So-Called 9/11 Commemorative Coin May Be Worthless
There's a 9/11 commemorative coin made from "silver" recovered from the ashes of the World Trade Center. But it only contains about 25 cents worth of silver, it doesn't go towards the 9/11 memorial, and it's made by the people that brought you 'The Bedazzler'...that thing that adds rhinestones to your clothes. Read more and see the original TV ad on the next page.
A coin commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks is drawing the ire of consumers and politicians who have learned that the coin may be just a worthless trinket that has no affiliation with the US government and does not benefit the 9/11 Memorial, FOXNews.com reported Thursday.
Katie Smith and John Shughart of Carlisle, Pa., thought they were buying a priceless piece of history, but the coin they bought may not have even a cent of value.
"I think it's a complete rip-off," Smith said. "It's a scam."
The couple called a 1-800 number and ordered a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Commemorative Coin after seeing a commercial on TV. The commercial claims the coin has "sculptures of the USS New York and the World Trade Center towers, inset with jeweler precision on its obverse, each entirely clad in 0.999 pure silver actually recovered from beneath the ashes of Ground Zero."
Smith and Shughart thought the coin was sanctioned by the US government. They thought they could help rebuild the World Trade Center for the low, low price of just $29.95. Turns out, none of that is true.
Smith and Shughart filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and found out they were not alone.
The Better Business Bureau gives The National Collector's Mint an "F" rating for various complaints about the company's selling and billing practices and its 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Coin.
"It's nothing more than worthless bric-a-brac that has no value and no connection to the 9/11 memorial or the federal government. But you wouldn't know it by watching their commercial," said New York Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer.
Schumer and New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D) have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to shut down The National Collector's Mint.
"We agree that these allegations are enormously troubling, and will determine what action by this agency may be appropriate," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.
The National Collector's Mint is based in Port Chester, N.Y. The president and CEO is Avram Freedberg, who, coin appraisers say, is pocketing considerable change from that $29.95.
Kevin Shary of Gold Mine Appraisals in Mechanicsburg, Pa., said based on the medallion's precious metal content, it is worth roughly 25 cents.
"There is maybe an ounce of silver and copper there, that's maybe what? A quarter?" Shary said. "It might be worth a quarter."
Freedberg, who once marketed the as-seen-on-TV product "The Original BeDazzler," refused to speak to FOXNews.com.
However, Freedberg stood by his product, saying in a statement: "The company's television commercials accurately and completely describe the commemorative medallions being offered for sale."
Here's the ad for this phony product: