Friday, March 20, 2009

Geocoin Review: Tranquility

I am so excited to be putting this geocoin review up on my blog! I had been looking for a Tranquility geocoin to add to my collection and with a trade and a spontaneous purchase, I now have two! Once I received this coin in hand, I knew why so many collectors like it and try to "get 'em all"! It is a very detailed and beautiful (that seems like the best hard to describe) design. When I looked at my two very different Tranquility coins, I noticed that the one with the translucent enamel (the Green Giant Nickel) showed so much more of the detail and design than the German Gold. The German Gold was made with more solid enamels which cover up part of the design. By just changing the enamel from translucent to solid gives a whole different feel to the coin.

I knew right away that I had to learn more about this coin and share it's story with others. And it seemed like perfect timing as it appears that a new 2009 version is underway! I was fortunate to be able to correspond with Paula of CinemaBoxers who is the artist behind this wonderful coin. Below you will find the specifications for the Tranquility as well as my interview with Paula. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did putting it together.

The Specifications:

Coin design by Paula of CinemaBoxers - some colour combinations contributed by other artists.

Minted by Castle Coins and Pins and originally released September 2007

Specifications: 2”, 3.5mm thick, trackable

Unique icon

Versions: Total to date is 38 (from my limited research) - click here for a list of the names of each edition Tranquility Geocoin Version List

ELTADA: Can you confirm that there are 38 versions of the original Tranquility Geocoin?

Paula: Honestly, I have no idea how many were created in all. I designed several versions, but had no idea about the creation of others. I don't know what all is out there other than the ones I designed, or the ones I own - which isn't many surprisingly! I still like those first ones the best - the colors I used were ones I put alot of thought into, and even those colors are 'symbolic' for the coin, which makes them special to me.

E: The wording on the back of the coin is "The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." What is the source of this text? And how do you feel it fits in with the theme of this coin?

P: The source is a quote from Anne Frank, and I absolutely felt the quote fit Geocaching, and the spirit of the coin. It's all about being outside, and everything working together in unity. I personally know when I'm feeling unhappy, all I need to do is step outside, get some fresh air, and take it all in. The coin was about bringing all things together, but in balance.

E: Could you explain some of the details on the Tranquility that aren’t quite as obvious? For example: the front has North and South America depicted on it – how did you come upon the decision to use these continents vs. others?

P: As I said above, I wanted to include LOTS of details without it being busy, or cluttered. It was hard to pull off, but I wanted to include so many different elements. You will see Earth, Air, Fire and Water, Sun, Moon, Stars and Planets, the continents, Chinese symbols, and even more. As for continents, I wanted my own 'home' location on the coin. There WILL be the globe on the new Tranquility, but it will be very different. =) I believe that the Tranquility coins will always be about balance, regardless of the theme of the coin.

E: Which is your favourite Tranquility version and why?

P: My favorites (I have two) are the Copper Artist Edition - No enamel. Just metal. And the Two tone Black Nickel and Gold - so flashy! Im not as big on the enamel versions, UNLESS the details underneath the enamel can be seen clearly. The glows are my least favorites for that reason - it covers up all the details! The Tranquility was a design I wanted people to pick up and examine, and LOOK for more. I didn't want it to be a 'one glance' coin - I hoped people would keep looking over it, and I like a coin that's interesting to feel as well - when you run your finger over it. I tend to like the metal versions for that reason mainly.

E: Where did you receive the inspiration for this design?

P: I really couldn't tell you - it wasn't just ONE thing. It popped into my head one day - the idea of designing something nature related. I always prefer coins that symbolize something, and that include lots of detail, but, for that, I'll move to the next question....

E: I discovered during my research a quote from you that the initial design of the coin evolved and grew as you worked on it – can you tell us a bit about that?

P: I started the Tranquility as a simple 1 1/2 inch enamel Geocoin. Originally, it was just the center and the animals. But... it wasn't enough. So, I added a ring. The coin kept evolving, and growing on its own... when I would add something, I would get an idea to add something else, it just took on a life of its own, and I kept working until I finally just KNEW it was complete. I always do design first, then add textures in after I'm done - so that was it, I worked, detailed, then added textures to the final design. You should see the original art - its pretty interesting to look at the original PSD file - the layers show the evolution of the coin. I should make a YouTube video of the layers.... it shows the coin growing, and evolving when I flip through in order.

E: That would be pretty amazing to see! Let me know if you do post it on YouTube! ;) So there is a 2009 version in the works…will this be a complete departure from the original Tranquility or will we see similarities?

P: There IS a 2009 version! It's similar, yet very different. In my opinion, I've come a long way as a designer since I did the original Tranq, and I'm taking some things I've discovered and have applied them to the new Tranquiltity Geocoin. It will be recognizable as a Tranquility to those collectors who loved the original, but it will be VERY different as well. The theme is different, overall, yet, balance is still the main focus. Everything in balance, and working together. So, it's hard to explain, but the coin will be VERY different, yet, still a Tranquility!

E: Inquiring minds will want to know who will be minting the new coin and when the projected release date will be – can that information be shared?

P: I'm still working on the art, wrapping up some elements, and making sure it can be done how I want it done - so, some decisions need to be made still before we have an expected release date. I'm hoping for a summer release however - I'm pondering a September release to keep it in line with the original... I will absolutely keep people in the know about its status!!!

E: Is there anything else that you think of that people might want to know about the original or 2009 Tranquility?

P: Just that I'm very proud, and I love the coin. I never had any idea of HOW well it would be recieved. I loved it, and believed in it, but I'm thrilled that people seem to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed designing it. The coin is ENTIRELY original, the design literally just came from one idea after another, which is what contributed to the 'ring' design it has. I really think its important that people know that this one was really one I LOVED working on, and was really close to my heart. On that note - I personally love the new Tranquility, its all the things I loved about the last, but more. I wanted it to be 'obviously' a Tranquility Geocoin - but I knew it had to be entirely different - so, thats what I focused on when working on the art. I'm really hoping the collectors 'connect' to this coin the way they did the original - there are more hidden/relevant symbols in the new than in the last, so it will be fun to see people look at the coin, and pick them out. And.. last but absolutely not least - Thank you to the collectors for making this coin so special!

And thank you to Paula for sharing this beautiful design with us! I mentioned in an email to her that it is obvious from the answers to my questions how much the Tranquility means to her and am appreciative of her time in showing us. I am eagerly (as I am sure others are) awaiting the new 2009 Tranquility!

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