The company behind a bogus 9/11 commemorative coin may be at it again, this time with a medal marking next year’s 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
TV spots for the latest offering by Port Chester-based National Collector’s Mint show a gold-plated coin with 3-D silver pop-ups of the Twin Towers and the USS New York — the ship made from WTC steel. The ads claim that the silhouettes are made from actual silver recovered from Ground Zero. The coin also features the FBI insignia, which ads say was acquired through “an exclusive authorized license.”
Consumer advocates are warning buyers not to let the emotional tug cloud their better judgment.
“What this [coin] is is misrepresentation,” said Claire Rosenzweig, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of New York. “Chances are it won’t have anything more than a sentimental value.”
The city’s Department of Consumer Affairs echoed Rosenzweig’s warning.
Both agencies pointed out that the market for coin collecting is unregulated.
An FBI spokesman said that the agency’s lawyers are in negotiations with NCM to use its insignia on the coin but that the deal has not been finalized. Though that means NCM is using the logo without final approval, the spokesman said the FBI was not considering criminal charges.
NCM did not respond to requests for comment.
NCM’s claims that its coins contain metal from the WTC site have long been unsubstantiated.
NCM’s 2004 Freedom Tower Silver Dollar landed the company in legal hot water. It marked the coin — also advertised as being made with silver from Ground Zero — with the valuation of “one dollar” and called it a “legally authorized government issue” coin. After the U.S. Mint said it was not a government authorized coin and that it was not legal tender, then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer won an injunction to force NCM to temporarily halt the coin’s sales.