Replacement Display Box for Hobbit Coins


New Member
I purchased The Hobbit replica Erebor coins about a year ago, as I'm trying to build up a collection of props from the series. It seemed like a good start, as the set of five coins was rather cheap when I bought them and as a collector on a tight budget, it was something I could hold on to.
And then I saw the original display box:
It looks nice in the photo, and maybe I just got a bad egg, but the one I got felt really cheap. The lid was very loose and the whole thing didn't feel solid enough to hold the coins for display, to say nothing of transporting them.
So I found a new box for them. I was originally going to build a new case, but budgetary constraints led me to repurpose an old cigar box.
I didn't think to take any in-progress photos of making the box, but here are some shots of the final product:
Photo Apr 30, 8 46 55 PM.jpg
The cirth runes on the front read (from top to bottom) "TREASURY EREBOR" - I had originally planned to write the phrase out in Dwarvish using the resources from The Dwarrow Scholar, but the text wouldn't have fit as nicely. The crest of Durin takes up the middle of the box, and I did my best to copy it from the Doors of Moria. This wood-burning was done using a soldering iron - in the future, I hope I can get actual wood-burning tools to make this process much easier.
Photo Apr 30, 8 47 50 PM.jpg
The interior of the box was trickier than I had anticipated. The original plan was to use a dense foam and then hollow out spaces for the coins to rest in, but that didn't pan out. Instead, I layered pieces of foamcore to fill up the empty space in the box so the coins would rest about flush with the edge of the box. This particular box needed two layers of foamcore: the first was a plain sheet, and the second piece had holes cut for the coins. Before sliding the top sheet into place, I covered it in black felt to make it presentable. The same process was used for the empty space in the top half of the box.
Photo Apr 30, 8 48 48 PM.jpg
I stained the box using a mixture of white vinegar and steel wool that was left to oxidize for about two weeks. I brushed on somewhere around 3 or 4 coats to get this color. Then I attempted to weather it using a watered-down black paint in the corners and crevases. It really helped to make the runes and crest pop out.

This box feels much better than the flimsy thing the coins were shipped with. It can also handle traveling fairly well, as long as I don't pack it under heavy stuff.

Any suggestions on how to improve this are more than welcome, and I hope this helps people out there who are looking to make a better box for these coins.
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