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Mint says New President coins a hoax
by Caymanmama.com

A “genuine”United States Inaugural Presidential Dollar with the face of President-elect Barack Obama may be what it seems.

The recent glossy television ads showing a “genuine”United States Inaugural Presidential Dollar with the smiling face of President-elect Barack Obama depicted in “glorious full color” is being sold to the public for $9.95, plus shipping and handling– but all may be what it seems.

A coin collecting expert notes that the gold-dipped, painted coins equate to nothing more than a collectible, and the U.S. Mint — the only official purveyor of U.S. currency — is warning buyers of a hoax aimed at hard core Obama fans.

“They are worth the face value of the coin. If the coin says 25 cents, it’s worth a quarter,” says Scott Travers, author of The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual, and a New York City coin dealer.

In November, the U.S. Mint issued a warning to consumers cautioning that the ad-heavy commemorative coins — manufactured by several private companies in different versions of the design — are “not official U.S. Treasury products endorsed or sponsored by the federal government.”

Changing the face of coins with the use of stickers, plating or different colors is not an illegal practice as long as the company has no intentions of passing them off as U.S. currency or for use in marketing of any kind, says Mint spokesman Michael White.

“In cases where a marketer has altered an actual U.S. coin after it left the Mint, such as putting a sticker with Obama’s picture on it, knowledgeable collectors usually consider that to be merely defacing the coin,” said Guild President Gary Adkins. “Some of the so-called ‘Obama coins’ are layered or plated with a microscopically-thin layer of gold with the implication that they are potentially valuable bullion items. However, there usually is precious little precious metal value to plated pieces.”

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