united we're scammed

Commemorative 9/11 Coins About As Worthless As Normal, Not-9/11 Money

Dinosaurs. Don't forget them, either.A shrewd investor knows that not all 1-666 Call Later infomercials will make you rich immediately. Aside from Cats4Gold and multifarious Glenn Beck NASCAR bullion, most televised coins and samurai kitchen swords will provide only “modest” returns — and only if FDR doesn’t steal them from you first. So you need to be very careful when purchasing strange 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Commemorative Coins featuring “sculptures of the USS New York and the World Trade Center towers,” because contrary to popular belief, the USS New York did not crash into the Twin Towers. Sadly, these $29.95 coins are actually worthless and not even remotely affiliated with the U.S. Mint. (The real 9/11 coin features a cruise missile attacking the Pentagon.) Scams. They’re everywhere, never forget!

A coin commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks is drawing the ire of consumers and politicians who have learned that the coin may be just a worthless trinket that has no affiliation with the U.S. government and does not benefit the 9/11 Memorial.

Katie Smith and John Shughart of Carlisle, Pa., thought they were buying a priceless piece of history. Now, the coin they bought may have not even a cent of value.
“I think it’s a complete rip-off,” says Smith. “It’s a scam.”

Kevin Shary of Gold Mine Appraisals in Mechanicsburg, Pa., says based on the medallion’s precious metal content, it’s worth roughly 25 cents. “There is maybe an ounce of silver and copper there, that’s maybe what? A quarter?” says Shary, “It might be worth a quarter.”

Yes, it’s very disheartening to see people/multinational megadeath corporations profiting handsomely from phony 9/11 jingoism. Who knew it would come to this? And how much longer before Fred Thompson starts advertising U.S. gun death medallions or special edition U.S. diabetes coins, on Twitter? After all, these are the real 9-11s that every patriot is eager to commemorate for three low payments of $29.99 plus free shipping. Operators are standing by! [Fox News]

About the author

Riley is an "internet blogger." He has written for such internet websites as True/Slant and the terrible Brangelina gossip emporium "The Huffington Post." Riley lives in northeast DC, near H Street. Maybe you do too and want to hang out?

View all articles by Riley Waggaman
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  1. PsycWench

    Watch out for the tiny "silver" Glenn Beck memorative chalkboard. It is not only worthless but subtracts IQ points.

  2. MildMidwesterner

    If these coins are selling well, then maybe I should start advertising my commemorative 4/1 coins.

    1. JustPixelz

      Howzabout : 01/20/09 coin commemorating The Day Obama Attacked. You're sure to sell a few million to the TP'ers. (Make sure it's made of genuine Goldline deposit certificates.)

  3. MsElla

    I'll bet the people who bought these as an "investment" also bought Beanie Babies to fund their retirements.

  4. MittsHairHelmet

    How has it been almost 10 years and the only thing they've built on Ground Zero is the Al-Qaeda Mosk?

    1. Sophist [APPLESAUCE]

      Duh! Because we spent all the rebuilding money on coins and trading cards and first issues of comics that will totally be worth something some day. Did you even read the article?

    1. user-of-owls

      That hypothesis is severely undermined by the empirical observations of anyone named Palin or Kardashian.

  5. Come here a minute

    It's only a matter of time before the 9/11 reenactors get in on the sweet, sweet 9/11 profits.

  6. Barbara_i

    These are the same idiot people who will buy the Confederate chess pieces, one at a time.

    Who sold this shit? The Sham-Wow guy? Okay, maybe he was right about "loving his nuts", but the rest was just a sham-not-so-wow.

    Who would want to commemorate this horrible day in American history? Ford didn't sell a Lincoln convertible and name it the "Kennedy" Mattel didn't sell a Baby Jessica doll (well sold separately) and there is no Hormel "Mama Cass Elliot" extra thick ham slices.

    1. Weenus299

      There should've been a JFK car. I know my dad would've bought one in an instant. Would've insisted on vinyl upholstery, though.

    2. WhatTheHeck

      Except the Confederate chess pieces substituted the Castle with a shiny silver Airstream Trailer. And that makes that chess set priceless.
      So there.

  7. SorosBot

    Wait, the coins with all cable ads that's obviously a rip-off is a rip-off? Seeing those ads I always wonder who is dumb enough to order that shit; Katie Smith and John Shughart were probably also disappointed that Enxyte didn't end of adding several inches to his dick. You're stupid enough to buy that shit, you deserve to lose the money.

