From the Nov. 24 Numismatic News E-Newsletter:
Is the bottle cap Coca-Cola coin something you would pay $29.95 for?
Here are some answers sent from our e-newsletter readers to Editor Dave Harper.
For this price, a medium-priced, low-interest silver dollar makes more sense. After all, between ups and downs, it still wins. I will pick up coins (and a rare bill), and save it for a year. I would have enough for two silver Morgans. I’ll stick with my reliable methods.
You asked the question about paying US$29.95 for Coca-Cola novelty bottle top coins. I’ll say, personally, no! But there are many others who like novelty and would be just as emphatic with a “yes!”
In Oz, we have already been through this coin diversification nonsense with Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT), and the collecting public are now separating into two distinct camps. Purists and the others.
The price structure could not be sustained by the Royal Australian Mint, who initially began by producing too many of one type of novelty coin in any one year so eventually mintages were limited to prop up demand and more designs were introduced more frequently – in a considered marketing ploy.
As bullion issues, where applicable, it was slightly different, and that is what now appears to be happening to some greater extent. However, due to the plethora of items – even with smaller amounts on offer – fingers may get burnt if these items are being hoarded as investments like art or pretty expensive buttons, as fashions change.
The definition of numismatics is the study of money, plus a few traditional meaningful extras thrown in (and most of us know what they are) broadly speaking. The hobby is still a great one, but it is changing and is under pressure!
If we are kind, we can accept this latest marketing trend and call these items exonumia, medallions, etc., but they are not really the sort of stuff that goes into circulation as spending stuff.
As a separate entity amongst the hobby of collectibles, I have no complaint if we can put an appropriate label on it. Many pieces have ingenious designs, carefully themed. Sometimes they are meaningful mementos. But just because they are given a few of the trappings of coinage does not mean that they really are.
These short-term attention-grabbers – that mean little to this new breed of gatherers as soon as the next overpriced exciting limited edition hits the market-place – still need to be illustrated and detailed as historical mint releases.
Catalog producers, those who still produce printed works, are pulling out what is left of their hair trying to include all the details of commercial NCLT coins that are now being churned out annually.
Graeme E. Petterwood
Ravenswood, Tasmania, Australia
Some people will collect almost anything. At least the Coke coin from Fiji has six grams of silver in it. That should make it worth more than a U.S. circulating coin set. If you are a Coke enthusiast and want to blow $30, why not? Maybe it will become a perfect Skully (Skelzy) cap.
However, as coin collectors we must draw a line.
Over the course of the last couple of years I revised my line and prefer to collect only U.S. or Canadian coins with some silver content that are close to face value in cost. I collect or accumulate not as an investment but as something to have fun with. And only if I can afford it.
For example, Canada issues a $20 face value silver Canadian coin for $20 American money. They even have a Christmas $20 silver coin. A nice silver coin for Canadian face value is a fair deal. And you can always take a trip to Canada to spend it.
I did buy Canadian Superman and Star Trek coins. But nostalgia made me do it. And they do make great conversation pieces.
Of course I splurge and purchase one proof American Eagle and one silver proof set each year if I remember. It becomes an annual donation to the U.S. Mint and ultimately the hobby.
So I guess although I will not be purchasing the Coke cap, some people may. With the right marketing, they may come out with Pepsi and many other caps.
Picture this: You go to a coin show and in the center of the bourse you find a Skully board with coin cap collectors playing a championship game of Skully. The best players including Dave Harper will have sponsors from Coke, Heinekin and so many other beverage companies.
Hey, this might work to spice up the hobby ...
Would you buy it? No. I don’t drink Coca-Cola.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Canada is slipping. It surprises me that they did not do this first.
Buy it? No! Laugh at it? Yes! This is not a coin. Nobody ain’t never gonna spend one. It is a piece designed to take money out of people’s pockets only. I seem to remember a story something about tulip bulbs?
$29.95? Uh, no.
In short, no.
This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.
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