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Jewel-like tokens for use with board games or anything else. A classy upgrade from plastic chips, wood cubes, glass beads, & such.
411 backers pledged $25,183 to help bring this project to life.

Probably Penultimate Post

Posted by Dave Howell (Creator)

I think it's very likely that this will be the next-to-last update for the PennyGems project. The two-inch stack of crema marble paper packing slips is gone. The stack of octarine PennyGems; almost none are left. I had to buy two more boxes of pennies at the bank today; as can be seen on the main project page, somebody backed me at the "Breakfast at Tiffany's" level on the last day, and, since it's an international backer, that meant shipping 48 rolls of pennies along with a monumental stack of PennyGem sheets. 

I thought this would be the actual last update, but after boxing up the very last 'regular' order, I sat down to work on the problems, glitches, and anomalies, and there are still a fair number of those. I decided that I'd earned a chance to relax, so I'm going to try to take care of the rest of the unfilled orders by the end of the week, instead of in the next day or two. This includes sending email to the people who didn't select a reward; I'd still like to send them a Token of Appreciation, but I have to email them directly for their mailing address, since Kickstarter won't let me survey somebody unless they picked a reward. {shrug}

I've also filled almost all of the post-Kickstarter orders that were placed through my Etsy store.

My other main "To Do" this week is do the necessary photography to be able to place the new PennyGem family products up for sale. Two products are ready to go, a third is pretty close, and a fourth will be out in about a month. The  fifth and sixth ones are further out. (My impatient friend/impromptu focus-group victim Julia didn't get any news about item #6, ha ha.)

So, as already mentioned in a comment, the next item up is going to be Pastel PennyGems (assuming I can find a workable color for 'pastel black'). This companion set of eight variant colors also features icons that are similar but not identical to the icons of their jewel-tone counterparts. While I would never discourage anybody from getting as many as they like, my expectation is that somebody wanting a really all-purpose set of PennyGems would want to get a Full Spectrum of the 'regular' Gems (40 of each color) and Rainbow of the pastels (10 of each color). That ought to cover the overwhelming majority of occasions. 

Some backers have suggested that it would be nice to have some extra-large PennyGems, perhaps just to carry around in your pocket and rub now and then ("worry stones"). A more functional purpose occurred to me, so the second new product is going to be JumboGems. They'll just come in one flavor, so to speak, like the Kickstarter "Sampler" for regular PennyGems: sixteen labels, one each blank and iconic for the eight colors, but sized to fit perfectly onto a quarter. They should make excellent "I am the Green/Purple/Red player" markers. They also sit nicely on 1" fender washers. 

Okay, well, actually, there will probably be two JumboGem packages. Something else I discovered recently is that I can order token blanks from the people who manufacture tokens like those used at some video arcades. Most of the ones I've actually seen out in the wild were brass, but it turns out that it's also possible to get . . . copper-plated zinc tokens! In other words, a flat metal disc that looks like a penny, but the size of a quarter. How perfect is that? So I'm hoping to have JumboGems as "labels only" or "with copper token blanks." Plus the pastel equivalents.

I'll cover the last impending product in the next (and last) Update, along with what my next Kickstarter project will probably be, and my next PennyGem Kickstarter project. 

Anybody who doesn't already have their PennyGems, hasn't gotten an email saying that they've shipped, and doesn't get an email from me in the next two days, should contact me, because next week I expect to be able to focus on finishing up the backers who selected customized PennyGems for their reward, and getting the new products onto my shelves. 

And thank you for making my first Kickstarter project a successful and unexpectedly interesting one. I had no idea that I was going to have a whole line of PennyGem products. 


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    1. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      Not yet, and probably

    2. Kristen on

      Hmmm. I thought I posted this, but maybe not ...
      Take two: I was also wondering if you had received the copper token blank samples yet, and if you had decided whether or not you were going to offer a second JumboGems package with token blanks included?

    3. Kristen on

      Which reminds me ... Did you get the copper token blanks, and will you be offering a second JumboGems package with token blanks?

    4. Kristen on

      That's ok. Don't feel like you have to rush. (You're the boss!) Really, I mostly want to know if I can wait to buy JumboGems in your Etsy store and buy the pastels at the same time.

    5. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      Having foolishly predicted the number of updates remaining, now I'm hesitant to post more non-ultimate updates. {shake head woefully} I'm currently planning to initially offer the pastels as another Kickstarter project. "PennyGems II: A Pale Imitation" People will actually be able to select a backer level for X sheets of Gems, and they'll be able to select how many of their sheets are Auxiliary (pastel) vs. Primary (jewel-tone). It'll probably be just a seven-day window, as well. At least, that's my current plan. I have to launch ASAP, though, since I'm going on a family vacation mid-July, so I'm going to try to Kick it . . . oh, hm. I may well not have survey results back fast enough to ship orders before I leave. Boy, this is going to be a tight schedule. Okay, final answer: "Not sure yet."

    6. Kristen on

      Just wondering what you had decided about the pastel PennyGems ... Thanks.

    7. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      It depends mostly on whether or not I decide to launch them via Kickstarter or just throw them up for sale on Etsy. I'm waffling. But I printed a couple of "final" production sheets last night. I'll dome them in the next day or two, mount them on pennies, shoot some pictures, and be ready to release them one way or another, prob. before next week.

