Not only do they have value in the metal they contain, but there are minor differences in every coin because they are minted one by one. In essence, you end up with a work of art where every step of the way the artist and minter pour their hearts into each coin. Their work is a reflection on them, as they see it, so they always do their best with each coin minted, checked by their standards before going in the stack of those coins making the cut. No deadlines, no big companies, just individuals with an emphasis on pleasure versus profit drives each release.
Having a Blue Waters Mint coin in your collection means you are one of a select few on earth to own such a coin. It's manufacturing process should add to its value in coming years.
We believe the story of the coin should be one you can explain when you show your friends your collection. We produce a brochure about the place the coin represents so you can get a good feel for the land, its people and lifestyle. We provide details on the monetary system and the releases. This comes with each coin.
Your coin comes in a coin flip with a certificate of authenticity because there is nothing like knowing you have the real thing.
Our history begins with the discovery that banknotes and coins purchased by Bill in the early 1970s had sometimes increased greatly in value. The collecting bug had returned for Bill, who began seeking out rare and unusual notes and coins to add to his collection. After some time, Bill saw a fantasy coin created by Erik McCrea. He had to add it to his collection and he wanted to know more about fantasy coins. Erik was kind enough to point Bill in the right direction but without the money to mint coins, a way to get the money became the key.
Bill decided to release fantasy banknotes mostly made from handmade paper, utilizing custom made stamps. The idea of a brochure to accompany the note was added. A few samples were made in 2004 and sales began in a few weeks. The funds generated from banknote sales funded the first coin release.
The fantasy banknotes were sold all over the world to buyers who found Bill's listings on eBay. Later the coins were sold via eBay and eventually by a few coin dealers.
It was early 2006 the first coins were contracted. A release of colored acrylic coins for Ile Crescent was ready for sale in August 2006. The coins are listed in Unusual World Coins, 5th Edition, by Colin R. Bruce II and published by Krause Publications. While they are coins, Bill wanted a metal coin release under his belt.
The Ile Crescent sales were strong enough to provide the funds for a 5 coin release for Viinamarisaar in early 2007. Within 60 days, thanks to an income tax refund, Klef Raraha coins were released. The Viinamarisaar coins were made by Shire Post (www.shirepost.com) under the direction of Tom Maringer who utilized his screw presses with the coin’s impression (the dies), made by Greg Franck-Weiby, a highly praised metal engraver and artist. The Klef Raraha release was designed and minted by www.personalgeocoins.com.
Our next release for The Most Serene Republic of Excelsior was met with great demand. With Shire Post handling the production, Tom had the insight to double our mintage and commission postage stamps. We believe it was Tom’s great ‘feel’ for the project and demand that led to a sell-out in a mere ten days.
Next was Mägi Päiväine’s aggressive 16 coin release in the last quarter of 2008. Our most expensive project yet, it took almost a year before we could commission our next release for Pampapana.
The Pampapana release became available in January of 2010 and has met with great success. Easily our finest yet, the huge 1.75 inch or 44 millimeter, thick coins weighing 44 to 49 grams each, were certainly the most difficult to mint. The very impressive design took nearly 100 hours of design time. Again, it was the craftsmanship of Tom Maringer and Greg Franck-Weiby that made this an extraordinary release. Our investment, a small price to pay for the exceptional result, was one of our biggest investments.
The Anan Munan Ylha/Anan Ylhatuoli/Anan Tantaimon 4 coin release arrived in two shipments about a month or more apart in May and June 2010. The mintage of 200 of the 1 and 3 Suota began selling immediately. The 7 and 10 Suota arrived some weeks later. This amazing, charming release of silver coins has certainly been our fastest selling since the Excelsior release. In fact, a second minting of 300 of the 1 Suota arrived September 20, 2010 and almost immediately came an offer from an international coin seller to buy all 300. This certainly attests to the demand for this beautiful release.
I am thrilled to have been called one of the most prolific fantasy coin makers in the world today. As I was told, some have issued coins for more places over the years, but my list of coins produced and planned since the first coins were made in 2006 demonstrates I am 'prolific' in creating fantasy coins. To see what I mean see WHATS NEW and IN THE FUTURE.