A worthless painted coin?

Colored coin!What is exactly the deal with these colored coins that keep appearing. It was a question that kept playing in my head and after some research I finally got an idea. I started wondering with the appearance of the colored 5 euro coin where there were suddenly some non official versions, only to notice that these non official versions were not called ‘illegal’. It seemed that anyone is allowed to paint their coins.

According to the law once a coin is painted it is no longer a legal form of tender. They are coins with a defect and are removed from the payment systems. As a collectible item they are nice to have and some are really pieces of art, and as such represent a certain value, but for making legal payments these coins are worthless. On the facebook page by the Royal Dutch Mint a number of critical questions were asked and you can read the following (about the Orange Lucky Dime, translated from Dutch):

  • RoyalDutchMint: … the Lucky Dime is made using an authentic 10 euro cent 2012, and the base of the coins is a legal form of tender but the dime is intended to be collected. The Royal Dutch Mint does not guarantee the coin can be used for making payments.
  • RoyalDutchMint: …, the original version of the Orange Lucky Dime 2012 is a legal form of payment. However, due to the added coloring the coin does not formally submit to the euro coin specifications and as such can be refused to serve as payment. This implies that the legal status as applies to the other 8 euro coins does not apply to the colored coins.

The peculiar thing is that the Royal Dutch Mint sells these colored coins and they seem to be quite unclear regarding the legal state of these coins. On their website they advertise these colored coins with these texts:

  • First official Dutch 10 cent euro 2012 in Orange.
  • Nominal value: 0,10 euro

They do seem to be referring to normal 10 cent coins. Still, they are worthless coins that are being sold alongside normal coins seemingly like they are similar products. The colored coins are a lot more expensive, but that they are not really legal tender only becomes clear after quite some investigation. It would be prudent if somehow this confusion was removed and it was made clear these colored coins represent a pretty and innovative product intended for collectors and that it does not represent legal tender.

A colored coin will not buy you anything but I think that still a lot of people would be interested in these pretty coins.

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