DALLAS — Time to dig up that buried treasure from your bedside table and get to dropping some coin, Dallas.
Sunday, July 10, is the final day when stores at Dallas' NorthPark Center will accept the shopping center's longstanding and beloved NorthPark Gold Gift Coins.
First introduced in 1969, the shopping center-specific currency -- colloquially referred to simply as "NorthPark gold" -- has for 53 years been a fixture in North Texas gift-giving, particularly during holiday and graduation season.
Sold in values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100, the coins had been renowned for their versatility, as they could be used at any of the 200-plus retailers within the retail destination's walls.
But, earlier this year, NorthPark's own website announced that it would be "temporarily suspending" the sale of its gold gift coins as of May 20. That change, NorthPark said, came as a result of the shopping center's partners at Comerica Bank no longer boasting a system able to process the transaction of the physical coins.
"Until a new system is established for the physical coins," NorthPark's statement on the matter says, the shopping center would be forced to stop adding more coins into circulation.
While shoppers who want to experience the thrill of handing a gold coin over the counter in exchange for goods at any NorthPark store are running out of time to experience that rush, NorthPark's concierge desk has confirmed it will continue to honor the coins' values in perpetuity. Shoppers will just have to head to the concierge desk and exchange their coins for a NorthPark-branded American Express gift card of the same value, is all. (The gift cards are also accepted at all NorthPark retailers -- and, because they're American Express cards, anywhere else where that brand of credit cards is accepted, too.)
Of course, if Dallas shoppers are too nostalgic to relinquish their circular little golden relics, they can just keep hanging onto their gold in hopes of the shopping center bringing the popular promotion back to life at some point in the future.
Because, while there's no date set for an eventual return, a comeback somewhere down the line is NorthPark Center's stated intention for its gold:
"We apologize for any inconvenience," its website says, "and [we] hope to continue the NorthPark Gold Gift Coin program in the future."