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Community Voice Responses (03/05/13)

 

From the Feb. 8 Numismatic e-newsletter: Will collectors make money over the long term buying colorized coins? Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.

I do not think collectors will get any additional money on account of color over and above appreciation due to price of metal and any numismatic factor. Almost double the price we pay for color initially pays for fancy boxes. Collectors may not realize the full value of color paid initially at a later date.
Commemorative coins prices are rather high, particularly for the colored ones. As long as the additional profit goes to some charity, it is all right. Perhaps with moderate pricing and more sales, total profit can be maximized.
Subhash Chattopadhyay
Shakopee, Minn.

I had to write in to give my 2 cents worth on colorized coins. I hate them. I may seem a traditionalist, but coins do not look better with color, or pictures that need to be filled with color. It cheapens the coin, and coins in general.
There have been very few coins, as in two or three, that I have seen that color actually adds depth to the coin and makes it more interesting.
I am a strong believer that a coin should be designed and created with the notion that they will never have color, except the color of the metal it is made out of. If we put color on it, I believe we are defacing the coin.
That is why I like nice, clean designs on coins, bold faces, or well designed scenes. Russian coins do this very well, as well as Estonian and Lithuanian coins.
A well-designed coin looks attractive on its own merits, without color.
Mark Woodward
Clatskanie, Ore.

Over the past decade, there has been a profusion of colorized and/or otherwise “enhanced” (jewels, chips of rock, unusual shapes) new issue non-circulating legal tender coins with roughly an ounce of silver as the underlying metal.
These are being marketed at prices sometimes in excess of three to four times their silver bullion value. Unless mintages are extremely limited, these coins will never be worth more than their inherent silver value.
The profusion of these issues over the last decade reminds me of the “boom” in postage stamps issued by “sand dune” countries back in the late 1960s.
The excessive number of new stamp issues from more or less invented countries with negligible postal need had a negative impact on stamp collecting. This was one of the factors that led me to lose interest in modern stamps.
Many issuing authorities appear to take the attitude that collectors are a bunch of idiots who will pay exorbitant prices for their products. When it comes time to sell, collectors will have a hard time recovering more than the bullion value from these items.
L. Saryan
Wisconsin

My name is Tom DeWell from New Brighton, MN. That depends. Is the coin colorized by the mint or is it colorized by a private company. If it is colorized by the mint and has a limited quantity, then maybe yes. If it is colorized by a private company, then probably not. I’m recalling the colorized state quarters that were later colorized by private companies. Their value seems to be stagnant. I recall a foreign country that minted a coin with a blue sea turtle on it. I wonder what the mintage of that coin is and if it has appreciated at all in value. I’m thinking colorized coins should be treated more as a novelty than as a collectible, unless of course it is colorize by the issuing government sponsored mint. Then maybe an “investor” of colorized coins may have a chance at earning a return on his/her investment.
Tom DeWell
New Brighton, Minn.

In a nutshell, no. We all know that colorized coins lose their numismatic value (unless they started that way, like some of the new Canadian and other foreign issues); but it’s just sad to see a 1996 ASE in nice mint state, colorized! Of course, the same folks who gobble up this kind of stuff from shopping networks and think its special will continue to buy…but those aren’t really collectors in a numismatic sense (are they?).
Steven Strukel
Address withheld

Maybe I’m showing my age, but I have no interest in colorized coins. They look like tokens you get from Disney. If one makes money off of them then great. At the present I just don’t see much future in them.
Bryan New
Columbia, Ky.

If they exist someone will collect them.
Other factors:
Large number of different varieties increases popularity, as well as ease of obtaining specimens and comparative low cost.
Expect sophisticated collectors to look down on such items somewhat outside of government issued coins.
Technically, coins can be colored in three ways : (1) adding enamel, (2) pad printing,, (3) pasted color stickers.
Colorized stickers are less appreciated than other colonized coins.
Pad printing technology is rather expensive, as the German machine to imprint color directly on the surface of the coins costs more than $10,,000. An issuer has to sell a lot of coins to amortize such large initial costs.
Applying enamel is a simple manual technology and oriental firms to this at low costs.
Expect more colorized coins in the future to meet even the small demand for these.
Dick Johnson
Address withheld

I have always been interested in certain Canadian coins that have have interesting colors added.
Bruce Johnson
Address withheld

Words of wisdom from my dad on colorized coins, yeah there pretty but that’s about all, never will be worth more than face value,stay away from them
michael p. schmeyer
halsey valley, N.Y.

I have recently started purchasing some colorized coins. I do it to highlight certain people or events that are important to me. I am making special display sets for these. I have the 50 cent Pearl Harbor and Elvis coins. I am ordering the Abraham Lincoln coin also. I do not expect to make more than 50 cents (for a $9.95 cost) on these but the personal enjoyment is worth more than the cost. I purchase many coins for somewhat the same reason, the memories, as gifts and also the investment.
George Starkey
Folsom Calif.

I doubt it. It is such a sales gimmick.
Name withheld

No.
Michel Prieur Paris, France

No, collectors will not do well with colorized coins. Real numismatists probably won’t bother with them. Do any of these actually circulate?
Ginger Rapsus
Chicago, Ill.

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