Jump to content

ATTN: coin mokume makers


Recommended Posts

I know this is stupid but I like coins and would never melt them just because I think they look cool but are they really going to send people to jail for melting pennies. :wacko:

 

I think this law targets people selling huge amounts of penny copper making tons of money.

Edited by Andrew
Link to post
Share on other sites

well at least we still have dimes and quarters :P but i dont think that this is right if they send someone to jail for making mokume out of a few pennies and nickels but if they was takeing large amounts of them and melting them like $100 or more i could see them getting fined but jail i think thats going a littel bit far

Link to post
Share on other sites

Primarily...It's a copper with zinc core. The copper is most likely very thin.

 

So I wouldn't think they could get much money by melting it anyway. Guess they'd have to burn off the zinc, but that would leave very little copper I would think.

 

"Modern pennies have 2.5 percent copper content with zinc making up the rest of the coin. The current copper and zinc in a penny are worth 1.12 cents. The cost of production drives the cost of each penny up to 1.73 cents."

 

Very little copper, but apparently they're also after the zinc as well.

How funny.

 

Anyway I would agree. They're not going to go after people making Mokume, it's more for people doing this in large amounts I would think.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read an article on yahoo today that stated that the US Mint is making it a crime punishable up to $10,000 to melt pennies and nickels.

 

read here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061214/ap_on_bi_ge/mint_coins

 

Best not to use coins for this...or if you do, as Kris said, do not post images with a "how-to".

 

 

Ric

Edited by Richard Furrer
Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple weeks ago I alloyed a bunch of nickels together for a guard. I feel so dirty now.

 

I wonder how this affects all those penny imprinters that are in almost every tourist trap around the country. Will the secret service conduct a nation wide sweep and confiscate them? Will this create a black market for tourist penny squeezers?

 

Will they place extra patrols along railroad tracks to crack down on kids tha put change on the rails to get squished?

 

There is a brand new insidious criminal element now roaming the streets unchecked. Soon we will see posters of McGruff the crime dog warning:

 

If you melt a dime

You will do the time!

Edited by B Finnigan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Damaging coins or bills was punishable in Communist Bulgaria. This included melting of coins for using the alloy in other applications.

Everybody laughed at the Commies for protecting their national currency. WTF, this is one of the few good things they did. This was a totally Capitalist move.

Now the USA is doing the same - it is protecting its Money, just like the Commies did long time ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Damaging coins or bills was punishable in Communist Bulgaria. This included melting of coins for using the alloy in other applications.

Everybody laughed at the Commies for protecting their national currency. WTF, this is one of the few good things they did. This was a totally Capitalist move.

Now the USA is doing the same - it is protecting its Money, just like the Commies did long time ago.

 

Historically speaking the alteration of alloy in coinage is one of the first signs of a troubled economy...be that Greek, Rome, Byzantium etc.

I think what has occurred here is that the metals traded on the exchange are subject to speculation and not "real" supply/demand. (have a look at titanium verse zirconium prices...one traded and one not)

 

I have no issues with a country protecting its currency and some laws are actually good, but the thing to keep in mind is not to make a legal case (for any reason on any offense) as simple to prosecute as "hey look what I did that was illegal and I know its illegal cause of this link right here on the internet...look how cool I am now guys!!!"

 

In short...most of us have done enough to land in jail for five years by the time we are 30 (a friend did his masters degree on this), but such is the nature of things in modern society where laws include jaywalking, defacing of currency and smoking in public places.

 

The long and the short of it is that it apparently IS illegal and I think it is wise to not publicize the fact that this law (or any law) is flaunted here.

 

Now, if you don't mind I have to check the dates on some pennies....for collector value I assure you.

 

Ric

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's true, Roman emperors faked a lot of coins, making them lighter in weight and with poor alloying.

 

The Commies had their coins made of brass/bronze but all the bills and coins were en sured with gold in the national vault. Destroying a brass coin was equal to destroying a part of the national vault.

 

When there is no gold or goods coverage, we are talking about severe inflation and money start to cost nothing (alloying and nominal - wise).

Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys should count your self lucky .

 

It would be treason in UK (defacing the image ofthe queen ) and theoreticaly holds death penalty .

