DOs and DON’Ts for Businesses Interested in Advertising and Selling Foreign Coins
Foreign coins that are legal tender in Liberia
Do consult with your own attorney before embarking on any distribution or promotion activity involving foreign coins.
Do make it clear in your advertisement and marketing materials that the product offered is a foreign coin.
Some businesses describe foreign coins, especially ones depicting themes drawn from American culture, in such a way that avoids disclosing the true origin of the coins, which results in consumer confusion.
The United States Mint frequently receives calls from consumers who purchased foreign coins believing the coins to be genuine United States coins.
You should be careful to comply with all false and deceptive advertising laws.
Do be sure to include in your advertisement a photograph of the side of the coin that discloses the identity of the country in which the advertised coin constitutes legal tender.
More often than not, businesses are featuring a photograph of the obverse (heads) side of the coin in their advertisements, omitting a photograph of the reverse (tails) side of the coin that discloses the identity of the country in which the advertised coin constitutes legal tender.
This practice appears even more questionable in situations where businesses in the United States are selling foreign coins, denominated in dollars, and featuring images drawn from American culture.
Do not use the words "Mint" or "Government Mint" in your advertisements.
Businesses often use the words "Mint" and "Government Mint" in their advertisements of foreign coins.
This practice, in light of the concerns outlined above, appears questionable, especially in view of the existing confusion in the marketplace.
Identify the specific foreign government mint in question to eliminate any unnecessary confusion.
Do consider advising the consumer regarding the market value of the advertised coin in the originating country, especially those coins denominated in dollars.
In many instances, businesses are advertising foreign coins denominated in dollars where the official exchange rate or unofficial street rate in the foreign country is drastically devalued in comparison to United States dollars (sometimes as low as Foreign$50 = US$1).
Businesses should consider disclosing the current official exchange rate (and unofficial street rate, if applicable) in their advertisements.
This need becomes even more critical in situations where the advertised price of the foreign coin (e.g., US$5.00, US$10.00) is very close to the stated face value of the foreign coin and consumers could easily assume that the foreign coin in question could be exchanged for United States dollars on a dollar-for-dollar basis.