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Thread: Marvel superhero coins by nation of Tuvalu?

  1. #1

    Default Marvel superhero coins by nation of Tuvalu?

    Anyone have any idea why all the Marvel movie superhero silver coins are being issued by the country of Tuvalu, instead of an American mint? Tuvalu is a 10 square mile island with 11,000 people. Perth is actually making the coins, but how did Tuvalu come to be the issuing country? Are they a bullion upstart? And they're not as widely available as you'd expect for such high profile icons like Iron Man, Deadpool, etc. Kitco doesn't carry them. JMB does: https://www.jmbullion.com/silver/sil...-silver-coins/

    I just don't get it. Tuvalu? It reminds me of the Royal Canadian Mint issuing the Superman coins. These are all American icons – you'd think the US Mint would be the most interested in issuing them, though admittedly the RCM and Perth produce better silver (9999 vs 999) and innovate a lot more on security.

  2. #2
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    Superman was created in Canada.

    I wouldn't waste time nor money on any coins from Tuvalu or Timbucktoo. Probably better than a 51% chance you'll lose a lot of money. These types of coins are for rookie collectors, not investors. Very few gain any value.

    Most coins under the Tuvalu banner are made by Perth Mint from Australia.
    ...be your own Health Care System... grow your own and eat well

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by digbird View Post
    Superman was created in Canada.

    I wouldn't waste time nor money on any coins from Tuvalu or Timbucktoo. Probably better than a 51% chance you'll lose a lot of money. These types of coins are for rookie collectors, not investors. Very few gain any value.

    Most coins under the Tuvalu banner are made by Perth Mint from Australia.
    Superman was created in the United States in Cleveland, Ohio by two teenagers in 1933 while they were in high school. He was created by US born writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian born artist Joe Shuster. So yes there is some Canadian influence from the artist, but there is no confusion that Superman was an American superhero created in the United States. Not that I care, I'm just a comic book geek and like to get the facts straight! Easy to look up on google (I just did and verified in several places). With that said, some of the superhero coins are cool and make for fun collectibles, but in almost all cases make for bad investments.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by digbird View Post
    Superman was created in Canada.

    I wouldn't waste time nor money on any coins from Tuvalu or Timbucktoo. Probably better than a 51% chance you'll lose a lot of money. These types of coins are for rookie collectors, not investors. Very few gain any value.

    Most coins under the Tuvalu banner are made by Perth Mint from Australia.
    "Collectors" don't buy coins as investments, no matter rookie or veteran. I purchased the Tuvalu lucky waving gold cats at not to far above normal 1/10th oz bullion price back in 2008 -- now I see them selling for multiple times their gold bullion worth, and the gold bullion worth has also gone up nicely. Can't loose when you get something you like, and you never know which coins will gain some better numismatic/collector value over the years. I just get what I like. It's not "investors" who can predict the future of coin value any better then many pure collectors -- actually, some are worse at it, as collectors have a better feel for what collectors like, and it is ultimately collectors who dictate numismatic/collectible value - not more distant investors so removed from the passion of the hobby.

    Given the popularity of marvel superhero's among boys today, and the possible complete disappearance of Tuvalu as a nation as the sea levels continue to rise, I don't actually think this is a bad bet -- digbird -- why do you think you are some authority on this, do you run coin store for a living -- or are you simply speaking of your personal distaste of coins being minted by large mints in the name of small nations?
    Last edited by motocat; 11-05-2018 at 11:51 AM.
    “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring class of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money.”Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverStocker View Post
    Superman was created in the United States in Cleveland, Ohio by two teenagers in 1933 while they were in high school. He was created by US born writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian born artist Joe Shuster. So yes there is some Canadian influence from the artist, but there is no confusion that Superman was an American superhero created in the United States. Not that I care, I'm just a comic book geek and like to get the facts straight! Easy to look up on google (I just did and verified in several places). With that said, some of the superhero coins are cool and make for fun collectibles, but in almost all cases make for bad investments.
    Yes the comic book Superman was 1st. published in the States but he had some drawings done on old wallpaper for the idea he did when young before he went to the States. Maybe splitting hairs.

    Here is a Wiki quote.

    One was drawn on brown wrapping paper and the other was drawn on the back of wallpaper from Toronto. And DC approved them, just like that! It's incredible! But DC did say, 'We like your ideas, we like your scripts and we like your drawings. But please, copy over the stories in pen and ink on good paper.' So I got my mother and father to lend me the money to go out and buy some decent paper, the first drawing paper I ever had, in order to submit these stories properly to DC Comics.

    Motto....no authority, just many years since 1969 of collecting and in contact with many fellow collectors and dealers. It's a free world to spend on what you want. Yes...if you like it, then buy it, but most of those Tuvalu coins lose money. The odd one will make you money. Go ask any serious collector. He asked for an opinion and I gave mine.
    ...be your own Health Care System... grow your own and eat well

  6. #6

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    I'm also curious how this went down as a business deal, if anyone wants to speculate or perhaps read about it. So you're Marvel and you've got this precious intellectual property stemming from recent blockbuster movies which themselves stemmed from hugely successful comic books. Somewhere along the line the idea or proposal to license these superhero characters for bullion coins comes up. Why Tuvalu? How are they making the best offer? Or is it really a deal with Perth Mint? But again, why is Tuvalu involved?

    I've got nothing against Tuvalu. They might be the gem of the world for all I know. But I never heard of them until I saw these coins at JMB.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phronesis View Post
    I'm also curious how this went down as a business deal, if anyone wants to speculate or perhaps read about it. So you're Marvel and you've got this precious intellectual property stemming from recent blockbuster movies which themselves stemmed from hugely successful comic books. Somewhere along the line the idea or proposal to license these superhero characters for bullion coins comes up. Why Tuvalu? How are they making the best offer? Or is it really a deal with Perth Mint? But again, why is Tuvalu involved?