    1. PsycWench

      Does anyone have these people's email address? I have an investment opportunity involving an Nigerian prince that would be perfect for them.

    2. Ruhe

      Ah, well, the Enzyte scam could kind of work out, for the guy at least, since in order to know if it's working you have to keep checking to see if it's working, as in, "honey, come in here. Let's check and see if my johnson's gotten any longer yet. Not yet? Oh well, as long as we're here…" But being disappointed that you hadn't managed to purchase something priceless…that's like oxymoron performance art.

        1. SorosBot

          The adds just used vague words like "enhancement"; it's a rule on all the bullshit herbal "medicines", they don't get regulated by the FDA but they can't make any specific claims for treatment, and the vast majority do jack shit (and the ones that do have real effects have real medicines that do so much better and with less side effects).

  8. Tundra Grifter

    ClusterFox would have run quite a different story on these "coins" if they'd talked the company into advertising on Glumm Bleek's show.

  9. YasserArraFeck

    Personally, I would definitely buy the 10th Anniversary "My Pet Goat" Commemorative coin, featuring, on one side, a sculpture of President George W. Bush, the Father of our Nation, sitting on a rocking chair, reading to multitudes of American children gathered at His feet, gazing up at His calm visage. This Once-in-a-Lifetime (TM) collectible is clad in 100% depleted uranium, recovered from the vaporized ass of an Iraqi tank commander, or some Iraqi children (what's the difference – one raghead's pretty much the same as the next, right?). BTW, the other side contains the inscribed credit card numbers of Katie Smith and John Shughart of Carlisle, Pa. – a bubbling well of gullible that will keep delivering, if you get on the phone quick and order those flights to Disneyworld.

  10. HolyMaracas

    "Yes, it’s very disheartening to see people/multinational megadeath corporations profiting handsomely from phony 9/11 jingoism. "

    Riley, may I remind you that it was the Country music industry that made millions out of 9/11 and not the Metal scene? Just sayin'.

    1. SorosBot

      Ah yes, the shamelessness of Toby Keith et al. was incredible; the rural teabagger types truly have no sense or taste.

  11. bureaucrap

    If you order 10 or more coins within the next five minutes, we'll even send you a free book, "How to detect obvious telemarketing scams and frauds"! buy now!

  12. Weenus299

    Oh fuck coins and shit. Commemorative box cutters from the Franklin Mint. That's where the money is.

    1. Radiotherapy

      I'm waiting for the commemorative iPhone that provides cell service while in flight….Let's roll.

      1. horsedreamer_1

        I remember the relatives of the Flight 93 passengers — might not have even been related to the actual speaker of the line — tried to copyright "Let's Roll". For profit freedom.

    2. Steverino247

      Hey, I didn't read your entry before posting mine above. Sorry to step on your joke like that.

  13. OneDollarJuana

    Remember the Franklin Mint? They would only make a "limited" number of each issue. Turns out, of course, that it was limited to the number of people that wanted the items. And whaddya know? The resale market was nil, because everyone who wanted one of those things had one.

    Is it too soon to issue a commemorative fetus-in-a-jar-Bush-baby? I'm thinking a little fetus made of Vienna-sausage meat in a Mason jar full of moonshine. It celebrates motherhood, traditional homespun country kitchen values, and George's alcoholism all at once!

    1. Barbara_i

      They named it "The Franklin Mint" because that's what you needed to get the shitty taste out of your mouth after the crap arrived.

  14. DerrickWildcat

    My art project in High School was to take John Wayne and Ronald Reagan memorial collector plate thingies and serve bacon, eggs, and hash browns on them. A surprising amount of people were vary mad at me for doing such a horrible thing. They also blamed my Mom for raising such a rotten kid.

    1. Ducksworthy

      They probably objected to the way you arranged Reagan's has so that the egg yolk appeared to be running out of his ear, as if it was his brains melting down. Just sayin'

    2. gvvt

      While here at Wonkette, we salutes you AND your mother for raising such a rotten kid. It's the Socialist Way.

  15. Cicada

    Damn. Maybe I shouldn't have bothered with keeping my 9/11 commemorative Big Gulp cup in mint condition.

