Did you know that the Presidential $1 Coins are “vanishing from circulation at an alarming rate” because they are being hoarded by collectors? Did you also know that the Presidential $1 Coins were “highly coveted coins every produced by the U.S. Mint” and that they are “vanishing from circulation at an alarming rate?”
This piffle was detailed on a half-hour infomercial entitled DCN Coin Talk starring a pitchman with an official sounding voice and his vapid female sidekick both acting from a script that would have made Phineas Taylor Barnum proud.
Rather than lying awake in the wee hours of the morning, I treated myself to a snack and sat down on the couch in front of the television. After removing the dog’s bone from under my behind, I started channel surfing to find something interesting. I guess cable television does not think anyone would be awake at 5:00 A.M. since the hundreds of stations were filled with bad reruns and infomercials. I found the end of something interesting and watched. After the closing credits, I was greeted with the opening to DCN Coin Talk.
After the opening banter between the pitchman and his muse, they spoke to their correspondent on the scene somewhere in a white room with only a bank vault-like door. The correspondent standing there in a pitch silent room holding his ear as if he holding an IFB in his ear regurgitating his score that ensured he agreed with the pitchman anchor.
To prove this is a legitimate offer, the pitchman anchor introduces David Ganz, “The Father of the 50 State Quarters Series.” Ganz, a long time numismatic author, former President of the American Numismatic Association, lawyer, and Bergen County (NJ) Freeholder, was presented as their numismatic expert as to the potential value of the coins. If you listened carefully, Ganz really did not endorse the product or the claims of their potential price. Ganz did talk about the worth of Morgan Dollars, which were large coins made from 90-percent silver whose population is lower than modern coins. Ganz did not equate the Morgan Dollar to the current Presidential Dollars, but the pitchman anchor really spun what Ganz said into something so positive that it bordered on overreaching.
“You can pay up to six time face value for some of these coins,” the anchor pitchman announced with a smile almost suggesting you could realize a similar profit as well.
After reaching into my pocket for my iPhone, I opened the browser and searched for an article that was familiar sounding. I found an article written by Ganz for Numismatic News that described his experiences making this informercial.
However, the Danbury Mint can help! For $34.95, the Danbury Mint will sell you a roll of 12 “gem uncirculated dollar coins” encased in a plastic roll. Surrounding the roll is an official-looking paper seal that looks like the type placed over the cap on liquor bottles.
But wait, there’s more. In addition to the roll of 12 gem uncirculated dollar coins, you will also receive an additional coin encased in a capsule so that you can have one to admire that is not in the roll. You will receive one roll a month to catch up on the program. All you do is pay $34.95 plus shipping and handling. And since you need to be able to store you new collection, you will also get a beautiful wood case with a tray to hold the capsules above a drawer to hold the rolls. There is a limited supply. Act now before it’s too late!
While the show was entertaining in its absurdity, I am shocked at the chutzpah. What is even more shocking is that I am sure someone is going to buy into this program. I understand that the coins, materials, case, and infomercial costs money, and the purchaser does not care and wants their investment in these coins to appreciate over time. While nobody can predict the future costs of these coins, the truth is that it is doubtful that the buyer would recover the purchase price!
The truth is quite different than what is claimed by this infomercial.
The largest hoards of Presidential $1 Coins are in the coin rooms of the 12 Federal Reserve branches. According to the testimony during a hearing held in July 2010, the representative from the Fed testified that there were $1.1 billion worth of dollar coins waiting to be circulated. When asked why there were so many coins, then U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy testified that even though they have tried to educate the public on the benefit of the coin, most people prefer to use the paper dollar. The hoard is the result of statutory requirements that regulate how many coins are produced.
Rolls purchased from the bank, dealers, or the U.S. Mint’s Direct Ship Program contains 25 coins. Rolls purchased from a bank or the U.S. Mint are sold at face value. Most dealers are selling the rolls at a $8-12 premium including rolls of dollars that are no longer in circulation. You can also purchase older rolls at banks at face value. Visit your bank branch and ask what they have available.
Roll collectors I have spoken with are not interested in short rolls, especially at the retail price of a full roll. Further, roll collectors want to know that the coins within the rolls are from a specific mint. From what I could tell, it is not possible to determine the mint mark on the coins in the Danbury Mint rolls.
If the roll collector wants to collect encased rolls, they usually opt for PCGS Certified Rolls. The PCGS service only accepts rolls from Mint-sealed packaging and places the coins in sonically sealed rolls with their label and tamper evident hologram. These rolls contain 25 coins and dealers have been selling for $50-65.
I have informally polled several online dealers and found that the only Presidential Dollar coins that cost more than $6 are error coins, specifically those with edge errors. Even the most expensive dealer was selling both P & D as a set for $5.75. The most expensive single coin I found was for the uncirculated Lincoln Dollar for $3.50.
While you can buy capsules to hold the coins for around 50-cents each, the coin tubes you can buy holds 25 coins, a full roll. All companies that sell capsules have a storage system that can be displayed on your credenza and easily stored. Some companies make special albums and folders that display the Presidential Dollars well for a fraction of the cost.
Unless you like the display format and do not care about the long term value of the set as sold by the Danbury Mint, then I would not recommend anyone buy into this offer.