Daily Archives: 10/18/2004

Under The Gun

I am getting nervous. Nock-Ten was upgraded to a typhoon today. What worries me though is the fact that Typhoon Nock-Ten barely moved today as it continued to intensify. Current projections show the storm passing south of Guam on Wednesday night, but the longer it tarries below us the more anxious I become. On the plus side, Nock-Ten is a small, tightly bound storm unlike the sprawling Typhoon Tokage roaring toward Okinawa right now. The small size of Nock-Ten bodes well for Guam. It could pass relatively close by but still not bring damaging winds because the storm is so compact.

Freedom Tower Dollar From The CNMI

CNMI Freedom Dollar
Last night I saw this commercial for a commenorative coin, minted by the CNMI, honoring September 11. It caught my eye mostly because it is advertised as a U.S. Territorial Minting from the CNMI. Huh? Since when is the CNMI minting money? The whole thing seems unseemly, touting the fact that the coin is struck from silver recovered from a mass grave. And it looks like the things are a scam – 7Online.com: Freedom Tower Dollar a Fraud, Says NYS Attorney General. Apparently the legal troubles caused the National Collector’s Mint to pull the page down, but the Google cache is here.

I wonder what the connection to the CNMI is? I haven’t heard anything about this coin out here. Does the CNMI share in the proceeds of this minting? Can a U.S. territory mint its own money? Somehow I don’t think so, which leads me to believe this is some sort of scam.

Here’s the story from the Hudson Valley News:

Court order halts sales of “Freedom Tower Silver Dollars”

State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer yesterday announced that his office has obtained a court order against a Westchester County company temporarily halting sales of a collectible item fraudulently and misleadingly marketed by a private company as a real coin issued to commemorate the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

An order was issued yesterday against National Collector’s Mint, a private company based in Port Chester, N.Y. The order halts sales of the company’s “Freedom Tower Silver Dollar,” which has been heavily advertised on national television and in other venues.

“This product has been promoted with claims that are false, misleading or unsubstantiated,” Spitzer said. “It is a shameless attempt to profit from a national tragedy.”

Beginning in September, National Collector’s Mint began marketing its “Freedom Tower Silver Dollar” with a number of claims that Spitzer’s office believes are improper.

The company claimed the medallion is “a legally authorized government issue silver dollar.” The medallion also simulates official U.S. currency by using the phrase “In God We Trust” and the inscription “One Dollar,” both of which appear on U.S. coins. The “legally authorized” claim and the official appearance of the medallion have led many consumers to complain that they were misled into believing that it was issued or authorized by the U.S. government.

Spitzer noted that the company’s sales representatives have told consumers that the medallion is official legal tender. In reality, the medallion was produced by SoftSky, Inc., a private company in Wyoming, in connection with a licensing agreement with the “Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands.” The 14 tiny islands comprising the Northern Marianas Islands are U.S. territory, but have no authority to issue U.S. currency.

The company also claimed the coin was “minted from pure silver recovered from ground zero” and that the coin is “100 Mil .999 pure silver.” The lawsuit contends that the company’s claims about the silver content of the medallion are misleading and create the impression that it is solid silver rather than plated in silver. In fact, Spitzer said, the silver content of the ” Freedom Tower” medallion is infinitesimal compared to the silver content of a pure silver coin.