Coin News

Volume 41, Number 7, July 2004

Editor's Decision

Volume 41, Number 7, July 2004

A magazine such as COIN NEWS is, by its very nature a “specialist” title. We fight every month for space in the newsagents, up against magazines like “Hello” “Cosmopolitan” and “The Radio Times”. It is no surprise with such fierce competition that our shop sales have to be heavily subsidised by our advertising revenue if we are to survive; however advertising isn’t all and when we get complaints from our readers regarding adverts that we run we do act to allay any concerns raised. Most recently these concerns have been raised in connection with the “copy “ coins being advertised within the pages of Britain’s favourite coin magazine. A few months ago we defended the advertising of these coins by stating that by carrying the adverts we can at least inform the public that such things exist, knowledge is, after all, power and by telling our readers that such coins are being manufactured at least allows them to be vigilant. However in the weeks succeeding that Editorial we have been informed by a number of readers that the very coins we are allowing to be advertised are appearing on Internet auction sites as genuine, and are turning up in dealers shops where the poor unsuspecting customer has to be told that in fact the “rare coin” he bought off of his “mate in the pub” is in fact nothing but a modern reproduction. With this in mind we have taken the step of deciding to no longer accept adverts from dealers who insist on advertising coins that could be used, by another, to deceive. We do not believe any dealer advertising these replicas does so to fool the coin buying public, however we do feel that someone could get hold of these excellent copies, doctor them, age them and pass them off as original. With this in mind we have no alternative but to state that we cannot agree with the making of replicas and thus cannot carry adverts for them. We will lose revenue, yes, but consider it a small price to pay for doing our part toward safeguarding our hobby. That said we do not feel, at this stage, that our ban need extend to fantasy coins – those “medallions” minted to show what certain coins might have looked like or to advertise events or products. True they might one day deceive the unwitting but we have to draw the line somewhere, we cannot hold the hand of every budding coin collector in the land, cannot tell each numismatist everything there is to know – if a collector is too naive to realise that the 1938 shilling with Edward VIII’s head on it is simply a “model” coin then I am afraid that cannot be our responsibility, we cannot be there to tell those eager to get rich quick that 1914 Victoria head crowns aren’t rare because few were minted but rather because they aren’t actually real, or tell collectors eager to cash in that in fact Britain hasn’t yet joined the single currency and so any Euros that come from these shores should be taken with a pinch of salt! We expect a certain level of knowledge amongst our readers and cannot compensate if that isn’t there, however when even the most hardened collectors are being fooled by the copies that now abound, we know it’s time to act – and so we have. We hope you will agree it is for the best.

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