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Colorized and Plated Coins

Plated 2009 Quarters
Colorized Lady Liberty Coin Obverse
Colorized Dollar Coin Featuring President Obama
Not colorized or plated by the United States Mint

FAQs

Does the United States Mint produce or sell colorized coins?
No.  The United States Mint has never produced or sold colorized coins or coins that feature a holographic or superimposed image.
Does the United States Mint produce or sell gold- or silver-plated coins?
No.  The United States Mint has never produced or sold gold- or silver-plated coins.
Does a business need permission from the U.S. Government to colorize U.S. coins?
Businesses do not need the U.S. Government's permission to colorize genuine United States coins unless the U.S. Government owns a copyright in the coin design in question.
Does a business need permission from the U.S. Government to plate U.S. coins in gold, silver or other precious metals?
Businesses do not need the U.S. Government's permission to plate (layer) genuine United States coins in gold, silver or other precious metals.
Are colorized coins or plated coins considered to be a good numismatic investment?
The United States Mint does not comment on coin-grading issues or on a colorized coin’s or plated coin's current or future value as a collectible item.  If you like a colorized coin or plated coin because of the way it looks, then you may want to add it to your collection.  However, if you are primarily concerned about the long-term investment value of a colorized coin or plated coin, then you should contact a reputable coin dealer or coin grading service before you purchase the coin.
Is a "bimetallic" coin the same as a colorized or plated coin?
No.  As the name implies, a bimetallic coin is manufactured using two separate components of different metals.  In modern bimetallic coins, the center component is usually made from one metal, while the outer component consists of a totally different metal.  In the past, the United States Mint produced a bimetallic coin—the 2000 Library of Congress Commemorative Bimetallic Ten Dollar Coin.  This commemorative coin was manufactured using both .9995 platinum and .9167 gold.
What is the United States Mint's position on the practice of colorizing or plating U.S. coins?
The United States Mint does not encourage or support products that alter the fundamental images on its coins.  A superimposed design is entirely different than the coin's original image and almost obliterates the coin's intrinsic design.  Congress itself mandates by statute the themes, images, and inscriptions that appear on a particular coin.  However, businesses that choose to sell colorized or plated coins are expected to ensure that they do not violate U.S. trademark laws or false and deceptive advertising laws.
The Department of the Treasury Seal
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