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#1235022 - 06/10/06 12:21 AM Defacing Coins
pendragon1998 Offline
I was posting here when you were in diapers.


Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 3583
Loc: Mississippi
Many people ask the question:
"Is it illegal to deface coins (e.g. by elongating them, artificially toning them,
putting a hole in them, etc)?"




According to U.S.code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331:

Quote:


Whoever fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined
at the mints of the United States, or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual use or circulation
as money within the United States; or

Whoever fraudulently possesses, passes, utters, publishes, or sells, or attempts to pass, utter, publish, or sell, or brings
into the United States, any such coin, knowing the same to be altered, defaced, mutilated, impaired, diminished, falsified,
scaled, or lightenedó

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.





The answer to the defacement question is: it depends.

Essentially, the key word here is 'fraudulently'. You can legally drive a nail through a coin, paint it ultramarine, melt it, or bend it into a pretzel - but the moment you try and use that coin as currency, you're breaking the law. You can sell that altered coin as a collectable, but you can't use it to buy a Snickers. You can gold-plate your cent-less V-nickel, but you can't pass it with the intention of making the clerk think it's a gold piece. You can mash your pennies in the cent squisher at the zoo, but don't even think about buying penny candy with them ever again. Get the idea?

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and you should only accept legal advice from a licensed attorney.


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#1235023 - 06/10/06 11:06 AM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: pendragon1998]
CurrierVentures Offline
Collector is an understatement.


Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 146
mmmmm snickers
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NumisGuard.com

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#1235024 - 06/25/06 02:40 AM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: pendragon1998]
Bruceswar Offline
TOTAL NEWBIE


Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 8296
Loc: Mesquite, Tx
Look at that wheatie... It has a VDB on it.. I bet it is a 1909 S VDB.. Ok Maybe not, but sure got you to thinking.
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#1235025 - 07/24/06 01:57 AM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: pendragon1998]
EZ_E Offline
TOTAL NEWBIE


Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 8918
Loc: Sin City
I was just wondering about this since a coworker thought that it was illegal to melt silver coinage.

Can anyone clarify this even further?
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#1235026 - 08/03/06 01:14 AM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: EZ_E]
pendragon1998 Offline
I was posting here when you were in diapers.


Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 3583
Loc: Mississippi
Seems to me like melting silver coinage falls under the "mutilation" part of the code, and provided you don't attempt to pass it fraudulently (e.g. this franklin half dollar I'm melting is 100% silver, or 90% platinum) it shouldn't be illegal.
_________________________
-Michael

Interested in buying PCGS MS69 Silver Britannias.
Have one? Please contact me.



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#1235027 - 08/29/06 08:38 PM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: pendragon1998]
HaydenTubbs Offline
Cookie Monster
FACT if I stop posting, trillions and trillions of transistors would be out of work.


Registered: 06/30/04
Posts: 4166
Loc: FL
I thought "defacing" was when you ground the bust of a coin?

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#1235028 - 08/29/06 09:32 PM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: HaydenTubbs]
MunkyMan95 Offline
TOTAL NEWBIE


Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 8429
Loc: Electric Avenue


Hayden, I wonder about you sometimes.... Wonder which shrink would be crazy enough to take your case
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#2054024 - 12/05/07 12:18 PM Re: Defacing Coins [Re: pendragon1998]
pendragon1998 Offline
I was posting here when you were in diapers.


Registered: 03/10/06
Posts: 3583
Loc: Mississippi
 Originally Posted By: pendragon1998
Seems to me like melting silver coinage falls under the "mutilation" part of the code, and provided you don't attempt to pass it fraudulently (e.g. this franklin half dollar I'm melting is 100% silver, or 90% platinum) it shouldn't be illegal.


This has since changed. Currently, it is illegal to melt cents and nickels US Mint Press Release .


Second link.
_________________________
-Michael

Interested in buying PCGS MS69 Silver Britannias.
Have one? Please contact me.



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