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Thread: Court Halts Sale of September 11 Coins

  1. #1
    ZaZu's Avatar I know stuff ...
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Wednesday obtained a court order to temporarily suspend the sale of commemorative Sept. 11 coins heavily advertised as being minted from silver recovered at ground zero.

    Spitzer said the sale of the silver dollars emblazoned with the World Trade Center towers on one side and the planned Freedom Tower on the flip side is a fraud and he's investigating the claim the silver came from the ruins of the twin towers.

    ``It is a shameless attempt to profit from a national tragedy,'' Spitzer said. ``This product has been promoted with claims that are false, misleading or unsubstantiated.''

    Spitzer said the National Collector's Mint, based in Port Chester, N.Y., claims the coins engraved with ``In God We Trust'' are legally authorized silver dollars, when they aren't.

    He said the coin advertised as nearly pure silver is only silver plated, produced by a Wyoming company called SoftSky Inc.

    The TV and print ads include one fashioned after a news story that reads: ``Today, history is being made. For the first time ever, a legally authorized government issue silver dollar has been struck to commemorate the World Trade Center and the new Freedom Tower being erected in its place ... Most importantly, each coin has been created using .999 pure silver recovered from ground zero!''

    The dollar pieces are priced at $39 each, but sold at $19.95 with a limit of five per customer.

    A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Sept. 10, the U.S. Mint issued a notice on its Web site that the coin ``is not a legally authorized government issued'' product.

    The temporary halt on sales is pending a civil suit filed by Spitzer in state Supreme Court. Spitzer seeks civil penalties, restitution to those who bought the coins, greater consumer disclosure and full disclosure that the coins aren't endorsed by the federal government.

    The company sells a variety of novelty coins, including those with characters from the ``Harry Potter'' books and movies.


    How could they think they were going to get away with that?

    If you attack the establishment long enough and hard enough, they will make you a member of it.
    -- Art Buchwald --

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  3. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    RPerry's Avatar Synergy BT Rep: Bad Rep
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    Dec 2002
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    I was seriously going to order one of those. thanks for posting that article, saved me some money

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    i assumed that these coins were produced by a foreign government, as these crazy collectibles tend to be. if you watch the commercial and see the coin, it has a couple of superficial traits of u.s. currency but doesn't explicitly claim to be u.s. currency. the name of the "country" is engraved on the RIDGE of the coin. the commercial briefly displays a bit of fine print saying the coin was minted by... um... the commonwealth of north mariana islands.

    basically tiny island nations (by "tiny" i mean microscopic) will put ANYTHING on a coin or postage stamp and palm it off as a collectible 'cause they have no industries and very little trade & tourism. the way it prolly works is that a company pays the island nation's government for a license to press X number of coins or stamps so that the item has at least the appearance of legitimacy. but really they're no more legitimate than video arcade tokens. anyone who buys such an item will never actually go to those places and use it; it's PURE PROFIT 'cause these "official" pieces of currency will never enter circulation. the u.s. post office is guilty of this to a lesser degree, since it issues commemorative stamps under the presumption that a significant portion will be purchased by collectors and never be redeemed for service-- but its marketing doesn't stink of fraud, the way those "collector's mints" do, since it doesn't try to deceive you about the item's origin.

    where this company firmly crossed the line into fraud was the fact that the north mariana islands are not a sovereign nation. they're a possession of the u.s., so they don't have their own currency. therefore these coins are technically a counterfeit of u.s. currency.
    Last edited by 3RA1N1AC; 10-14-2004 at 06:25 PM.


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