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Through the twists and turns on the road to the improbable U.S.-North Korea summit, Tony Giannini, 70, never wavered in his faith that it would happen.
And perhaps he, more than anyone, has the solid evidence to prove it.
Summit - April - CEO - White - House
After the summit was announced in April, the 70-year-old CEO of the White House Gift Shop decided to make a coin to mark the historic event.
One side was emblazoned with the profiles of President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un facing one another across the 38th parallel dividing the Korean Peninsula.
Side - White - House - Dove - Singapore
The other side featured the White House, a dove departing to Singapore, with the word “Peace” in both English and Korean.
It was a silver matte embodiment of the hopes the summit represented and what it could achieve.
Trump - Critics - Coin - Summit - Air
It irritated Trump’s critics, who felt the coin bestowed the summit with an air of accomplishment even before it had taken place.
Then, it all seemed to fall apart. Trump announced on May 24 he was canceling the summit because the North Koreans seemed to get cold feet.
Coin - Emblem - Trump - Failure - Subject
Suddenly, the coin turned into an emblem of Trump’s failure and a subject of ridicule as dozens of news outlets and hundreds more on social media mocked the coin.
“Coming soon to eBay: Historic summit coins!!” Obama’s former chief strategist David Axelrod tweeted.
News - Outlets - Coin - Price - Detractors
Some news outlets falsely claimed the coin was now selling for a discounted price. Detractors suggested Trump had scheduled the summit so he could profit from coin sales.
Neither were actually true. Giannini said the price never changed, and the gift shop is entirely separate from the White House.
Giannini - Coin - Hundreds - People - Coin
Giannini decided he would keep selling the coin, partly because he had faith it would happen but also because he heard from hundreds of people who said they wanted the coin regardless.
“I never thought about discontinuing the coin for two reasons. One,...
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