National Collector's Mint

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National Collector's Mint, Inc.
Industry Collectibles
Founded 1991
Headquarters Port Chester, NY
Key people Avram C. Freedberg (Founder)
Barry Goldwater Jr. (Director; Spokesperson)
Products Non-circulating legal tender coins, tokens, replicas, collectables
Website www.nationalcollectorsmint.com

National Collector's Mint, Inc. is a New York-based company that sells privately produced coins and collectables. The company does not produce coins that are legal tender in the United States and is not affiliated, endorsed, or licensed by the U.S. government or the United States Mint. Coins such as the Morgan Silver Dollar and U.S. Government proof sets are available from the company, acting as an ordinary retailer. Many countries license the National Collector’s Mint to produce their currency.[1] The mint also creates many non-currency coins for large corporations such as General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.[2] Huffington Post named National Collector's Mint a "Bogus 9/11 Coin Seller."[3]

National Collector’s Mint Board of Advisor Co-chairs[edit]

National Collector's Mint, Inc. is owned by the Adam Barzel Corporation and was founded by Avram Freedberg in 1991. The National Collector’s Mint has two distinguished former representatives of the United States government on its Board of Advisors. Barry Goldwater Jr., a former U.S. Congressman, and Angela Marie Buchanan, the 37th Treasurer of the United States. Both provide guidance to the company as well as serve as the National Collector’s Mint spokespeople.[4]

Products are not U.S. Currency[edit]

By Federal law, the coins produced by National Collector's Mint, or any other private company, cannot be legal tender in the United States or its territories. The production of legal tender coinage in the United States falls to the United States Mint alone as specified in the US Constitution.[5]

Though the National Collector’s Mint does not print U.S. currency, they do offer a number of rare coins and bills many coin collectors are after. One example is the $1,000 Federal Reserve Note.[6] The National Collector’s Mint has a small allotment of these notes, which have been out of circulation since 1969 and come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Some uncirculated coins include the Brilliant Uncirculated Franklin Silver Half Dollar.[7]

Production[edit]

The National Collector's Mint used silver recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Center to produce commemorative figures honoring the fallen fire and police department personnel killed on Sept. 11, 2001. After the silver was recovered from a Scotiabank vault at the site, it was donated to the company to manufacture a silver angel figure in memory of the police and firefighters. The figures were named “Angels of Courage."

Fifty angel figures were presented to the President of the United States as ornaments for The White House Christmas tree, and 427 angel figures, each representing a fallen police officer or firefighter, were hung on the 75-foot Christmas tree at Bowling Green Park near the World Trade Center site. In January 2002, the figures were removed from the tree, re-polished and each engraved with the name of a fallen police officer or firefighter so the angels could be presented to the families. The remaining silver recovered at Ground Zero was later sold to the National Collector's Mint for use in minting other commemorative items.[8] [9]

Philanthropy[edit]

National Collector’s Mint donated more than $2 million from sales of its 9/11 commemorative items to charities, including A Journey for 9/11, Flight 93 National Memorial Fund, National Association of EMTs, NY Presbyterian Hospital, Scott Hazelcorn Children’s Foundation, Todd Beamer Foundation, Tuesday’s Children, United Firefighters Widows & Children Association, United Way’s September 11 Fund and the World Trade Center United Family Group.[10][11]

National Collector's Mint website claims their customers have donated over $1.9 million to charities, including official September 11 charities,[12] and associates these donations with NCM corporate giving, though it is not stated whether any significant amount was actually contributed by National Collectors Mint or its owner. It is also not stated what role NCM played in soliciting these charitable donations from their customers. In one instance, a donation from the company was refused.[13]

Controversy[edit]

The firm has been indicted, convicted and penalized for fraud on at least one occasion and continues to sell products that purport to be of high value. In 2004, State Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. McNamara fined the National Collector’s Mint for engaging in false advertising and deceptive business practices when issuing their Freedom Tower Silver Dollar coins.[14]

Sales of the Freedom Tower Silver Dollar coins were halted by a court order in October 2004 at the request of then New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.[15] The company received approval from the officials of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to produce legal tender coinage on their behalf,[16] but Spitzer noted the Commonwealth is not authorized to issue its own currency. It was also indicated that the exact amount of silver contained in the commemorative was not clear to customers. A judge ruled in 2004 the company was guilty of fraud, false advertising and deceptive business.[17] Current ads for the new Freedom Tower coins indicate the actual silver weight (45 mg, or 0.00145 troy oz.) rather than the thickness of silver in mils used.

Freedom Tower coins were plated using silver collected from the ruins of the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Bank of Nova Scotia had silver and gold bullion stored at the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks.[18] This gold and silver was later sold to individuals and companies. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the claim the silver was recovered from the vaults beneath the World Trade Center ruins cannot be substantiated and called on the Federal Trade Commission to stop National Collector's Mint from selling the Sept. 11 coins, which are seen as taking sales away from an official Sept. 11 medal that benefits the National September 11 Memorial & Museum being built at the World Trade Center site.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meet Our President: National Collectors Mint". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  2. ^ "National Collector's Mint Website". Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  3. ^ "FTC: National Collector's Mint, Bogus 9/11 Coins Seller, To Pay $750,000 Settlement". Retrieved 2013-05-10. 
  4. ^ "National Collector's Mint Website". Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Article 1, Section 8". U.S. Constitution. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  6. ^ "NCM Products". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  7. ^ "NCM Products". Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  8. ^ Worth, Robert F. (2001-12-11). "A NATION CHALLENGED: NOTEBOOKS; Silver Bells, Silver Angels". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  9. ^ "Precious Metals Stored Beneath the World Trade Center". 9-11 Review. Retrieved 2012-02-15. 
  10. ^ "Statement of National Collector's Mint, Inc.". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  11. ^ "9/11 Commemorative Coin". New York Times. February 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  12. ^ "National Collectors Mint - Corporate donations". Retrieved 2008-02-12. [dead link]
  13. ^ Seifman, David (February 5, 2007). "30G WTC Donation Nixed". The New York Post. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  14. ^ "Metro Briefing: Commemorative coin seller fined". New York Times. October 20, 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  15. ^ "Court Order Halts Sales of "Freedom Tower Silver Dollars"". New York Department of Law. October 13, 2004. Retrieved 2006-12-29. [dead link]
  16. ^ "Letter from the Governor of NMI". November 8, 2003. 
  17. ^ Medina, Jennifer (October 14, 2004). "Judge Rules 9/11 Coin Ads Were Deceptive". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 
  18. ^ "World Trade Center Gold Relocated And Eligible For Delivery Against NYMEX Contracts". 
  19. ^ "NY Lawmakers Call for 9/11 Coin Crackdown". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]