Friday, November 2, 2018

Announcing the Contest Winner! (Plus Some Interesting US Coin Facts)


The third semi-annual Save Versus All Wands contest - What is the Value of this Coin Hoard - is over.

$1,000 was the winning guess, only a bit below the actual total of $1,216.

It was made by Mark Clover (AKA Dr. Evil) who made his guess via the above funny meme.

Thank you to everyone else for participating!

Mark is the owner of Creative Mountain Games and manages the Lake Geneva Games store in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. He started playing Dungeons & Dragons when it was first released in 1974, and attended the last Gen Con to be held at Horticultural Hall, one year later.

He'll be receiving the four Seven Voyages of Zylarthen booklets plus the Book of Spells supplement. Fittingly, Zylarthen was directly inspired by the original 1974 "three little brown books." 

Curiously, Mark's guess of $1,000 was also the highest guess, with no one guessing over the actual total. Most of the others were in the range of $200 to $500, with the mean being only $400 or so - only one-third of the actual value of the hoard. I'm not sure why the guesses were low. Perhaps it was partly due to the fact that few thought anyone be crazy enough to amass more than a thousand dollars worth of coins for use in a role-playing game.

Though, remember, it's not a sunk cost. In a sense it's only slightly less liquid than keeping money in a checking or savings account. Indeed, by one measure, it's more liquid! And, yes, I've at least partially "cashed out" twice since I started, eight years ago.  

I'm not a numismatist, but I've learned some interesting facts in the process of amassing my "hoard".

Here's one of them: If you throw out the "cheap" coins - pennies and nickels - and the more recent coins - the Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea and Presidential dollars - the four basic original coins - dimes, quarters, half-dollars and dollars (those large diameter Eisenhowers) - all have  approximately the same volume and weight per dollar value. In other words, if you take a Arturo Fuente 8-5-8 cigar box and fill it to the brim with dimes, quarters, half-dollars or Eisenhower dollars, you'll always get approximately $200 of coins weighing about nine pounds.

Interestingly, that's about the value of the 25 cigars that the box was designed to contain, at least at walk-in cigar store prices. Though if you order a box online you can pick it up for about $125. And, by the way, if you're a cigar smoker, I highly recommend the 8-5-8's, especially those with the unusual green "Claro" wrapper. They're a great value for only five dollars a stick.

The figures below, break down the numbers and properties of the above pictured coins. Keep in mind that the in-game monetary and experience point values are based on the Zylarthen silver standard:      


Totals:

Total Number of Coins: 6,350

Game
Value: 288,870 Silver Pieces
Total Value: 288,870 xp
Total Weight: 5,020 lb. (1004 eu)

Actual
Total Value: $1,216
Total Weight: 60 lb. 4 oz.


Jefferson Nickel (iron scrip)

Total Number of Coins: 1,000

Game
Value: 1 iron scrip coin (1/20 of a Silver Piece)
Total Value: 50 xp
Total Weight: 50 lb. (10 eu)

Actual
Years: 1946-2018
Diameter: 0.835 inches
Thickness: 0.077 inches
Volume: 0.042 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.161 ounces
Composition: Copper
Total Value: $50
Total Weight: 10 lb. 1 oz.


Lincoln Penny (Copper Piece)

Total Number of Coins: 1,600

Game
Value: 1 Copper Piece (1/5 of a Silver Piece)
Total Value: 320 xp
Total Weight: 80 lb. (16 eu)

Actual
Years: 1947-1962/1962-1981/1982-2018
Diameter: 0.750 inches
Thickness: 0.059 inches
Volume: 0.026 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.080 ounces
Composition: Bronze/Copper/Zinc
Total Value: $16
Total Weight: 8 lb.


Roosevelt Dime (Silver Piece)

Total Number of Coins: 2,000

Game
Value: 1 Silver Piece
Total Value: 2,000 xp
Total Weight: 100 lb. (20 eu)

Actual
Years: 1965-2018
Diameter: 0.705 inches
Thickness: 0.053 inches
Volume: 0.021 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.073 ounces
Composition: Copper
Total Value: $200
Total Weight: 9 lb. 2 oz.


Washington Quarter (Gold Piece)

Total Number of Coins: 800

Game
Value: 1 Gold Piece (10 Silver Pieces)
Total Value: 8,000 xp
Total Weight: 40 lb. (8 eu)

Actual
Years: 1965-2018
Diameter: 0.955 inches
Thickness: 0.069 inches
Volume: 0.049 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.182 ounces
Composition: Copper
Total Value: $200
Total Weight: 9 lb. 2 oz


Susan B. Anthony Dollar (token for multiple iron scrip coins)

Total Number of Coins: 100

Game
Value: 100 iron scrip coins (5 Silver Pieces)
Total Value: 500 xp
Total Weight: 500 lb. (100 eu)

Actual
Years: 1979-1981, 1999
Diameter: 1.043 inches
Thickness: 0.079 inches
Volume: 0.067 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.260 ounces
Composition: Copper/Nickel
Total Value: $100
Total Weight: 1 lb. 10 oz


Kennedy Half Dollar (token for multiple Copper Pieces)

Total Number of Coins: 400

Game
Value: 100 Copper Pieces (20 Silver Pieces)
Total Value: 8,000 xp
Total Weight: 2,000 lb. (400 eu)

Actual
Years: 1971-2001
Diameter: 1.205 inches
Thickness: 0.085 inches
Volume: 0.097 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.365 ounces
Composition: Copper
Total Value: $200
Total Weight: 9 lb. 2 oz


Eisenhower Dollar (token for multiple Silver Pieces)

Total Number of Coins: 200

Game
Value: 100 Silver Pieces
Total Value: 20,000 xp
Total Weight: 1,000 lb. (200 eu)

Actual
Years: 1971-1978
Diameter: 1.500 inches
Thickness: 0.102 inches
Volume: 0.180 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.729 ounces
Composition: Copper
Total Value: $200
Total Weight: 9 lb. 2 oz


Sacagawea/Presidential Dollar (token for multiple Gold Pieces)

Total Number of Coins: 250

Game
Value: 100 Gold Pieces (1000 Silver Pieces)
Total Value: 250,000 xp
Total Weight: 1,250 lb. (250 eu)

Actual
Years: 2000-2016
Diameter: 1.043 inches
Thickness: 0.079 inches
Volume: 0.067 cubic inches 
Mass: 0.260 ounces
Composition: Copper
Total Value: $250
Total Weight: 4 lb. 1 oz 

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