Monday, January 24, 2011

National Collector's Mint Starts Taking Heat ... Again

"Any review, either favorable or negative, generates sales for us and the negative reviews actually work the best."

This was the quote a few years ago at the ANA's National Money Show in Milwaukee that I got from a marketing representative of a large collectible firm (a competitor of National Collector's Mint). I was asked by this marketing rep to write a review about one of their "numismatic" products. I explained to the gentleman that if I did, the review would not be very favorable. His response was the one quoted above.

His comment got me to thinking about an article I had written a year earlier. The article explained how to calculate the value of the gold or silver content of your U.S. Mint coins and privately produced tokens or medals. As one of the examples, I calculated the gold and silver value in the National Collector's Mint "2001-2006 World Trade Center Gold and Silver Clad Commemorate" medallion.

Using the bullion prices at the time, I showed that the combined value of the gold and silver in the WTC Commemorative amounted to less than 30 cents for each medallion. Although rising bullion prices during the past 5 years have caused the precious metal content to more than double from under 30 cents to over 60 cents, this apparently is not enough to cause a change in the price which is still $29.95 (plus shipping).

During the weeks following my original article, a number of blogs and newspapers followed with their own stories about the WTC medallion and not one of them was positive.

Today it's happening all over again.

A few weeks ago I posted an article that calculated the gold and silver values for a few of the current National Collector's Mint products, including their latest 10th Anniversary WTC Liberian Commemorative coin (yes, this one is an actual coin with legal tender status in Liberia).

Once again newspapers are following with their own stories about the National Collector's Mint, and like before, not one of them is positive. They are quite aggressive in their negative views comparing their products to a "Chuck E. Cheese token" and  using terms like "scamsters," "tacky," "fake coin," and my favorite "next-to-worthless ticky-tacky gewgaw."  (gewgaw?)

Here are a few of those articles:

National Collector's Mint Scamsters Are Trying to Cash in on 9/11 Again with Tacky Coins

What is the true value of collectible coins on TV?

‘Rare’ Coins Are Fool’s Gold

NY Politicians Call For Crackdown On "Phony" 9-11 Commemorative Coins

Tribute Coins May Be Pretty -- But They Are a Pretty Bad Investment

With all this negative press, I can't help but think of that comment from the marketing rep about how "the negative reviews actually work the best."

Are those of us writing about this stuff really helping to sell it?

If so, let me just say, "I'm sorry."

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At 11:44 AM, Blogger Les said...

I would also express regret if I was helping either them or the World Reserve Monetary Exchange sell their "merchandise".

At 3:29 PM, Blogger A.C. Dwyer said...

All I know about the World Reserve Monetary Exchange is from some ads I saw a few years ago for uncut sheets of $2 bills. So I just went to their website to have a look at what they are selling now.

They must have been successful with the uncut currency because they are selling a lot more stuff now.

They have a "22KT Gold Overlaid" $2 bill that they say "may become sought after by collectors because they're covered in 22 karat gold."

Hmm . . . I can't recall the last time I met a 22KT Gold Overlaid currency collector. Maybe they're too embarrassed to speak up.

Or how about their "state overlaid" $2 bills that "residents from each state are trying to get their hands on?"

What the hell is a state overlaid $2 bill anyway? Is that like the $1 bill I've gotten in change with a Santa sticker over George Washington?

And aren't all these defaced $2 bills illegal anyway? What happened to the law regarding defacement of currency under Title 18, section 333 of the United States Code?

This law covers defacement of currency so that it is no longer fit for circulation.

I know if someone handed me one of these defaced bills as change I'd reject it.


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