Expensive Novelty Coin Gifts and Marketing Trickery

Author: Adam Hopkin - Numismatic Editor

Published: 6 Nov 2019

Last Updated: 1 Feb 2023


We are compelled to pull this page together following the observation of overpriced novelty “luxuries” marketed by unscrupulous companies and even the Royal Mint themselves. Each to their own but the recent launch of £5000 Christmas crackers, a £95 piggy bank (insultingly sold with a copper penny to start your collection) and a £18,750 gold credit card speaks only to the frivolous consumer or the unexpecting, uninformed and potentially “deceived” customer. The gifts almost amount to parody, but they are in fact taking your money!    

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Chards Christmas Parody Gifts 

Have you seen Chards do marketing speak and over sell an item? We have given it a go and attempt to sell you a load of nonsense in a comical manner with the following gift items. Before reading on be sure to engage your sceptical mind and look out for content and adverts like this.  

“These exclusive Chards Christmas gifts are for the wealthiest of recipients, those with impeccable taste, those looking for an heirloom to be proud of or those tentative collectors looking to add a highly sought-after piece to their fine collections. These items have been meticulously chosen by your dedicated account manager for their detail and appeal, lavishly prepared for those with the spending power to support the Gold Standard of opulent lifestyles. For the collector who appreciates craftsmanship, detail and magnificence you need look no further than these very unique (sic) pieces to add to your collection. The following bespoke items will be the cornerstone of your assemblage and a talking point with fellow collectors (including the debt collector). Each of the one-off pieces caters to a specific need, enhancing your elite lifestyle, whilst upholding the legacy and traditions each share with the historic coins they are inspired by. All our items come with a certificate of authenticity (which is simply us declaring that the item is in fact a coin) with returns valid only in person at our offices in Monaco for the first 24 hours following delivery.” 

The above sales hype is an exaggeration of course, but the language used is becoming prominent in the coin and bullion industry particularly companies who are deploying advertising agencies or uninterested marketeers.

Below you will find our finest selection of Christmas gifts for 2020 and we look forward to you placing your order and taking your money........

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Gold 24 carat Banana stand  

When searching for something more appealing than your traditional fruit bowl, you needn't look much further than this £50,000 classic 24 carat gold banana stand.  With only 5 in existence this eggstravagant addition to your kitchen doesn’t come at a side-splitting cost, adding diversity to your asset portfolio and ensuring that this investment is the best of the bunch.   

Golden Toaster  

This golden addition to your breakfast won't be something to loaf around on, crust us. A spectacular morning meal will be the yeast of your problems with this handsome £10,000 22 carat Golden Toaster.  Butter up your investments today, spreading your wealth on this extravagant slice of heaven.  We get asked regularly if precious metals make for a sound investment, to which we say, 'Gold is as good today as its always been.' This toaster is reserved for our regular customers who spend £500,000 per week and as such will probably never be seen by most of our customer base.  

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Chards Limited Edition Golden Wallet  

Unsure about the security of the cryptocurrency and stock markets, keep your investment close with this 24 carat Wallet; or make a cabbie’s day by leaving it on the backseat for a truly unforgettable tip.  Impress your peers with a wallet worth more than their car costing only £75,000 with a limited “mintage” of 100. 

Fine Gold Arm Bands  

Dive into swimming in style with these Golden Arm Bands! You'll look good in any sink or swim moment. This incredibly special, limited investment will be sure to inflate in price, bringing you a handsome return and making a splash in the process. Bring the bling to your poolside holidays and impress the rest of the guests as your children struggle to move weighed down in glorious 24 carat gold.  

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Golden Dental Floss   

If you're unsure of what assets will best hold your investment, instead of hastily leaving your decision down to the wire we recommend this golden dental floss, removing the sour taste any poor investment leaves in your mouth. Yours for only £10,000 and recommended by all our affiliate dentists and guaranteed to make your teeth sparkle.  

The Chards Ethos

We take pride in allowing our customers to make an informed purchase decision. We have over 50,000 pages on our site, with many being dedicated to acting as an unbiased hub of free, readily available numismatic information. Clarity is core aspect of all our pages, and we take great care in ensuring our articles, mailshots and product pages are as accurate as they are informative.

There are plenty of marketing companies who will implement deception and devious selling tactics to assign an inflated value to their products. More commonly this is referred to as “FUD” which is an abbreviation for “fear, uncertainty and doubt”, a well-established ploy to tarnish smaller brands, and in this case coin dealers. A notable example here are adverts which report low mintages or that the coin you are buying will become collectable in the future, which is impossible to claim unless you have a clairvoyant as part of your marketing team.  

We have even noticed dealers failing to mention the specifics of their product information, leading customers to believe they are in for a handsome future return on a product they are buying for well under spot price, often this is certainly not the case. One recent example is an advert for a Krugerrand coin at a fantastic price but upon closer inspection the coin was an overpriced quarter ounce Kruger. The title and content on the advert failed to clearly communicate this.

These dishonest practices show bait and switch advertisements, excessive premiums and liberal use of terms such as "reissue", “investors piece” and “collectable” to make copies and replicas sound official and even claiming standard coinage to be commemorative of past events.  The bait and switch is a particularly shameful ploy as  customers will shop around, comparing the price of the product intended to be bait, drawing the conclusion that the marketed coin is cheaper than all other competitors and this therfore must apply to the sellers entire product range. The reality however is that whilst the seller would sell the initial coin for under its worth, all following transactions would be more than double the coins value, ensuring that even if only one more coin was sold they are firmly in profit.  Companies will even go as far to add shield of arms and other heraldic symbols to their webpages, emails and letters to imitate authenticity. Not only is this a sly practice but  arms and crests must legally be issued by the crown after first being granted a warrant from the Earl Marshal of the College of Arms. 

Why Address This?

Far too often we see customers or relatives of those who have been holding on to collectable coins for years, sometimes decades, in the hopes of lining their pockets and leaving a generous sum for their loved ones to inherit, only to discover the pieces they have preserved are worth a fraction of the price they paid. 

Collectable coins should always be viewed as exactly that, trinkets and prized possessions valued for their aesthetic or commemorative appeal, and never as an investment guaranteed to bring a secure financial future. 

The typical defence for the retailer's incredible inflation of each coin's value is the craftsmanship and limited availability of each piece. Of course, find a die-hard collector that needs your piece to complete their set and they may be willing to pay above the mark; however, take one of these commemorative coins to a reputable dealer, pawn shop, broker or auction and you would exclusively be offered the value of the coin's metal content, often at least half of the initial sums paid.  

Coin Investment Caution

Typically, you will receive these kinds of "investment opportunities", deals and offers through either an email or by post. Here are the details to watch out for to ensure that you are not paying well above the actual value of your new coins.  

  • Does the material show the historical price performance for the coin, suggesting you will make a profit?  
  • Recurring use of phrases like "investment", "great return", "extremely limited"  
  • Offering a coin below spot price but when you call to make the purchase you are talked into buying an overpriced "proof"  
  • Call other dealers and ring around to identify if the offer is in fact the real deal.  

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