Should 'collectors coins' be considered as coins?

Started by Offa, December 22, 2021, 12:03:08 PM

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chrisild

Quote from: Figleaf on December 23, 2021, 09:51:44 AMFor the record, anyone using "legal tender" as a qualification for a coin disqualifies all coins struck before say 1816, when the term hadn't been invented yet.

The term may very well be "only" ~200 years old ;) but the concept is much older. In German for example the idea of certain coins losing their payment status is called Münzverruf(ung). Now we could argue that pieces which lost their status or were debased at some point used to be proper coins, and thus are perfectly collectible even for purists who are after "real" coins only, hehe.

One reason for saying that collector coins are indeed coins while souvenir pieces, even when made by some government mint, are not is that a collector coin comes with a face value. Buy a piece with a face value of $/€/£ 5, and at least that amount is "guaranteed" no matter what the metal is worth. Yes, there are cases where a government says sorry, we won't take this piece back and give you different coins, or paper money, for it. Such a piece - which you can neither spend "like real money" nor redeem - may indeed not qualify as a coin. But that does certainly not apply to all collector coins.

Christian

Alex Island

Quote from: chrisild on December 23, 2021, 09:49:41 PM

One reason for saying that collector coins are indeed coins while souvenir pieces, even when made by some government mint, are not is that a collector coin comes with a face value. Buy a piece with a face value of $/€/£ 5, and at least that amount is "guaranteed" no matter what the metal is worth. Yes, there are cases where a government says sorry, we won't take this piece back and give you different coins, or paper money, for it. Such a piece - which you can neither spend "like real money" nor redeem - may indeed not qualify as a coin. But that does certainly not apply to all collector coins.

Christian

I will tell you an interesting funny story on this topic. My first acquaintance with coins began when I was about 6-7 years old, as a child. One elderly woman who lived next door was selling newspapers and magazines at a kiosk next to a medical school for foreigners. She could hardly see, and foreign students, instead of metal money, often gave her their foreign coins, which she did not know where to put later, and gave them to us in exchange for the same small money. Thus, I received the first collection of coins from various countries, and all sorts of foreign tokens seemed to be in real circulation.
All islands around the world & islands coin

Tirant

Quote from: chrisild on December 23, 2021, 09:49:41 PM
One reason for saying that collector coins are indeed coins while souvenir pieces, even when made by some government mint, are not is that a collector coin comes with a face value. [Buy a piece with a face value of $/€/£ 5, and at least that amount is "guaranteed" no matter what the metal is worth. Yes, there are cases where a government says sorry, we won't take this piece back and give you different coins, or paper money, for it. Such a piece - which you can neither spend "like real money" nor redeem - may indeed not qualify as a coin. But that does certainly not apply to all collector coins.

Christian

That's exactly what i think. To have a face value is what it takes to be considered a coin instead of a token or a medal. Collectors coins have a face value, so for me they're coins; not the kind of coins we're used to in our daily lives, but still coins.

But, obviously, everyone will have its own point of view and we could stand months arguing without arrive to an agreement.

Figleaf

Looking back at this thread, I believe it has come to suffer from topic shift, whereby the original issue - which looks clear cut to me - was snowed under by a larger issue. I'd not have come back anyhow if there hadn't been something at stake that I would consider a basic issue for WoC.

The larger issue first. Fluff. In my mind, nobody has the right to tell someone else what to collect. Indeed, the term "coin" is impossible to define. That said, WoC has an educational mission and it wants to be a serious site. It fits into that concept that we go into the background of the items coming up here and that includes the identification and status of the pieces we are dealing with. This is why we have boards on fakes, adjacent hobbies, medals, unusual objects used like money and historical artefacts other than coins. The objective is not to shun but to inform on the status of pieces that don't fit the fold.

My post was removed from its object, which is here. My argument, which is here
is not that it is fluff, but that it has the status of a silver bar. It follows logically that if it is a silver bar, it cannot be a coin at the same time, because it was produced in modern times, when there was no longer a tenuous relation between silver content and denomination.

Here are the reasons for maintaining that these objects have the status of silver bars:

  • They are undeniably made of silver.
  • As on any silver bar, their weight and silver content is mentioned on them.
  • The weight and silver content are far more important than the denomination.
  • It is reasonable to assume that for the overwhelming majority of the buyers, weight and silver content are the principal drivers to buy.
  • The whole mintage was going to be shipped to a precious metal dealer. Try buying IRAs from a coin dealer.
If it looks like a SPMB (speculative precious metal bar), walks like a SPMB, quacks like a SPMB, it is probably a SPMB Speculating with money you know you are going to need is a really bad idea. Calling these items coins is aiding and abetting attempts to wring money out of people who can't afford to lose it. Don't call these things coins.

Side note: IRAs are Individual Retirement Accounts. This is what retired Americans try to live on after retirement: their savings, managed by themselves.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.