 

the only thing that you can be hung for here is burning her majestys docks and defacing coins or bills !!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

All the warnings aside, the law seems to specify pennies and nickles... not dime and quarters... which is what I have used in the past. I am certain the law, and the prosecutors, are going after people trying to recover the difference in face value and weight value. The law that protects penny-stampers and craft use of coins includes a phrase that says "The United States law Section 331, Title 18 prohibits altering coins or other forms of money for fraudulent uses." If you're melting down coinage to resell at scrap rates, that's fraud. To cook up a batch of mokume and glitz up a product in minute amounts, I don't see how that's fraud. I'd be surprised to see a DA go after someone working at our scale.

 

But, follow your own conscience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All the warnings aside, the law seems to specify pennies and nickles... not dime and quarters... which is what I have used in the past. I am certain the law, and the prosecutors, are going after people trying to recover the difference in face value and weight value. The law that protects penny-stampers and craft use of coins includes a phrase that says "The United States law Section 331, Title 18 prohibits altering coins or other forms of money for fraudulent uses." If you're melting down coinage to resell at scrap rates, that's fraud. To cook up a batch of mokume and glitz up a product in minute amounts, I don't see how that's fraud. I'd be surprised to see a DA go after someone working at our scale.

 

But, follow your own conscience.

 

Thanks Chris. That's pretty much what I was thinking I just hadn't gotten a chance to put it down into words.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

This is a spirit of the law country, not a letter of the law country. I seriously doubt that the law was intended to prosecute a hobbiest for squishing 80 cents in his garage. If you were mass producing and pulling in $80,000 a year in profit then I could see it. Or melting down on an industrial scale......

Link to post
Share on other sites

you seriously underestimate the value of "an example". The RIAA was sending letters threatening lawsuits to people who had downloaded as few as 5 songs from Napster, kazaa and one of the bittorrent sites. There was also a young girl (aged 12) who had downloaded songs and her parents were sued for several tens of thousands of dollars.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,96797,00.html

 

But this will be the last time I share this type of infomation (i.e. the coin melting laws). I don't think I could have been any clearer that I posted this because we've had a few people posting thier coin mokume videos and I didn't want them to get into trouble for using pennies or nickels. And that's all I have to say about that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think your posting is useful and an interesting read, I just don't think it is something that we should necessarily worry about. I was looking at it from a law enforcement perspective. I've done a lot of work with the feds including the Department of Treasury/ Secret Service. The workload and man power issues all across law enforcement are significant. It has been my experience that for a federal agent to convince a federal prosecutor that a case is worth filing it must be a "win-able" case. Believe me, they are selective. A prosecutor must look at it from a perspective of being able to convince a judge or jury that a crime has been commited, usually with intent, implied intent or negligence. I think a jury would be sympathetic to a knifemaker that hammered a few dimes together. I don't really see much intent to deprive the government of funds.

 

With napster and the other cases you refer to, you are talking about civil cases. Which translaters to money-to-be-made. A whole different ball game.

 

I'm not offering legal advice nor do I condone illegal activity. I'm just offering a personal opinion that big brother isn't too worried about us knifemakers.

 

Heck, who knows, maybe I'm wrong. Tracking terrorist finances, the drug trade, counterfeiting and whatnot keeps the feds busy enough to where I think we can keep our mokume keychains.

 

I do appreciate your intentions Mr. Skelton.

Link to post
Share on other sites

you seriously underestimate the value of "an example". The RIAA was sending letters threatening lawsuits to people who had downloaded as few as 5 songs from Napster, kazaa and one of the bittorrent sites. There was also a young girl (aged 12) who had downloaded songs and her parents were sued for several tens of thousands of dollars.

 

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,96797,00.html

 

But this will be the last time I share this type of infomation (i.e. the coin melting laws). I don't think I could have been any clearer that I posted this because we've had a few people posting thier coin mokume videos and I didn't want them to get into trouble for using pennies or nickels. And that's all I have to say about that.

 

Your concern is deeply appreciated, Kristopher. Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

FYI those penny crunching machines you see in tourist spots are gov sanctioned, the 50 cents you pay to crunch the penny partly goes to the US mint to fund making replacement coins.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...