Is the new Obama coin by New England mint genuine?

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First, the short answer: no, it is not legal tender and cannot be used to buy anything. It is a collectible item, made for hobbyists and collectors.

Not colorized by the United States Mint

It has come to the attention of the United States Mint that several private commercial businesses are advertising so-called "Barack Obama Presidential $1 Coins," as well as commemorative half-dollar coins, American Eagle Silver Coins and multi-coin sets bearing images of the President-Elect. These advertisements feature genuine United States coins that the private commercial businesses have altered by affixing a colorized image to the coin. Additionally, some businesses have treated the coins by gold-plating them.

These items are not official United States Mint products. Furthermore, these products, businesses, and advertisements are not approved, endorsed, sponsored, or authorized by the United States Mint, the Department of the Treasury, or the United States Government.
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