Dec 17, 2008
I had an interesting call from a constituent today about his desire to purchase an Obama commemorative coin that he saw on the television. He wanted my opinion that would settle a debate he was having with his wife about the coin's investment value. The question was a good one I thought as I too had seen a proliferation of advertising about commemorative coins and the suggestion that they are a worth while financial investment. I told the constituent, who I had known since childhood, that I was certainly no expert on the subject and there are numismatist that might provide him a more definitive answer on the subject, I nevertheless Googled the question.
I came across an interesting article on the subject. According to Susan Headley at About.com "Most Obama coins being sold are unofficial marketing ploys. The Obama coin depicted here is the official version created for the Democratic Party by the Winston Elizabeth & Windsor Mint in Birmingham, England."
In her article she quoted Scott A. Travers, a nationally known coin expert and author of The Coin Collector's Survival Manual. He is quoted to say, "These coins are absolutely terrible investments. The value of these coins is what you can spend them for today. And the value of these coins for the foreseeable future will still be the face value — what you can spend them for. Do not buy these coins as anything other than souvenirs."
To follow up the Professional Numismatist Guild issued a warning about Obama commemorative coins as having no real investment value and that they should be treated as souvenirs.
Not all coins however should be seen as not being worthy of investment according to the article. If you are fortunate to have a coin from Winston Elizabeth & Windsor mint in England that were specially made to be used as gifts for Party supporters, "these official Obama coins, you just might have a collectible with some potential to increase in value over the years!"
Here is their United States website. I hope this answered my friend's question. I referred him on to professionals in the area if he needed further confirmation. I am repeating it here because it is an interesting question and may be helpful to others.