Just got this e-mail from HJB:We recently learned the Italian restriction on antiquities, which was up for renewal, was amended to now include the following ancient coins listed below. What this means is collectors can only import the following coins into the USA with documentation proving that it was out of the source country before January 19, 2011. The only good news here is that Roman Imperial as well as most Roman Republican coins were not added to the restriction. The Greek restriction is up next, and based on this current news it seems coins will most likely be added to it as well.
What should be done and what does this mean to you?
Any coins that are already in the USA are legal to own and legal to trade. The U.S. State Department has now made it difficult for Americans to purchase overseas unless documentation proving ownership prior to 1/19/2011 can be provided for listed restricted coins. This also means European dealers will not be able to enter the USA with stock for coin fairs without proper documentation on restricted coin types.
What can you do?
It is more important for the good of the industry to document all coins already in this country and abroad. That way if you or dealers, like us, sell coins overseas the coins will still have the ability to legally travel anywhere. We hope you realize the importance of documenting your collections so that future generations can still enjoy the hobby for years to come.
Please contact our offices if you have further questions about this.
The current restriction of Italian ancient coins:
F. Coins of Italian Types-A type catalogue of listed currency and coins can be found in N.K. Rutter et al. (eds.), Historia Numorum: Italy (London, 2001). Others appear in G.F. Hill Coins of Ancient Sicily (Westminster, 1903).
1. Lumps of bronze (Aes Rude)-Irregular lumps of bronze used as an early medium of exchange in Italy from the 9th century B.C.
2. Bronze bars (Ramo Secco and Aes Signatum)-Cast bronze bars (whole or cut) used as a media of exchange in central Italy and Etruria from the 5th century B.C.
3. Cast coins (Aes Grave)-Cast bronze coins of Rome, Etruscan, and Italian cities from the 4th century B.C.
4. Struck coins-Struck coins of the Roman Republic and Etruscan cities produced in gold, silver, and bronze from the 3rd century B.C. to c. 211 B.C., including the ''Romano-Campanian'' coinage.
5. Struck colonial coinage-Struck bronze coins of Roman republican and early imperial colonies and municipia in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia from the 3rd century B.C. to c. A.D. 37.
6. Coins of the Greek cities-Coins of the Greek cities in the southern Italian peninsula and in Sicily (Magna Graecia), cast or struck in gold, silver, and bronze, from the late 6th century B.C. to c. 200 B.C.
Link to full written restriction:
As the letter states, it is likely that restrictions on Greek coins
are to follow, despite the best efforts of many here to convince the State Dept. otherwise. That particular department recently has not been on the side
of people in the US who are involved in cultural property
issues, whether personal or business related.