I was recently emailed a picture of a coin and asked if I was the company that produced it. I knew immediately I wasn’t but I reached out to some of my contacts but was NOT able to find the original factory. However I have a few points I would like to discuss about this inquiry.
Number one – I could tell from the photograph (see below) that the coin in question was manufactured in South Korea. The depth of relief was all the evidence I needed. The reality is that Chinese manufactured coins depth of relief just don’t hold a candle to their South Korean counterparts.
I am concerned about this piece of information for a couple of reasons. There were about 10 other vendors copied on the same email I received. To my knowledge, NONE of them have ever manufactured coins in South Korea. In my opinion it would be pretty evident that they haven’t just by looking at their websites. I didn’t do that, but I know enough to believe that South Korean manufactured coins are probably too cost prohibitive for most of the vendors on that list or they may not even be aware that custom coins are still be manufactured in South Korea because they weren’t trained to know such things.
It’s pretty obvious to me that I wasn’t selected for the reproduction of this coin because as of the date of this writing (May 28, 2015) I haven’t received as much as a response from the person who originally emailed me. That’s fine, unfortunately that’s the way this business is. There’s usually a time lapse between the time of initial contact and the time an order is placed. No worries there, I’m all too familiar with this experience.
Here’s what I hope didn’t happen. I hope for the prospective client’s case that they were NOT sold on a China made reproduction of the coin they emailed me a picture of. If they were there’s a high probability that they will be disappointed in the product they receive.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT here to say disparaging things about China made coins. The majority of the coins pictured on my website spartancoins.com were manufactured in China and my clients are very happy; to my knowledge. What I am saying is that comparing China to South Korea when it comes to manufacturing custom coins is like comparing apples and oranges. They are NOT the same thing. They may be made out of the same material; brass, copper, iron or zinc alloy but they are different. Depth of relief being the most notable and obvious difference. I just don’t want to see people get coerced into believing they are buying one thing when they’re actually buying something else.
The last thing I would like to cover here is coin molds or dies. Dies may last forever but they will NOT be kept on hand forever. I understand the nature of die struck coins as being manufactured through a somewhat violent means using pressure to impress the image of the die onto a blank which ends up being your coin. Having said that dies wear out over time. If you previously had a coin produced somewhere but you haven’t reordered that coin is two and one half to three years then your die has likely been discarded. What that means for you is that you may have to pay for a new die fee if and when you decide to reorder your coins. For some this isn’t a big deal, to others it may be. Please educate yourself on things like this before choosing a company. Some custom coin companies may replace your die free of charge, others may offer insurance which will cost extra but insure you never pay a full die fee again, and some companies may charge you full price for a brand new die like they did when you submitted your first order.
As a general rule we usually give an order credit in exchange for one of your old coins (the coin you're wanting duplicated) if you're simply looking to duplicate a previous coin you had produced with another vendor. This is our way of saying we appreciate your business!