Mint Closes Frequent Flyer Loophole

Posted by admin on Friday, August 5th, 2011

The US Mint has closed a loophole that some clever buyers of dollar coins were using to rack up frequent flyer miles.

In 2008, the Mint launched a direct shipping facility that allowed the public to buy dollar coins and have them delivered to their home. The hope was to increase the use of dollar coins in rather than notes.

However, a few spotted that it was possible to buy coins with a credit card and accumulate frequent flyer points by doing so. When the coins arrived, they would deposit them in their bank and pay off the credit card balance. Word of this scheme got around, by the way of blogs and social media sites. One purchaser even made the claim that he had bought $800,000 of coins on his credit cards to boost his rewards totals.

Now, however, despite efforts by the federal agency to stop people misusing the direct sales facility, the US Mint has been forced to stop the use of credit cards to buy dollar coins.

The Mint was at pains to state that the scheme broke no laws, but that it abused the original intention of the facility. Since July 22nd, the coins can only be purchased using wire transfer, cheque, or a money order.

It just goes to show, coin buyers can profit in all sorts of ways.

€10 Coin Collaboration Marks Italian And Russian Cultural Mix

The Italian State Mint, The Instituto Poligrafico Zecca Dello Stato, has announced the issue of a coin to commemorate cultural and historic ties with Russia. Designed by the Mint’s own M.A.Cassol, it is a silver proof quality €10 coin, and features the Church of St. Nicholas in Bari.

The Basilica of St. Nicholas is held as an important pilgrimage destination for Roman Catholics as well as Orthodox Christians from Eastern Europe. It took over a hundred years to build, between 1087 and 1197, and holds the Saint’s relics.

The obverse of the coin shows detail from the external façade of the Basilica, and has the vertical inscription “BASILICA” to the left and above the words “SAN NICOLA”. Below is included the location, “BARI”, with “REPUBLICA ITALIANA” around the outer rim of the design. In the centre is featured a warrior on a horse from the church’s main portal.

The coin is struck in sterling silver, with a weight of 22 ounces and a diameter of 34mm. There will only be 7,000 of the coins minted, and buyers can get more details from the website,

Similarly, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation is minting a silver proof in conjunction with the Italian Mint to commemorate the historical landmark in Italian-Russian relations. The obverse of the coin has the same design as the Italian obverse, except the inscription reads “ХРАМ ПОДВОРЬЕ СВЯТИТЕЛЯ ЧУДОТВОРЦА НИКОЛАЯ”, which means “The town church of St. Nicholas, the wonderworker of Myra in Lycia”.

Upon the reverse is an image of St. George spearing a dragon whilst on horseback, and has the main inscription “ГОД РОССИЙСКОЙ КУЛЬТУРЫ И РУССКОГО ЯЗЫКА В ИТАЛИИ”, which means “The year of The Russian Culture and the Russian Language in Italy”.

It is minted in sterling silver and has a weight of 20.3 grams and a diameter of 34mm, with a face value of 2 Roubles. There will only be 10,000 coins struck. For more information on this and other coins issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, please visit their website at:

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