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Be Wary of King Charles III “Pretender” Coins

People enjoy collecting examples from the first year of issue when a new coin design is introduced, such as the 1953 Royal Mint coins of Queen Elizabeth II, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild. (Photo credit: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.)

People enjoy collecting examples from the first year of issue when a new coin design is introduced, such as the 1953 Royal Mint coins of Queen Elizabeth II, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild. (Photo credit: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.)

New coins depicting King Charles III are expected to be popular with the public and collectors when the Royal Mint strikes and distributes them, according to the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG). However, the nonprofit coin dealer’s organization cautions that consumers and investors should know the difference between official legal tender and coins issued by countries not part of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth.

When an important new coin design is introduced, many people enjoy collecting examples from the first year of issue, such as the 1953 Royal Mint coins of Queen Elizabeth II or the 1964 United States Mint half dollars depicting President John F. Kennedy.

“The marketplace already has advertisements for coins featuring King Charles III that are made by or on behalf of countries that issue non-circulating legal tender money intended only for collectors, not to be used in circulation even in their own countries. These may be fine souvenirs but these pretenders to the numismatic throne may not be good long-term investments,” said PNG President Wayde Milas.

“Semi-numismatic coins or private rarities are sometimes minted by small island nations and packaged in special presentation boxes with certificates of authenticity. These pieces are sometimes touted by third-party marketers as good investments because of their theme or restricted low mintage. While occasionally some of these do appreciate in value, the majority of these modern issues, including some produced by the United States Mint, have ended up valued below their issue price, leaving the owner with an expensive box and certificate,” explained Milas.

“If you like the subject or theme represented by these coins, admire the beauty of the design, or would like to own them as a souvenir or to show support for their cause, then buy them. However, if you hope it might actually go up in value then you’re probably better off avoiding this type of material,” he advised.

PNG officials also caution investors that gold-coated coins are not “gold coins.” Frequently advertised on television, the so-called tribute items are privately produced and often contain only a tiny amount of gold. These also may be fine souvenirs and mementos but should not be considered an actual precious metal investment because they have only a razor-thin coating of gold, usually worth less than a dollar. Traditionally, they have virtually no secondary market value as gold.

All members of the Professional Numismatists Guild and its Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (www.APMDdealers.org) must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of rare coins, paper money, and precious metals. For additional information, visit www.PNGdealers.org or call PNG headquarters in Temecula, California at (951) 587-8300.