Washington — The United States Mint is alerting consumers and the public about a new product whose television, print, and online advertisements incorrectly describe as a “legally authorized government issue” coin. This product, which purportedly commemorates the World Trade Center and the planned new Freedom Tower, is not a genuine United States coin or medal.
The National Collector’s Mint, a private commercial enterprise which is not connected to or affiliated with the United States Mint or the United States Government, is marketing this product as a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands’ 2004 “Freedom Tower” Silver Dollar. Consumers may find the advertisements for this product confusing because the company uses phrases such as “legally authorized government issue,” “U.S. territorial minting,” and “silver dollar.” The product itself also may be confusing because it bears the inscription, “In God We Trust,” which Congress requires on all United States coins, and the inscription, “One Dollar.”
Under the United States Constitution, Congress has the exclusive power to coin money of the United States, including the striking of commemorative coins. Congress has delegated its authority to mint and issue coins to the Secretary of Treasury, and Congress requires the Secretary to carry out these duties at the United States Mint. Therefore, the United States Mint is the only government entity in the United States with the authority to coin money. Clearly, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. insular possession, does not have the authority to coin its own money.
The collectibles market is brimming with tokens, medallions, mementos and similar products that look like genuine United States coins. However, those who purchase such items should be aware that such products are not actually United States coins. For more information on distinguishing genuine United States coins and medals from private products such as the National Collector’s Mint “Freedom Tower” product, please visit the United States Mint Consumer Awareness web page at www.usmint.gov/consumer.