Numismatic Quick Hits: eBay Watch Committee Disbanded + Lannin Joins CCAC + 24-Karat Doritos

by Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek….

eBay’s Community Watch Committee Disbanded

An email crossed our desk recently from Jerry Fuller of the U.S. Mexican Numismatic Association. Fuller expressed his concern that eBay had done away with their Community Watch Committee, an all-volunteer group that policed eBay’s numismatic marketplace.

CoinWeek spoke with company representative Melissa Winter about the communiqué and asked what this shift in resources means. Winter said that eBay disbanded the Community Watch Committee due to problems enforcing impartiality among its members. Also, Winter states, opinions on the authenticity of items were often contradictory. This lack of consensus, and eBay’s desire to streamline the process for practical and legal reasons, led to the decision.[1]

Now when customers report suspicious items, eBay will attempt to validate them on a case-by-case basis. Fuller worries that this approach will leave buyer’s vulnerable to fraud. eBay’s Community Watch Committee staff were highly trained numismatists, who underwent a rigorous application process and were “hired” after being screened by the American Numismatic Association.

The full impact of this policy shift is yet to be seen; CoinWeek will continue to follow this story.

Lannin Joins CCAC

On May 20th, the United States Mint announced the Congressional appointment of numismatist Mary N. Lannin to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). Ms. Lannin will take the place of Michael Olson, whose appointment expired this year. The term of Lannin’s appointment is four years.

Lannin, a Life Member of both the American Numismatic Association and the American Numismatic Society, is a published author and distinguished expert in Hellenistic coinage. She also has a deep background in the Arts.  Ms. Lannin is a 1969 graduate of the University of Minnesota.

The CCAC was established by an Act of Congress in 2003. It’s purpose is to advise the Secretary of the Treasury on design proposals relating to America’s coinage. The CCAC also provides the Secretary with sales forecasts for the United States Mint’s various collector coin programs. In addition, the CCAC files an annual report to Congress that details their annual recommendations.

24-Karat Doritos

How’s this for attracting young numismatists?

Doritos, the snack food company owned by Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), is running a contest. As of Sunday, June 1, specially-labeled bags of Doritos Jacked™ tortilla chips may contain a winning ticket inside, redeemable for a gold-plated fake Dorito (worth $31.05 according to the company).

If you win a gold-plated chip, then you’re also automatically entered in a raffle for the grand prize: one of two 2.5 oz.,  24-karat replicas of a Dorito. Each of these pieces is worth $1,263.20.

There are 3,156 tickets stashed away in winning bags across the country. For rules, terms and conditions, go to http://www.hunt4golddoritos.com/.

The contest runs through August 1.

[1] Telephone Conversation, June 4, 2014.

© June 2014 CoinWeek, LLC.

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