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January 2023 - Tripod Bit

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This item is password protected and available to members of The Geocoin Club only. If you are a member of The Geocoin Club, you will receive the month's password in club newsletter email.

Design By: Chris Mackey 

Dimensions 2.25" Wide

Thickness 3.5 mm

Finish Antique Bronze
Enameling None

Trackable? Yes

Has Icon Yes

January 2023 - Tripod Bit

Design notes from the artist:  Chris Mackey

 It's January's designs for the Geocoin Club that keep me up at night.  Each year we try to come up with another functional coin that is as useful and interesting as it is beautiful to hold in hand.  Each year, the challenge is a little harder.  January of 2023 was no exception.  The Tripod Bit would be the third "biting skull" functional coin that would offer a really useful function on the geocaching trail beyond just being cool to look and trackable to share.

I've had the pleasure to work on a few functional coins over the years, and some of my absolute favorites are the ones that require some basic laws of physics and a little ingenuity to make them work in clever fashion.  I'm a nerd at heart and high school physics class was the introduction of the closest thing to "real" magic I'd ever experienced.  Any chance to relive that experience is like catnip for me!  

In the fall of 2017, GCC would introduce the Micro Bite, a skull embellished geocoin that would help cachers open up those micros and nanos that are all too often frozen or locked up tight from below zero temps without even having to pull off their gloves.  Then, in the fall of 2021, the Skull Bit Line Stay, another biting-skull embellished coin was introduced to help cachers keep their swagbags high and dry throughout the year with a clever gravity powered bite.  I really love this one and it went directly onto my swag bag and is in constant use.  So, when we started thinking about a functional coin for this year, I was delighted to be shown an idea that could be cool and useful for long-trail caching.  A tripod clip for hanging your cookware over a campfire would be a handy and cool part of my geocaching gear now.

I'd seen similar items and I'd half-heartedly attempted something similar for my personal trail gear, but it had never occurred to me to make it into a coin.  For one thing the size would bigger than usual, the possible danger to enamel would limit how it could be produced, and it would be multiple pieces of hardware.  To do it right, it would need to be a large, high quality 3D coin and have a chain that could be extended approximately 16 inches to avoid possible scoring from an open flame.  The cost would be considerable and the chance of something not going right even more considerable, but once again, the gang let me run with it.  I couldn't be happier with the results.

To begin with, the larger size allowed for some ridiculously deep 3D in an already thick coin.  The magic of an antique finish is that it becomes more and more dramatic an effect as the 3D incising is increased.  The deeper the 3D, the exponentially more dynamic the antique finish appears so that you are presented with a flaming skull screaming from the darkest and deepest recesses of the coin in dramatic fashion.  Cooking with a tripod over an open flame appears to have been a common method throughout all of and even before recorded history.  The modern word "fire" is bracketed by the ancient proto-Celtic/Cornish/Welsh word "Tan" (meaning active flames or fire) and the proto-Latin word "Ignis" (production of flame).  Each word representing a major point in the known history of the world where fire was recognized as an integral part of life and yet this same simple method of suspending cookware over a fire has been used throughout.  On the reverse, a set of 3 skulls bracketing each of the 3 tooth-lined die cuts to hold fast to the theme of trinities.

I love how it looks, now I'm excited to start putting to use on the long days and extended stays on the geotrail.  If you see me out there, maybe we'll share a fire, and you too might be bitten by one of these functional coins. 

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