National Collector's Mint
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|Avram C. Freedberg (Founder)
Barry Goldwater Jr. (Director; Spokesperson)
|Products||Non-circulating legal tender coins, tokens, replicas, collectables|
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. However, the company does also act as a retailer, reselling government proof coins and other legal tender. The mint also creates non-currency coins for large corporations. After National Collector's Mint was repeatedly cited by state and Federal authorities for fraudulent profiteering from the 9/11 attacks, The Huffington Post described the company as a "bogus 9/11 coin seller."
Legal tender status
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. Though the National Collector’s Mint does not print U.S. currency, they do resell a number of rare coins and bills that were minted by the Federal government.
September 11, 2001 coinage
The company's repeated attempts to profit from the 9/11 attacks led Senator Charles Schumer to refer to the company as a "despicable scam." The firm was penalized for fraud in 2004, when 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.
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. The company received approval from the officials of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to produce legal tender coinage on their behalf, 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. Subsequent ads for the new Freedom Tower coins indicated the actual silver weight (45 mg, or 0.00145 troy oz.) rather than the thickness of silver in mils used.
Senator Charles Schumer and Representative Jerrold Nadler 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. In 2013, the company settled out of court and agreed to pay a $750,000 fine to the FTC for misrepresenting the authenticity of their 9/11 products.
- "National Collector's Mint Website". Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "FTC: National Collector's Mint, Bogus 9/11 Coins Seller, To Pay $750,000 Settlement". Retrieved 2013-05-10.
- "Article 1, Section 8". U.S. Constitution. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "Schumer, Nadler Announce Crooked Marketer of Imitation Commemorative 9/11 Coins to Settle with Federal Trade Commission". Nadler.house.gov. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
- "Metro Briefing: Commemorative coin seller fined". New York Times. October 20, 2005. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- "Court Order Halts Sales of "Freedom Tower Silver Dollars"". New York Department of Law. October 13, 2004. Archived from the original on December 10, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- "Letter from the Governor of NMI". November 8, 2003.[permanent dead link]
- Medina, Jennifer (October 14, 2004). "Judge Rules 9/11 Coin Ads Were Deceptive". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- "NY Lawmakers Call for 9/11 Coin Crackdown". The New York Times.