  16. edgydrifter

    On the plus side, money wasted on these is money that won't be wasted on:
    A) Vinyl letters for a rambling tailgate manifesto
    B) Cheez-n-Bacon flavored Funyuns
    C) 30-round clips for that Glock on layaway down at the pawn shop
    D) Copies of "Going Rogue"

  17. metamarcisf

    Laugh if you will, but mark my words, you'd better act now, preferably in the next ten minutes, because once these coins are gone, they will never be available again.

  18. OC_Surf_Serf

    The downfister is back… I guess the right wing thinks it is too soon to ridicule asshats who try to profit off 9/11.

    1. LetUsBray

      Families of people who died that day are fair game for ridicule, of course. But not the profiteer in his vulturesque nobility, never.

  19. BaldarTFlagass

    Fuck all that. The three cases of "Dallas" tie-in "JR" beer I bought back in the 80's, sitting down in the barn, are going to fund my retirement. And in case of apocalypse, I'll just chill 'em and drink 'em. Though they are probably all skunky and Coors-Light-tasting by now.

    1. Weenus299

      In a bizarre twist, my dad, who worked for the CIA in 63, requested a tie clip with the presidential seal from a friend of his who was going to meet with JFK after he got back from Dallas.

      Yep! He never got back from Dallas. That's my JFK tie-in story.

      1. PuckStopsHere

        Your dad's friend never got back from Dallas? What happened? (JFK got back from Dallas. He was in a box, but he did get back.)

        1. Weenus299

          You don't know?
          JFK couldn't take the presidency and marriage anymore, so he faked his death. I think he finished up his life footing late-night wrestling cards in Oklahoma City.

          As for my dad, he is still among the living, telling me these odd tales every so often when I visit him in Columbia, SC.

    2. cheaphits

      I had a six pack of Billy Beer (that I got from Billy Carter) for years- but I drank it one night when I ran out of beer, terrible stuff by the way.

  20. hagajim

    Maybe we shoud issue a commemorative anus ripped wide open in time for Ronnie's birthday….it could be the 100th birthday anus of the man who set America up to be ass raped by pretty much everyone.

  21. Radiotherapy

    I thought 911 changed everything…well, except for the exploitation and sea of suckers amongst whom we live.

  22. JustPixelz

    The coin will go nicely with also, the framed photo of George Bush on the phone that day (courtesy of GOP). And the "Never Forget" magnetic ribbon I have on my SUV.

  23. lochnessmonster

    Drats! I was gonna attach my 9/11 never forget coins to my gold plated Shake Weight adorned with my NASCAR stickers!

  24. SorosBot

    My favorite TV rip-off/scam was from when I was a kid in the mid-80s, with the set of jewelery on sale for $19.95 which the ad claimed was worth thousands of dollars; it included such things as a "genuine faux pearl ring" and "pure 1-karat gold".

  25. occams8ball

    Hey, this was supposed to be a priceless piece of American history! And now somebody is telling me it isn't! What's going on here?

  26. Refudiation

    I love the fact Fox is crowing about the evils of the loosely regulated market. Shouldn't they be blaming the buyers for not doing enough research into their investment? Why no cries about the job-crushing, customer-stealing Better Business Bureau who gave this poor small businessman an "F"?

    1. genxr

      Seriously, this is unregulated capitalism at its finest. Why do they hate the sellers of worthless coins, and want to punish their success? Next they'll want to redistribute their wealth back to the original purchasers.

  27. PublicLuxury

    Let the Eagle Soar.
    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ubjgisuitDw?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ubjgisuitDw?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

  28. prommie

    Does it come with a genuine amish-made display case? Those Amish, they can only crank out so many of those mantles and display cases. If you live in area code 201, start calling at 9 am, if you live in area code 732, start calling at 10 am . . .

  29. Buckminster

    I love the part that says this rip-off artist was also responsible for selling the epic fail that was the original bedazzler.

  30. Ruhe

    Has anyone seen the adds for the commemorative bills for the national parks that are just regular old $1, $5 and $10 bills that have been run through a jet printer to add some color park-scene "backgrounds"? Americans are paying money to have their money bedazzled! The only thing more pathetic is the thought of Grandma forcing the grandkids to stand in front of the crappy, framed commemorative currency and "admire" it. "In my day, kids, you could actually go to these places but now that Obama has gutted the Parks budget so that he could send posterboard and sharpies to the Egyptians the Parks are overrun with Messicans."

