The Merch Store Selling a $7.5M Gold Coin
Rocket Lab is an aerospace company whose business involves launching small satellites into space for paying customers. Like many companies, it has an online merch store with various T-shirts and other branded items. Unlike many companies, it's also selling a $7.5 million gold coin.
The coin, available in two styles, can actually be obtained for free, sort of. If you purchase a launch on one of Rocket Lab's rockets at one of its Virginia or New Zealand launchpads, you'll get the corresponding coin as a commemorative keepsake. If you want to skip the whole "blasting a satellite into orbit" part but still want the coin, well, this is your answer. It's sort of like Diesel's $5 million T-shirt that happens to include a condo.
— Peter Beck (@Peter_J_Beck) December 16, 2019
Heading to the merch store, end-users will see some pretty standard homages to aerospace, including T-shirts, mission patches and an electron hat, and the cost of none of them will cause anyone to depend on Ramen noodles as a dietary staple. The gold coin, though, is going to set everyone back a few bucks. (TechCrunch reported that the cost of a launch is roughly the same as the cost of the coin on its own.)
The craftsmanship is simply astonishing, so the product definitely deserves a steep tag, but an asking price of $7.5 million will make many people blast off with incredulous reactions. There are certainly a few folks with such disposable income, but your average consumer will have to be content to window shop.
Rocket Lab certainly knows that, and there’s nothing wrong with realizing that its customer base includes regular Joes who are just looking for neat space presents for themselves or loved ones, and people who have the means to show off. Unfortunately, we aren't currently in need of anyone to launch our satellites into space, so we'll have to settle for buying the coin the old-fashioned way.