    I've got nothing against Tuvalu. They might be the gem of the world for all I know. But I never heard of them until I saw these coins at JMB.
    Same thing with Isle of Man coins for me. I had never heard of this small country either until I saw these coins pop up. I believe they were outsourced to another mint outside of this tiny nation as well.

  8. #8

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    tuvalu has been doing specialty coins for several years. they did a couple runs of transformers coins from the period of the transformers movies. as to why them probably because they agreed to do it at a reasonable price. if someone wants to make a comic book character coin they need a mint [perth] and a country to legitimize the "legal" tender. tuvalu probably has some hollywood type of ruling class that are easily bought off to allow a mint [perth] to make some character coins as their currency and tuvalu churns out all kinds of coin, i think it is a cottage industry for the country.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phronesis View Post
    I'm also curious how this went down as a business deal, if anyone wants to speculate or perhaps read about it. So you're Marvel and you've got this precious intellectual property stemming from recent blockbuster movies which themselves stemmed from hugely successful comic books. Somewhere along the line the idea or proposal to license these superhero characters for bullion coins comes up. Why Tuvalu? How are they making the best offer? Or is it really a deal with Perth Mint? But again, why is Tuvalu involved?

    I've got nothing against Tuvalu. They might be the gem of the world for all I know. But I never heard of them until I saw these coins at JMB.
    Simple. No taxes all profit for Hollywood. There are all kinds of funky tax things going on.

  10. #10
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    Just came across this thread & figured I'd add some info about Tuvalu minted coins, & a little background on their coin minting history. This came from the PCGS app...

    Tuvalu is a tiny country in the Oceania region of the Pacific Ocean, and it seems to be one of the most prevalent countries for issuing modern collector coinage today. From themes such as animals and warriors to World War II and movie and television heroes from Marvel and Looney Tunes, there is no coin or theme that this country will not make for collectors to buy.

    Originally known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu eventually split into the separate British Colonies of Kiribati and Tuvalu. In 1978, Tuvalu would become a fully independent sovereign state in the British Commonwealth of Nations. The total land size of Tuvalu measures about 26 square kilometers, or just 10 square miles, making it the world’s fourth-smallest country by land size. And with its population of about 10,000 people, the country is the second smallest by population. Being this small, the country has the lowest GDP of all countries, just about 32 million USD a year.

    Most of the income gained by the country of Tuvalu was a windfall caused by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), which granted the international country code for Tuvalu as TV for the two-digit country code. When the internet top level domain letters were handed out the list the ISO had made for two letter codes was used and Tuvalu was given “.TV.” With the growth of internet, .TV was sold for licensing, which equates to about 10% of Tuvalu GPD per year. Fishing, selling licensing for fishing inside its waters, ship registration, and tourism equate to most of the rest of the country’s income. Yet, two other areas bring income for the nation of Tuvalu in the form of sales of philatelic and licensed numismatic products.

    Tuvalu uses Australian currency as its default monetary medium, meaning most of the circulating banknotes in the nation are Australian. The coinage of Tuvalu is also pegged to the Australian dollar. Coins from Australia or Tuvalu can circulate freely in Tuvalu, but Tuvaluan coinage is not legal tender in Australia. Beginning with its independence in 1976, Tuvaluan coins were produced for circulation by several mints around the world in as-needed quantities to meet circulation demand. These coins featuring sea animals were popular with collectors until the boom of modern coinage products made patently for the numismatic buyer flooded the market. With no monetary authority or central bank, the government couldn’t produce its own coinage. Thus, much like it did with its .TV top-level domain, it allowed the coinage rights to be licensed out. This permitted the government to derive some income from the bullion and collector coins produced with its country’s name.

    There have been many countries and areas that have licensed their name out to produce commemorative and collector coinage to many mints. This practice has been common since the 1970s with the Franklin Mint, the Pobjoy Mint, and many others. The Australian Mints produce most of the coinage with the licensed Tuvalu country name today. These coins are defined as NIFC (Not Intended for Circulation) issues. Giving these coins a denomination, such as the example of Tuvalu One Dollar, and being produced with an ounce of silver makes it almost inconceivable that the piece would be redeemed.

    Making such coins with a country and denomination means they can be defined as coins and are more easily conveyed on an international level in import as compared with non-denominated (non-monetized) medals. Issuance as a coin also helps with the marketability of such products to consumers. While not privy to the contract details pertaining to the Mints and contractors producing these collector coins, the Tuvalu license seems to be the path of least resistance and price, because from 2005 to 2020 over 650 collector-issue coins from Tuvalu are listed in online catalogs with numerous omitted examples.

    A vast amount of Tuvaluan coins are produced to sell directly to collectors. Marketers who get a licensed contract to produce coinage featuring characters from television shows such as The Simpsons or Tom and Jerry contract with the Australian Mint and produce these coins as premium items to import and sell. Interestingly, there are no United States coins featuring John Wayne, Homer Simpson, Barbie, Harley Quinn, Captain Kirk, and countless other figures real or imagined that are popular with Americans. Even with a hypothetical ability to transact a license for such properties, many countries wouldn’t produce such pieces as commemorative coinage because it simply isn’t legal for them to do so or could take years of political wagering and still be voted down.

    Yet, Tuvalu has offered its nation’s own name to produce such coinage. The superb quality of production and efficiency of the Australian mints can not only produce beautiful coins for contract, but they can also offer quick delivery and a great product to boot. If a coin featuring Bugs Bunny sparks a child to become interested in numismatics or serves as a perfect gift for someone, the coinage fills a need that perhaps couldn’t be otherwise. And that is why there are so many Tuvalu coins.

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