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December 02, 2008

Cable television viewers have been treated recently to a deluge of ads for a "Barack Obama Inaugural Dollar," a "genuine" dollar produced by the "New England Mint."

It can be yours for a mere $9.95.

Now, the real U.S. Mint has issued an advisory about the coins, warning consumers that the coins aren't official government tender, but merely plastic coating on real dollar coins.

Says the Mint:

These advertisements feature genuine United States coins that the private commercial businesses have altered by affixing a colorized image to the coin. Additionally, some businesses have treated the coins by gold-plating them.

These items are not official United States Mint products. Furthermore, these products, businesses, and advertisements are not approved, endorsed, sponsored, or authorized by the United States Mint, the Department of the Treasury, or the United States Government.

The United States Mint does not encourage, endorse, or sponsor products that alter the fundamental images depicted on its coins.