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Coin Clinic: Emotion sells coins

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By Richard Giedroyc

In the Sept. 9 issue someone inquired about 9-11 memorial coins. What I have falls into the bullion type coin. The front is the Twin Towers, the Statue of Liberty and smaller buildings silhouetted on clear background, with the upper edge with two stars, “God Bless America” and another two stars. It has a curled edge except where it is marked 4 T.O. (Troy Ounce) .999 Fine Silver. The back has “One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice For All” over an American Flag. On the outside edge in large letters: “Land of the Free September 11, 2001.” I have a collection of Mint State-69 coins recovered from the vaults in the Towers all dated 2001. They are called 9-11 Recovery Coins. I’ve got a silver eagle, the four gold, three platinums, all 2001 year issue. I would like to get the 3/4-ounce platinum to finish if I can find one in that year. As to who made the 4 ounce 3-1/2 inch coin, it doesn’t have any identifying marks. Maybe someone else knows?

Merchants selling to the non-coin collecting public use the terms coin and medal as if they mean the same thing. They do not. Your four-ounce silver piece is a medal, not a coin. It was marketed on emotion and for that reason is often encountered priced much higher than its bullion content should justify. The 9-11 Recovery Coins are similarly marketed. The coins are no different than any other coins of the same date and denomination other than that they have been encapsulated so they can be identified as recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center. There are several marketing companies that have produced 9-11 medals or encapsulated “recovery coins.” Without seeing yours I can’t identify who issued or marketed them.

After reading your article about counting the number of reeds on a coin, I had to write and suggest to you and your readers, that a sewing needle should not be used in the vicinity of a coin. A much safer device to use would be a wooden toothpick. The danger to the coin or yourself would be greatly reduced.

Reader input is appreciated, in this case on an inquiry about counting the edge reeding on coins.

Ecuador’s recent announcement the nation will stop using physical cash in favor of cyber money is disturbing. Is there any discussion of a similar move within the U.S. government?

I am unaware of any such U.S. discussion. Also, Ecuador will not stop using physical money even with its cyber plans. Realistically, knowing the American public I can’t see an end to physical coins and notes. People would see cyber money as a way for the government to spy on our personal finances, being able to seize virtually any accounts at will. A significant number of gold coins went underground when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the United States off the gold standard.

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