    8. Kristen on

      Dave - I was wondering if you had a guesstimate for when the pastel PennyGems might be available? Thanks!

    9. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      Yes. It's because I'll be moving the insignia to the black tokens for regular PennyGems as well.

    10. Ross Thompson

      Is there a reason why the JumboGems have the branding on the black token instead the white? (For those to whom it matters, they're *far* less visible than on the regular PennyGems)

    11. Ross Thompson

      My JumboGems arrived already! And I spent half an hour scrounging up eight quarters, but damn, are they nice. Congratulations, Mr Howell.

    12. Kristen on

      @William - I hear you!

      Also, waiting for the pastels ...

    13. William

      Man, now my set doesn't feel complete without jumbo gems. What a fiendish plot of yours ;)

    14. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      @Kristin: Samples of copper token blanks are en route to me.

    15. Ross Thompson

      Wooo! JumboGems bought!

    16. Kristen on

      Are you still thinking about selling a second JumboGems set "with copper token blanks"?

    17. Julia Gosztyla Ziobro

      And the Etsy store would be here:

    18. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      Octarine, on the other hand, is tricker, because I've run out! My spreadsheet told me I'd have, oh, at least 30 or more 20-Gem sets left over when all my orders were filled, but my stack is almost gone. I'll order another roll of the twinkly vinyl next time I place an order, but I'm not sure exactly when that will be yet, so you'll just have to stay tuned.

    19. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      JumboGems are now available on Etsy.

    20. Sean Veira on

      Please let me know if and when you offer JumboGems. I want in.

    21. Missing avatar

      Stoli on

      When will you be offering the octarine gems? I don't seem them in your etsy store.

    22. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      @Remco: Thank you for asking. Your order went out yesterday, but it was part of a batch where I forgot to update the database, so your email notice didn't go out. Now fixed.

    23. Missing avatar

      Remco S. on

      how do i know if mine are send? i had a "International Full Spectrum"

    24. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      @william: Yes, I know 'pastel black' is gray. :p But "pastel white' is nonsensical. I made the pastel version of silver a light gray, and the pastel version of black a dark gray, and, as I expected, they look practically identical. I am also expecting that any gray dark enough to be different from the light gray, is going to instead look pretty much the same as black. I'd originally thought that maybe the alt. color for black could be brown, but "brown" is just the special word we use for dark red, dark orange, and dark yellow, and I haven't found a brown yet that doesn't look like either red, orange, or black PennyGems.

    25. Dave Howell 6-time creator on

      Personally, *I* figured that the biggest advantage of blanks is that the label adhesive would have a really great surface to bond to, but talk about unnecessary! I slapped one JumboGem label on a quarter, and then noticed that it was defective, and had to *really work* to get the label back off. I've got some Jumbos mounted on 1" washers that have been there for about three days now, and I wouldn't be surprised if the only way to lift them back up would damage the label.

    26. Julia Gosztyla Ziobro

      Kristen, I've got two sets of Jumbo Gems mounted on quarters... I think having the blanks will be nice but is nowhere near essential. I used clean old quarters -- not state quarters -- and even on the ones with strong relief, like one from 1968, the shape of the quarter imprint is barely visible through the gem. It's always a good idea to put the blank, non-design side on the more symmetrically-designed side, which in the case of an old-school quarter is the side with the eagle. The design printed on the other label of the Jumbo Gem is distracting enough that you don't notice the outline of Washington's big old head. :-) So... the blank tokens are great, but the main benefit in my eyes is that they are *cheaper* than actual quarters.

    27. Kristen on

      Regarding JumboGems, my husband says that having the blanks would be an especially good idea because the relief (raised surface) on a quarter is proportionately more significant than on a penny (for some quarters.)
      Oh, and I'm very excited for both the pastels and the JumboGems! :-)

    28. Mercedes (Mandy)

      Ooh Jumbo penny gems, yes please, and those blank token sounds awesome.

    29. William

      You deserve a rest!
      "pastel black"=grey ;)
      Jumbo penny gems=awesome!

    30. Rusty Q. Shackleford on

      Hm, if I might have to wait 2 days to get the email, then it seems I'm probably better off waiting for them to come what with being so close to where you're shipping from.

    31. Julia Gosztyla Ziobro

      Got some pennies left? Check this out: "Copper Pennies + Clear Resin = Beautiful Floor
      If you want to try this: Save this picture and go to your local Big Box Home Improvement store and ask them what type of Clear Resin would work the best and what kind of under-lament would be needed. In this picture they had a concrete floor to work with. Yes, it would be cheaper than the average floor, if you did the work yourself. The price, including the cost of the pennies would probably range from $2.50 to $3.50 a square foot."

    32. Julia Gosztyla Ziobro

      The Jumbo Gems are every bit as good as you imagine them to be! I just now took some photos... sorry the quality does not do them justice...
      P.S. Dave, I suspected you were holding out on us but I really enjoyed all the stuff you showed John and I.

    33. Lea Rush on

      Dave, I asked for no reward, but that was because I went in with other people to get to the Color of Magic level. I decreased my pledge to $1 so that I would continue to get the updates, and we all got our Tokens of Appreciation. My Gmail address is learush, so I'm hoping that this prevents you from needing to email me to ask if I want a ToA. :) Thanks for a great product!

    34. Alexander Keith on

      I love the idea of Jumbo Gems, they sound fantastic.