As anyone who lives around here knows, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days when the big weekly bolus of junk mail arrives, clogging your mailboxes with all sorts of circulars for grocery stores you don’t shop at, coupons for fast food joints and other such detritus. As people who have been reading this Blog are probably aware, at times these big piles of ads can also prove to be an unending source of unbelievable “bargains” and all sorts of other stuff you didn’t know that you don’t ever need. Another case in point is this ad which arrived in today’s batch of dead tree spam:
There’s nothing too unusual here, as long as you’re the type of person who is open to the idea of buying coins for more than their face value. If you haven’t bothered collecting those state quarters that the US mint has been producing for roughly the last decade or so, you can spend $19.95 on a (nearly) complete set of those, or that same $19.95 can also buy you a silver dollar from 1921. If those are too rich for your blood, you can spend $2 on three World War II era steel pennies, or $5 on a couple of what I would assume to be highly collectible 2008 half-dollars and Sacagawea dollars. In addition to those, there’s also this offer:
Given the fact that large scale production of the Sacagawea dollars was halted only two years after it started due to low demand and excessive supplies, I don’t think that “popular” is the word I’d use to describe these. Since 2002, Sacajawea dollars have only been produced in relatively small quantities for collectors (although annual production is still well into the millions,) Because of this, I’d say that there’s a pretty good chance that thirty years from now this set of coins is going to be worth all of nine bucks. At the “original” price of $67.95 a set like this would be out-and-out highway robbery, but at $19.95 I’m sure it’s a steal (although it remains unclear which party in this transaction is the one that is doing the stealing.) Granted, the United States Mint themselves sells these things at a markup (a $25 roll of 2008 Sacagawea dollars goes for an asking price of $35.95 plus shipping, and a bag of 250 goes for $319.95,) but nowhere near as much as these ones are selling for.
Of course, even at those unbelievable prices (well, I don’t believe them anyway), these things are sure to go fast, right? After all, this is your last chance to “save” 70% on these things. Of course, what happens if you don’t act now?
You end up saving 77% instead. This ad is located just a few pages away from the one above, but it offers the exact same set of coins for the somewhat less ridiculous price of only $14.95, complete with a free Oklahoma state quarter you can take with you on your next trip to the video arcade or the laundromat. At least they have the courtesy to throw in free shipping with the deal, so that means you’ll only end up paying about $5 more than these are worth by the time you’re done. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the “prized” first year coin in the set from 2000, one of only 1.2 billion or so that were produced back when the government thought they were actually going to replace the dollar bill with these things. I’m sure that there will be some numismatist (yeah, I had to look up the word) out there who’s going to flame me to a well-done crisp for this post, but I suspect that if I ever found myself inclined to take up coin collecting (given my prior track record with collectibles, this would probably be an incredibly bad idea, but that’s another post that I’ll probably avoid writing anytime soon in the interest of preserving my dignity) there’s probably a better place to buy coins from than my junk mail…