Obama Coins

You ever see commercials on regular TV that make you think you're watching Saturday Night Live because they are either so stupid or so unbelievably weird that they're funny? I had that experience earlier tonight while watching MSNBC.

I was mulling over a depressing Keith Olbermann segment where he'd just discussed the new Bureau of Labor Statistics Economic Release that details info on the number of jobs lost in the past month (240,000 down in October, including 90,000 manufacturing jobs) when suddenly a commercial came on that had my mouth hanging open.

Yes, the era of folks trying to cash in on President Obama is upon us. I used to think these sorts of hustles got relegated to the back pages of the Enquirer, but clearly, Obama Coins can get advertised on MSNBC of all places.

After the first few seconds, I really began to think it was a cheesy, fake SNL piece. In fact, this commercial is SO bad that it's only a few steps up from one of those horrible penis lengthening pill advertisements you see on Bravo late at night. It even has the classic reduction of the price from $29.95 all the way down to $9.95.

Now, I know some people are coin collectors. I used to be as well till a relative stole all my coins and pawned them. But if I did still collect, would I even want an Obama Coin?

"President Barack Obama is depicted in glorious full color!" --Why's he have to be in full color? Is it so we don't forget he's black? Why can't the coin just be gold? I mean, aren't I supposed to like bling?

By the time the announcer got to the, "But wait! There's more!" part of the commercial and started talking about an Obama/Kennedy half dollar, I was dying! The guy's voice is like listening to a really bad Vegas show. This ridiculousness is just straight up wrong!

For some reason I think the manufacturer of Obama Coins, "The New England Mint" is probably located somewhere in New Jersey. I'll bet it's run by a greasy guy named J.R. who drinks three Slurpees a day and trolls the personal ads on Craigslist. He's probably laughing all the way to the bank over all the excited people calling to buy their "piece of history".

I have news for The New England Mint: Your coins are wack and besides I already have a piece of history. It's called a voting receipt!


How can they even be allowed to do that? Doesn't the President Elect have some say in how they use his image and name? It's embarrassing! Are we going to see Choco-Breakfast-Bama-Bites next?
Anonymous said…
Whoa and I thought the 9/11 twenty dollar bill was some crazy stuff! I hope people don't get caught up in the hype of buying things like that --- voting yes, getting involved in local politics, yes but helping people make money off of tacky memorabilia no.
Jameil said…
we don't get voting receipts. boooo. but i sure don't want that bootleg coin! i had to stop watching the commercial part of the way thru it was so bad.
Shiona said…
My mom got that 9/11 bill. If she knew about the Obama coin watch out!
I saw this commercial last night on msnbc and I gotta tell you the mint is in Norwalk, CT - NOT New Jersey! Okay state pride moment over...:) I can see people hopping on that...someday when the younger generation is cleaning out their parents things after the funeral there will be Obama coins mixed in with the newspaper from that momentous day, a couple of glossy magazines and photos taken at the voting booth.
Sadly, this is probably just the beginning of mercantile greed trying to cash in on Obama.

As for collectible coins, aren't they supposed to be authentic ones manufactured by the US Mint?

An Obama postage stamp would be appropriate, though, provided it was produced by the government.
Liz Dwyer said…
I keep seeing the commercial! I can't believe this is legal for these wack Obama coins to be sold.
Anonymous said…
While I understand being frustrated that things like this get marketed to make a buck, it seems unrealistic to expect otherwise. As long as we are driven buy capitalism, greedy people will continue to push these things to make money. It is nothing new nor is it illegal as some have insinuated it should be. Buy the way the New England Mint is part of the US Mint. These things happen all the time, with coins, stamps, books, dolls, and many other collectibles. It may be tacky but as long as we are driven buy profit and greed it will continue.
Anonymous said…
Ok it looks like the New England mint may not be part of the US mint, I don't know. I have been trying to check on this, but my searches come up with such large lists of mints I haven't been able to search through them. I also tried using the specific term New England Mint Coins, and keep getting memorabilia for the New England Patriots. Anyway, maybe I'll look into it more later, but for now I'm going to take a nap.
Anonymous said…
I agree with the thrust of this column, but it fails to mention the biggest reason the TV ad is offensive: The ad is scripted to give people the unmistakable impression that the Obama coins are minted by the government as legal tender. Even the supposed disclaimer, "Not In Circulation," is obviously calculated to reinforce the impression that the coins are government-minted legal tender and are "not in circulation" not because they're not real, but because they're so rare. That strikes me as pure deception. Cashing in on the Obama presidency is unfortunate, but no different from what normally happens after a president is elected. But giving viewers the misimpression that the coins are as real as a Liberty dollar or a Kennedy half-dollar -- in fact, that it's even better because it's "layered in pure 24K gold," which is not only redundant but also deceptive because the operative word there is "layered," which to my understanding refers to little more than colored metal -- when it's really just some cheap garbage being churned out by some guy with a coin-stamp machine . . . I mean, that's the most offensive thing, isn't it?
dave said…
for anyone, like Venus in comments above, wondering if New England mint is official, look no farther than the small print at the end of the commercial:

"New England Mint is a private entity"
Anonymous said…
I found out most of those coins are not really legal tender, however I did find one exception which is produced on real US minted coins. See for yourself: www.freeobamacoins.com I saw the same colored coins in an infomercial with Montel Williams. They said nothing about the President Elect ever authorizing the use of his image.
sdodd said…
What ever you do, do not order those fake Obama coins they are a waste of time and money let alone they are an eye sore to look at. First off these coins are nothing but stickers posted on original coins that you could do you self for less and the collection includes fake certificates of authenticy. WHAT EVER YOU DO, DO NOT BELIEVE ANY OF THOSE COMMERCIALS, EVEN THE ONES WITH MONTEL WILLIAMS ON THEM!!!, these coins hold no kind of monetry value they only hold well if this is something that you want to have sitting around the house collecting dust, which is all of the value it will collect for years to come. Only go for those coins that are made by the U.S. Mint and BEWARE OF THE FINE PRINT!!!

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