Has the Coca-Cola Coin Crossed the Line?
The new Coca-Cola coin is shaped like a bottle cap. This coin brings up an interesting question, how far should a mint go with coins that promote a product? Certainly there is more latitude in what can, and often is, minted as a commemorative coin. Perhaps a good idea would be to limit commemorative coins to designs that could be used for circulation coins. Inconvenience aside, for few of us would like to carry three-dimensional coins, and merchants would have problems handling them, three-dimensional coins themselves are not inherently something that can be ruled out. But what about product promotion? Should a coin promote something like Coca-Cola and be used to buy Pepsi Cola? There seems to be a favoritism when a product appears on legal tender.
The Coca-Cola coin is shaped like a bottle cap. It is not the first time a coin shaped like a bottle cap has been minted. In 2016 Palau issued a bottle cap shaped coin commemorating the five hundredth anniversary of the Bavarian Purity Law. This law determines what can be in beer in Bavaria, and does not promote a specific beer.
Yes, there are Disney coins, but the subject is often a cartoon character, something known for itself more than its parent company. Note that the previous bottle cap coin commemorated a historical event, and favored no company.
The Coca-Cola Coin Design
The Coca-Cola coin is currency of Fiji. It bears the denomination of one dollar. It is made in fine silver, and contains six grams of silver. The obverse is the inside of the Coca-Cola cap, and is uncolored silver. It shows the national emblem of Fiji.
The reverse is red and white, and colored to resemble a Coca-Cola cap, including the Coca-Cola logo.
The coin comes in a red and white box with the Coca-Cola logo. On the side of the box are the words “It’s the real thing.”
The coin is minted with a proof finish. One site indicates mintage of the first run is 25,000, while another site indicates 25,000 to be the annual mintage.
The Coca-Cola Coin Has Appeal
It Should Be Collectible
There is a double interest for this coin. Coca-Cola collectors are likely to seek this coin out. And, some numismatists may like it. I see no problem in collecting the coin. It does represent an iconic product, and has its appeal. I am just afraid a door is being opened that should remain closed.
The Coca-Cola Coin Poses a Danger
There Is No Room for Advertising in Circulating Currency
Circulating currency has adopted some innovations in minting. Bimetallic coins, and coins of different shapes other than round, now circulate. This is due to measures being taken to thwart counterfeiting. But, as smaller nations issue coins in prolific numbers, advertising must not become part of the population of circulating coinage. Yes, small nations use commemorative coins as a source of revenue, but it must not extend to circulating pieces.
Coca-Cola Silver Bars and Rounds
Advertising Is Fine
Advertising on Coca-Cola silver bars and rounds is different. These items, while they appeal to many numismatists, are not official currency of any government. They are collectibles, and advertising collectibles are quite desirable for companies like Coca-Cola.
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