Q: Who are you and do you have a past I can check out A: I am Bill Turner aka Blue Waters Mint. I have sold on eBay since September 1999. Here is my link: b-turner on eBay. You will find several of my coins listed in the Krause Publication, Unusual World Coins and my name appears as a contributor (to my surprise).
Q: Can I buy from this site?
A; Yes. I can sell for less on this website because there is no middleman. You are dealing direct with me. No eBay fees, etc. My coins are also available from a very tiny number of select merchants worldwide.
Q: How can I order?
A: One way is to paste the items you want in an email to me. I will check to be sure I have the items and send you a PayPal invoice unless your prefer check or money order. You may also go the easiest route and order direct through the WEB STORE just as you would do on other sites. When you are done, you check out and it takes you to Paypal. If emailing, you really help me by adding the item number. If you say I want the Excelsior note, I need to know the exact one, so the item number tells me what one you want.
Q: Is there BUYER PROTECTION? A: YES! PayPal is our standard payment default. PayPal offers BUYER PROTECTION. Ironically, eBay offers buyer protection via their sister company PayPal, so, in essence, buying from here is just as safe as buying from eBay when you use PayPal to make your purchase.
Q: If I order something, how long will it take to arrive?
A: I check my emails frequently. Most orders sent the same or next business day following payment. Depending on where you are in the world determines the time it will take to receive your item. Please keep in mind, once I mail it, I have no control over how quickly the Postal Service will deliver it
Q: What if my order never arrives?
A: This is very rare. Sometimes it takes weeks because the Post Office made a mistake. In rare instances it could be lost or stolen in route. Some countries have a less than quality postal system. Insurance is always a good idea, should insurance be available for a package going to your country. It is really difficult to guarantee something I have no control over. I will always try to work with you regardless. I have had coins held in Customs for upwards of 30 days.
Q: Fantasy Coins and Banknotes are Fakes, aren’t they?
A: One of my favorite movies was ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. The movie is a fantasy. It is not real, but I think it could happen. In other words it is fake, but seems like it could happen. Fantasy Coins and Banknotes are just like this movie. They have no exchange rate with currencies issued by recognized governments.
Another related question is if I am trying to do replicas. The answer is yes and no. I feel the coin should be based on a real coin, so I research the real coin and frequently find that my fantasy coin is directly divisible to a real currency at a point in time. Part of the art of fantasy is it's relationship with fact. The best fantasy is real enough to make it believable, so my coins, while pure fantasy are so related to real coins, it is not a stretch to believe they could be real. The idea is not to pull one over on the buyer but to offer the best fantasy coin as possible.
Q: Are Fantasy Coins a good investment?
A: They could be, but I would suggest collecting for the fun of it. I feel my issues should be limited in number to encourage them to increase in value over time. When there’s only 100 or even 500 in the world, that should be worth something. In fact, a mintage of under 10,000 qualifies as 'rare', so is it fair to say 100 or even 500 minted makes such a coin very rare?
Q: What is the deal about the story? It is like you are trying to make me think this is a real place.
A: A pet peeve of mine is buying a coin I know nothing about and its origin is a well protected secret. I prefer to know about the coin, the place it is from and how it might be used. I write a story that is fantasy as well. This way you get the printed story with the coin or note so that when you show the coin or note to a friend you can talk about the place the coin or note comes from.
Q: How do you create the stories?
A: I have always been a geography buff. I love reading about the places most overlook. I even published a travel newsletter on tropical islands the guidebooks missed in the 1980s called Tropical Frontiers. So, I find a place that inspires me. The real place gives me a region to research. I study the region, culture, history and languages. At this point I start writing the story that will be matched to a coin or banknote release. As a result, the story seems as if it could be a real place because it has a recognized history, culture and sometimes, language. My goal is a plausible story…a place that could be.
Another way to describe what I do with the story is to base it on fact. Just like television shows and movies that claim they are based on a real story, I tend to start with fact and embellish, creating the fantasy. I have described this process as much like a tree. The trunk of the tree is real, I just add a branch that is fiction.
Q: The languages you use are pretty unusual. How do you find them?
A: I look for local or regional languages spoken by few people. I am grateful to some who have given me permission to utilize languages they have developed. These are called constructed languages.
Q: Why do the coins cost so much?
A: The biggest cost in making a coin is hiring an artist who engraves the design on both sides of the coin. It can take many hours of work for the artist to design each side of a coin and it is not easy to do. Imagine the cost of hiring an artist to paint a picture for you, a one of a kind. This is what I do in making a coin. The better the design is, the more it costs. Then imagine dividing this amount by 100. Now add on the cost of the metal and hiring a mint to press the image into a coin. If I made 10,000 of each coin, I could sell a coin pretty cheap, but 10,000 coins means thousands would not sell, nor increase in value over the coming years.
Q: What if I’m not satisfied with my purchase?
A: I am a firm believer in customer service. My motto is “If you are not happy, I am not happy.” I will do what it takes to earn your satisfaction. I always hate being underwhelmed or finding the item is not what I expected it to be. You are dealing with me and, guess what, I buy stuff too, making me a pretty understanding guy.
Q: Do you Wholesale?
A: You bet I do! Just drop me an email.
Q: Why do you do it?
A: It’s fun! I really enjoy this. It is my contribution to coin collecting.
Q: Is there a book or internet site with fantasy coins and banknotes?
A: Krause Publications issues “Unusual World Coins”. The website for Krause Publications is one of my links. The USNS, a group for Unrecognized States coins is another good resource in my links.
Q: Do you have other coins and banknotes?
A: Yes, I have a few. Sometimes I find a great buy on hundreds or thousands and take the plunge. Just ask.
Q: Would you do coins for my Micronation?
A: The initial thought is no, but I might consider it. If I say no, I can point you in the right direction and share some knowledge with you.
Q: I want to do my own coin. How do I start.
A: I learned what I know from people nice enough to share. Send me an email. I’ll get back with you. And let me add this: I find more fantasy coins being available to collectors helps us all. It brings new people to the fantasy coin realm. It does not lower sales but increases sales. In this respect, the more coins that are available, the more all of us can sell. We more we can sell, the less expensive they become to make because the price of the design can be divided by the number of coins produced (ie: if the design costs $1,000 to create, that's $10 per coin on 100 coins but just $2 per coin on 500 coins), so the result is the cost you pay for the coin is considerably less.
Q: What if you haven’t answered my question?
A: Click contact me and ask away!