Saturday, February 14, 2009


…just like it’s namesake.
Jerome Polk was so impressed with the special edition Obama coins he saw television star Montel Williams hawking in an infomercial, he ordered six sets for himself and some of his grandkids.

Instead of coins engraved with Obama's face, as Polk athought he'd orderedt $18 a pop, the Northeast Portland retailer received four actual U.S. coins -- a silver dollar, half dollar and two quarters -- featuring painted-on Obama images.

"This isn't an Obama coin, it's a 50-cent piece with a picture glued on," says Polk, who paid the U.S Coin Network $145.78 for five four-coin and one three-coin sets, including $25.98 in shipping.

The U.S. Mint doesn't mind if companies decorate its coins and sell them -- in this case -- for nine times their worth. However, the federal agency doesn't like it when companies offer authenticity certificates, as the Coin Network did, that may confuse consumers about who issued the coins.
I watch the infomercial in its entirety. Montel Williams was actually getting a little self-conscious of the weight of the Pferdkaese he was trying to peddle. I called the 800 number and asked, “If I got one of these coins would it heal me of my diabetes, or do I need to touch the hem of the Obamessiah’s garment?“

At least the Ron Paul Dollar was an original coin of precious metal.

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