Rush to buy Trump-Kim coin after summit cancellation

Trump-Kim coinImage copyrightAFP/Getty

The Trump-Kim summit isn’t happening – but has that only added to the allure of special coins made to commemorate the event?

Confusingly, there are in fact two commemorative coins doing the rounds.

The focus of most of the attention is the coin created by the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) – it hails the talks between Mr Trump and “Supreme Leader” Kim Jong-un.

Rush to buy Trump-Kim coin after summit cancellation
Rush to buy Trump-Kim coin after summit cancellation

Such coins are often presented to foreign guests and diplomats.

The other features silhouettes of Mr Trump, Mr Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in and is available from the White House Gift Shop website. Its popularity appears to be soaring, with demand crashing the site.

The coin had been offered at a discount price of $19.95 (£14.90), down from $24.95, earlier on Thursday, with the gift shop also offering refunds if the summit did not take place.

But it said “most supporters have said they want this heirloom of political history regardless of outcome”.

That does seem to be the case.

BBC North America Correspondent Anthony Zurcher says the WHCA coin could be the “1804 Dollar” of numismatics – referring to a series of coins created for diplomatic gifts in the 1800s that now command ultra-high prices.

Skip Twitter post by @awzurcher

The North Korea summit token is going to be the 1804 Dollar of challenge coins.

— Anthony Zurcher (@awzurcher) May 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @awzurcher

The WHCA coin was not requested by Mr Trump or his team – but it has nevertheless provided an opportunity for people to lampoon him online.

Could Mr Trump have sent half of the coin to Mr Kim as a declaration of love, as former Pentagon spokesman Adam Blickstein suggests?

Skip Twitter post by @AdamBlickstein

Along with the breakup letter, Trump also sent Kim half of the Peace Summit Coin, imploring him to wear it around his neck until they’re reunited, in love

— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) May 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @AdamBlickstein

Did the coin in fact help make Mr Kim the winner in the situation?

Skip Twitter post by @MSignorile

Trump got no Nobel Prize but Kim got U.S. commemorative coin calling him Supreme Leader.

This is called #Winning

— Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) May 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @MSignorile

The snark factor went up further when writer Brian Krassenstein said Mr Trump could hang the coin “next to his fake Time magazine cover” – referring to a Washington Post report revealing that several of Mr Trump’s golf clubs prominently display a framed copy of a fake Time cover featuring several positive headlines and Trump as its cover.

One social media user said the coins could just have been another way for Mr Trump to boost his business empire.

Skip Twitter post by @TeaPainUSA

One day we’ll find out Trump did a short sale on the commemorative coins, then pulled outta the summit.

— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) May 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @TeaPainUSA

Would the president be using them to pay people, wondered Paul Ryckert who posted a photo of the president looking at young lawnmower entrepreneur Frank Giaccio. The 11-year-old had written to the president asking to mow the White House lawn.

Skip Twitter post by @PaulRyckert

“Can I pay you with US/Korea summit commemorative coins?”

— Paul Ryckert (@PaulRyckert) May 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @PaulRyckert

Or would they simply find their way on to eBay, as President Obama’s former chief strategist David Axelrod said.

Skip Twitter post by @davidaxelrod

Coming soon to eBay:

Historic summit coins!!

— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) May 24, 2018

End of Twitter post by @davidaxelrod

However, not everybody thinks the coin is funny.

North Korea analyst Robert Kelly had earlier said it legitimised Mr Kim’s “personality cult” and was “un-American”.

Skip Twitter post by @Robert_E_Kelly

Are you kidding me?! This is just gross. Whose personality cult exactly is this summit legitimizing? This is un-American. Can’t imagine what Fox would say if any other POTUS did this. Wow. Just wow. via @voxdotcom

— Robert E Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly) May 22, 2018

End of Twitter post by @Robert_E_Kelly

Following this and other criticisms, the White House put out a statement saying it “did not have any input into the design” of the coin.

Skip Twitter post by @PeterAlexander

White House on trip coins:

— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) May 21, 2018

End of Twitter post by @PeterAlexander

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