Friday, January 4, 2008

1988-D DIME

Circulation strikes: 962,385,489
Designer: John R. Sinnock
Diameter: ±17.91 millimeters
Thickness: ±1.35 millimeters
Metal content:
Outer layers - 75% Copper, 25% Nickel
Center - 100% Copper
Weight: ±2.268 grams
Edge: Reeded
Mintmark: D" (for Denver) above the date
Value: $0.75 (MS-65)

In what is believed to be the largest collection of coins ever excavated from a deep ocean site, Odyssey Marine Exploration recently recovered over 500,000 silver coins weighing more than 17 tons, hundreds of gold coins, worked gold, and other artifacts from a Colonial period site code-named "Black Swan", located in an undisclosed location in the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately they have also launched a rather aggressive telephone sales force with the aim of unloading some of their coins on the public.
For me it started with the November 13th article on titled "Win some Sunken Treasure Coins!" I followed the links, because… well… I may not be interested in buying "(a) a collection of coins and/or other artifacts from shipwrecks valued at $50,000, or (b) a collection of coins and/or other artifacts from shipwrecks valued at $25,000, or choice of (a) or (b) as above, PLUS a 2008 Mercedes Benz." But I certainly wouldn't mind adding any of that to my collection (or garage) at little or no cost to myself. So I fill out the requisite sweepstakes entry forms, poke around the web site, look at all the silly marketing for Disney's National Treasure: Book of Secrets movie and, after a few minutes, forget all about the whole thing.
For a while anyway. Then I start getting phone calls…
The first call came while I was driving home after work. Foolish me, I answered my phone. The voice on the other end belonged to an individual claiming to represent Odyssey Marine Exploration and wanted to sell me shipwreck coins. I tried, gently, to explain that I wasn't interested, and further that it was a bad time for me to be on the phone… since I was driving in traffic and my car is a stick shift…The second call came the next morning. With another following every few days after that. Currently they occur almost every day.

By now I react to these phone call either by simply not answering or by giving the caller/sales rep. a list of reasons why they are wasting their time:

First I collect U.S. coins. Not shipwreck coins. Not colonial coins.
Second, given the current price of metals I have limited means, and no interest in purchasing gold coins.
Third, silver coins are likely to be badly corroded, so no interest there either.
Fourth, hype. A shipwreck is found, interest goes up, coin prices go up… coins are sold, the market is saturated, the frenzy dies down… and the prices drop. Not a great investment in my book
And finally… If I want to buy something I'll go looking for a seller. Period! I never buy anything from anyone that contacts me with an offer. If I didn't want it enough to go looking for it in the first place I probably don't need it.

Shame on Disney, Shame on Odyssey Marine Exploration, and Shame on Sandra Grauschopf of About.Com for driving traffic to the site where all this unwanted marketing started.
News of artifact and coin recovery from a shipwreck is certainly interesting and exciting, but telemarketers are not. And if I'm going to spend $1,000 to $3,500 on a coin, or if I'm taken by fever and decide to spend $2,000 on a movie tie in "Real National Treasure Collectors Set", I'm going to be picking out the specific coin(s) I want, and not trusting some company to provide, sight unseen, a fair valued coin (of un-specified grade might I add).

Oh, and today's coin? Change from my lunch... Mediterranean food, yum.


Sandra Grauschopf said...

hear that you had a bad experience with a contest that I listed on the About Contests site. I haven't heard of anyone else having a big problem with this sweepstake, but I know that they did have a box to check to receive more information, if you indicated "I am interested in acquiring shipwreck coins & artifacts."

Unwanted marketing contact is an unfortunate side effect of entering contests and sweepstakes. All contests are intended to advertise a product or company, and some sponsors go way overboard in their attempts to promote their services. Although I try to weed out the bad seeds, it's not always possible to do in advance. For just this reason, I offer advice on my site about how to protect your home address while entering sweepstakes, how to get less junk mail from entering sweepstakes, and how to use alternate numbers while entering sweepstakes, so that you can avoid intrusive marketing.

I'm again sorry that you had a bad experience, and I hope that your next attempt sweepstakes entry is far more positive!

Pocket Change said...

Thanks for the response! I think I came off a bit harsh in my post, but… well… after so many telemarketing calls I was a bit riled up. It may well be that I inadvertently checked some box, or failed to uncheck one.

In the end, I won't be doing business with Odyssey Marine Exploration, but then no loss to them as I wouldn't have anyway, and I'm unlikely to visit their site again. I will, however, continue to read articles, because, despite my ranting, I enjoy the articles.

Sandra Grauschopf said...

I'm glad to hear that we haven't lost you as a reader! And no worries, persistent marketing calls get me pretty aggravated, too. :)

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