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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 17, April 23, 2006, Article 26

COOK ISLANDS AND THE FREEDOM TOWER DOLLAR

On April 23 the Cook Island Herald published another story with
a numismatic connection.  The National Collectors Mint is at it
again with another Freedom Tower "coin", this time under an
agreement with Cook Islands.

"A silver dollar minted by a US firm under a royalty agreement
with Cook Islands government is bringing this country into
disrepute among international coin collectors.

Collectors say TV advertisements in Canada and the US for the
“Freedom Tower” dollar, minted by Wyoming firm Softsky and
distributed by another US company called National Collector's
Mint haven’t told the whole truth about the coins.

The United States Government has agreed, describing the firm’s
advertising as “misleading.” A similar coin issued by Softsky
the previous year has already landed the firm in hot water with
the US Supreme Court."

"The advertisements for the Cook Islands coin aired in Canada
and the US last year, claimed the coins were legal tender and
clad in 71mg of pure silver “miraculously” found in a bank vault
during the clean up after the terrorist attack on the World
Trade Centre towers in September 2002."

"According to Terry Piri of the Numismatic Department, the deal
to mint the coins as legal Cook Islands tender was approved by
Cabinet last year. However he is unable to say how much money
the coin has earned for the Cook Islands as Softsky does not
have to produce a sales report until September."

"Controversy over the Cook Islands coins, which are not available
in this country, follows a major row in 2004 over another Softsky’s
coin commemorating the Twin Towers tragedy.

According to news reports, they were minted under the license of
the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The silver dollar, which looks similar to the Cook Islands one,
was described by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer as, “A
shameless attempt to profit from a national tragedy.”

"As a result of the controversy the Northern Marianas ended their
contract with Softsky in December 2004. However some media reports
claimed that by then they had already made $US150,000 from the deal."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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