  31. DCHatesMe

    We can't put a price on traumatic memories, it's something we must pay to forget.

    Also, is that Fred Flinstone sliding down the back of the dinosaur?

    1. SorosBot

      So you have to watch an ad in order to watch an ad; Blade Runner is becoming more and more true every day.

  32. user-of-owls

    Look on the bright side you nattering nabobs of negativism! Just imagine how many jerbs this will create! Unemployment rates among stamped metal workers will plummet. Let's stamp!

  33. genxr

    I spent all this money, and now I can't find my Iraq Invasion commemorative coins. Are they under the desk? Nope. Behind the couch? Not there either. Where could they be? *cue laugh track*

  34. Guppy06

    So these guys are making a killing selling 9/11 coins, while the US Mint still can't move its hoard of golden dollar coins, because the paper lobby has everyone convinced that coins = communism.

    Maybe the US Mint should ditch the presidents and start putting 9/11 on the dollar coin.

  35. PhilippePetain

    The picture on the Fox site of the sad family who bought this sad coin and is now very, very sad is, however, worth a thousand words.

  36. CapeClod

    Personally, I would only invest in a quality product. That's why, for a short time only, I will be selling my surplus supply of Freedom Trays for only $29.95!!

  37. OneYieldRegular

    Goldangit, this co-memrative coin I was buyin' to show that 9/11 occurred in order to provide me an INVESTISMENT ain't nothin' but a unethic SCAM.

  38. MissTaken

    Ah man, I was going to use my newly acquired Happy 9/11 Day coins to purchase fine quality t-shirts at the soon-to-be shuttered WonketteMart. Damn, guess I gotta get my Ameros out after all.

  39. Steverino247

    Americans commemorate fuck ups all the time. Just look around and see how many schools named Challenger (after the space shuttle disaster) there are in the U.S. I once had the opportunity to visit a middle school by that name. On the way out, I asked the secretary if their students fed into Hindenburg High. She choked on her Coke laughing.

    By the way, I'm selling commemorative vinyl stickers in the shape of the letter W with "Never forget that he was America's Worst President" printed just below it.

  40. Bluestatelibel

    Don't you all forget your commemorative Princess Diane sapphire ring–made of genuine crystals and cheap base metal marketed by the "British Royal Historical Society." A true treasure for only $49.95!

  41. LionelHutzEsq

    Yes, it’s very disheartening to see people/multinational megadeath corporations profiting handsomely from phony 9/11 jingoism.

    Yes, as that is the sole province of the Republican Party.

  42. ttommyunger

    Snark all you want, Wonketeers, but these assholes are making MILLIONS off of shit like this every fucking day! This scam is probably the product of the same fetid mind that thought up the "Challenge Coin" Scam still going strong in our Armed Forces. After I got out I learned that somebody was minting attractive coins commemorating various branches and units of our Armed Forces and calling them Challenge Coins. These fucking things are everywhere. Dubya handed out a ton of them every time he made an appearance with the troops. Nixon at least had Badges Minted to give the Feds he fucked over as "atta boy" Awards. This shit is everywhere. I had a guy pull a Ranger Coin out of his pocket one time to try to convince me he really was an Army Ranger. Pathetic!

  43. GeorgiaBurning

    Why not take advantage of the teatards just like their leaders do – put out a "No-Bama's last Day 1/19/13" coin from the "American Republic Mint", guaranteed to have a full micro ounce of actual gold content for only $29.95 plus shipping and handling. If you order now, get three coins for $100!

    1. gvvt

      Good golly – this may be the most beautiful idea I've ever come across. Your fortune is made. If you need $20 in start-up money, drop me a line.

  44. lulzmonger

    Got burned on your ghoulish "investment" in garbage? Tough titty. What the market will bear, suckers! Somewhere, the ghost of Adam Smith is having a good ROFL.

    PS: Why does foxnews.com hate capitalism?

  45. NadePaulKuciGravMcKi


    There you go man, keep as cool as you can
    Face piles of trials with smiles
    It riles them to believe that you perceive the web they weave

    And keep on thinking free

  46. Tundra Grifter

    Riley: For some reasons the commercials always say "LIVE operators are standing by."

    First of all, instead of just standing by what aren't they answering the damn phones?

    And – is there more than one kind of operator? Live and … ?

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