August 29, 2006
When Numismatology Attacks
Posted by scott at August 29, 2006 01:43 PM
Something tells me inveterate coin collector Mark won't be eagerly seeking to add this one to his vault:
It's truly unique, created using two distinct struck pieces. First, the base is struck with gleaming buildings on a frosted background. Then the inset of the Twin Towers is magnificently engraved and fitted into the skyline on the face of the commemorative with jeweler precision, able to rise up into a breathtaking standing sculpture. The effect is dazzling - it is literally transformed into a standing sculpture of the Twin Towers!
Things like this have been bashed out by opportunistic entrepenuers throughout history*, no reason to think it'd stop now. However much we'd like it to.
* Several famous ancient Greek temple statues are known to us only through the small votive representations sold to help support the temple. The originals are long since gone, but people simply tossed the tacky statuette their Auntie Blopherous bought them last year in the trash. Two thousand years later the same trash is used to make an Archeological post-grad's career. Think about that one the next time you pass a kiosk filled with tiny Eiffel Towers or Empire State Buildings!
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Since it isn't a coin (I'm not sure what dafuk it IS, but it definitely is not a coin), I wouldn't be interested anyway.
But for the unintiated, when you see basically ANYTHING sold by the so-called 'National Collectors Mint', run away. Terribly fast.
Well, it looked vaguely coin-like to me!
Most numismatologists only consider the legal tender of governments to be "coins." Anyone can stamp out a little piece of metal, but only a government can give it value. If you collect anything that's round, metal, and pretty, then it would be easier and cheaper to collect decorative pipe fittings or fancy rivet heads. (And yes, some people do.)
Then again, the definition of "legal tender" also varies. Some coin collectors also collect casino chips and video arcade tokens. Technically, they CAN be exchanged for goods and services, if only at specific stores. Some of those stores, though, can be more powerful or productive than the local governments (especially in Las Vegas), and are almost always quite a lot prettier...
It all boils down to what the collector thinks is significant enough to collect, really.