I know, I know...a bit of necromancy going on here, but...Thought I might help save you guys from wasting $120+.
Just registered, though I've lurked for some time around here off and on. Like many of you, I'm a huge fan of most of the Zorks as well as something of a collector, so I thought I'd drop a heads-up here for anyone who isn't aware.
Zorkmids are fantastic feelies, yes. I have a couple of them myself which are crown jewels of my collection. They've also become somewhat valuable among a certain audience.
No surprise then that where there's value, there are those that want in on the action.
Probably don't need to tell you guys this, but be very, very wary when it comes to buying a zorkmid or a copy of the trilogy w/ coin online. Apparently we've reached the point that Infocom collectors interested in the zorkmid need to learn the basics of detecting forgeries that those interested in numismatics do.
I recently had an opportunity to pick up another copy of the Zork trilogy at a fantastic price ($15, which is roughly what I've found other copies for at Half-price Books and similar stores).
In this instance, the coin included with the otherwise authentic trilogy set turned out to be a forgery and a fairly blatant one at that.
Fortunately, they're fairly easy to spot.
Those aware of Mike Dornbrook's recounting of having them made will know that a mint created the zorkmid for Infocom. Which means Infocom provided the design for them to create the dies, selected the blanks/patina and had them struck.
Of course, minting isn't cheap and it's next to impossible for the small scale setup to do or for the individual to do at home.
So...all of the fake zorkmids I'm aware of are created by a process known as cold casting using resin and metal powders.
Won't go into any more detail, but it means the fake coins are much lighter than the actual zorkmid, and more importantly, the process leaves a seam on the edge of the coin from where the resin mixture leaks from the edges of the joined mold. Not a lot that can be done to disguise it as actual coin forgers sometimes attempt to file the edge to hide the seam, but that's as noticeable, so...
There are counterfeit zorkmids out there. Don't buy anything purported to be a Zorkmid (particularly at a high price) unless it's a trusted seller and/or they're willing to provide high-res images including the edge. Even then, they'll preferably offer a return/buyback if it turns out to be fake after you've inspected it firsthand.