Before I get to the bottom line of the latest thing to REALLY tick me off (it's always something don'tcha know), there's some backstory that we need to talk about first.
First of all, have you ever heard of challenge coins? Perhaps you have and perhaps you haven't. But basically they are all the rage in military and law enforcement circles. DS Agents like my husband love to trade them, as do the Marines, etc. James loves to trade them, too. It's sort of a thing of his.
In fact, collecting and trading challenge coins are so much a hobby of his that James actually designed and created his very own challenge coin. James did this when we lived in Chengdu and when he was an ARSO-I (Assistant Regional Security Officer - Investigator) there. He had started the ARSO-I program from scratch at U.S. Consulate Chengdu, and since the I program there was new and didn't have a challenge coin, he decided to create one.
It took him a long time. First, he researched different coin manufacturing companies. Then he designed it, front and back. He sent his initial, original design in to the coin manufacturing company and he and they worked together to make it exactly how he wanted it.
Once the coin looked exactly like he wanted it to (and it took about two months of back and forth between James and the coin manufacturing company to get the design right), he had them crafted. He had 100 of them made, and he paid about $800 - just to be clear, that's $800 of OUR FAMILY'S MONEY, not government money, just in case anyone cares - on the purchase of these 100 original coins. That he had created. From scratch. All by himself.
He's given a few of them out to friends here and there. He's traded a few others. Out of the inital 100 that he purchased, he's parted with about, oh, maybe 30 coins in total. Of those 30 coins, he's given out maybe 10 of them here in Tokyo.
So imagine our suprise to find one of James' coins for sale on eBay.
That's right, folks. Some smarmy @sshole is SELLING one of my husband's coins on eBay. Whoever he is, he's based in Japan, and we're betting he's with the Embassy. How could he not be? Check it out, y'all:
So many pretty pictures of my husband's coin. From so many different angles. The sort of thing one does when one is hoping to fetch FIFTY BUCKS (and maybe the bidding will go higher!) for something that one either stole* or came by for free in trade - something that originally cost my husband $8.
(*Yes, I did say STOLE, didn't I? It's possible. People - like my husband - who care about challenge coins often keep them out on their desks at work.)
So who is this person who is trying to make himself fifty bucks off my husband's coin?
A quick investigation into the person selling my husband's coin ("astig 1521") reveals yet more @ssholery. Because check it, yall - he's selling the Embassy's coin - the same Embassy coin you can buy in the Embassy cafeteria for something like $5 or $10 - on eBay also:
So on one hand: I'm spitting mad over this smarmy slimebag, whoever he is, who is making money for his own self off of stealing/swapping/whatevering coins.
On the other hand: if you've ever wanted a one-of-a-kind coin envisioned and designed by my husband, you have four more days to bid for it on eBay.
[UPDATE: Since James' coin is being shipped out of Tokyo, Japan, which is what is says on eBay, and since the guy is obviously with the Embassy here, and since the ad for the coin says that the dude is charging $15 for "expedited shipping," then does that mean that he's using the pouch mail system to send these things out when he sells them? A question I would LOVE to have answered, especially since he currently has 14 items for sale on eBay...]