Classical Numismatics Discussion
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Ancient Coin Forum (Moderator: goldenancients)  |  Topic: Time to Speak Out 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Time to Speak Out  (Read 56918 times)
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Danny Jones

« Reply #250 on: January 26, 2011, 04:01:33 am »

Then we have the issue of US customs officials ability to differentiate pre- and post- 211 BC coinage? Everything that looks vaguely of Italian ancient origin will likely be seized, or at the least suffer dramatic delays in customs clearance and processing and thus huge customs clearance costs imposts.

This is my greatest concern personally. I am an American who lives abroad, travels extensively, and crosses US border customs quite often... usually with several ancient coins in tow. I will soon be returning to the US with my entire collection (most of which was purchased in the States). There are very, very few people that can identify ancient coins of any type whatsoever. What will keep the customs agent who barely passed high school from confiscating any ancient coins he finds just in case it might be illegal - even with proper documentation, whatever that is? Then you have another conundrum: the months or years it might take to get them returned (if at all) and any legal or bureaucratic hoops that you will have to jump through to prove that everything is correct according to the letter of the executive order (not law, as commodus so eloquently stated).

I doubt that this will be enforced. Yet, if it is, there is no possible way that it will be enforced correctly, and the result will most certainly be seizure of any suspicious items since Homeland Security is doubtless NOT in the business of educating their personnel in the fine art of classical numismatic identification.

The sky isn't falling. It's being polluted by the cloud of governmental regulation. 


Andrew McCabe
Tribunus Plebis Perpetuus
Procurator Monetae
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« Reply #251 on: January 26, 2011, 06:13:43 am »

Quote from: commodus on January 25, 2011, 11:45:40 pm
....  I seriously don't think it will be seriously enforced anyway.

So you may be correct in this assessment, in which case it is nothing more than a bureaucratic charade!

Enforcement is not necessarily the issue. Which European dealer is going to send Magna Graecia / early RR coins to USA in the face of this ban? None I suspect, even if the buyer is willing to take the risk. European auctions are going to come widely labelled with "this coin not available for purchase by US buyers". And despite the nonchalance shown by many on this thread about bringing in coins through US customs, I - in common with many people - blush at the thought of taking even a bottle of liquor past a customs checkpoint, let alone smuggling ancient artefacts which might incur a prison sentence and not just a $20 fine. It won't happen.

For Danny, who wishes to bring his collection back to the USA, I'd suggest after a cool pause for thought that he disposes of his embargoed coins first - or leaves them in safe deposit overseas, and brings back the remainder of the collection containing not a single ancient piece from China, Magna Graecia or Cyprus, in a manner such there isn't a single coin at risk and thus avoiding risk that the whole lot gets confiscated. It's the sensible thing to do. He may find a professional dealer who has the means to import the embargoed coins for him with appropriate testimony of them being in the US prior to Jan 11, possibly using Danny's receipts. But I wouldn't do it myself.

On the latter point, I've a bunch of Magna Graecia coins which I wish to dispose of - about 30, some high quality. Many were purchased originally from the US. I would like to sell them in the USA. I'd prefer to consign the coins and their documentation to a professional in Europe with the request "sort it out" rather than risk a home-made post-myself solution.

Rich Beale
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Nec Aspera Terrent

« Reply #252 on: January 26, 2011, 07:16:32 am »

The sky is most definitely not falling. I have been asked by a number of clients how this is going to impact their ability to purchase ancients in the restricted categories. In reality, this Memorandum will not have a significant effect on legitimate transactions. The stipulation is that the restricted coins must have been outside of Italy as of Jan 19th 2011, not that they must have been inside the US as of that date. Thus US collectors may still purchase from dealers and auctioneers elsewhere in Europe providing that the restricted coin in question has been outside of Italy since before the Memorandum took effect, and one can provide documentation to that effect.

Danny, as long as you have appropriate evidence that the coins were bought legally outside of Italy before 19 Jan (auction catalogue, invoice inlcuding photograph, dealer declaration etc), then you should have nothing to fear in taking them back into the US.

As far as I am concerned, I will happily continue to sell the restricted coins to US customers because I know exactly where all my coins come from, and apart from just a few exceptions the answer is 'not Italy'.

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Agora Auctions

« Reply #253 on: January 26, 2011, 11:18:54 am »

My question to everyone that is concerned about the impact of the latest round
of restrictions- Are you a member of the ACCG?

Unless you are going through financial hardship, there really is no excuse. The
ACCG is the ONLY hope we have of resisting the assault on our avocation. Baring
financial hardship, if you collect ancient coins and are not a member, shame on
you, it is only $35 or $15 for students.

All of us may not care for lawsuits or we may not agree on the details. But in
our lovely bureaucracy we are often forced to take the least direct route from point
A to point B. Also, it is incredibly expensive. Every action taken has been
done in consultation with top notch attorneys.

Please note, 100% of funds received go towards defending our hobby. (Wayne
Sayles, John Lavender or any of the volunteers do not receive a single red cent
for their countless hours of work), the attorneys hired are among the best in
their fields and have given considerable discounts.

So, if you are not a member, you can sign up here:

If you are a member, consider giving a small donation to help with the
considerable legal expenses. Even if it is only $5, that is better than
nothing. I'm sending my own small donation right now...

My 2 cents.



Agora Auctions, Inc.
Procurator Caesaris
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Honi soit qui mal y pense.

« Reply #254 on: January 27, 2011, 01:33:01 pm »

There's a conundrum Robert. Europe is unaffected. So where is the incentive for Europeans (and specifically Italians who have a say in their government) to do anything about it?

They're affected, firstly, by looting of archaeological sites. Coins have been included in this by bureaucrats with no knowledge of archaeology, and by archaeologists with ideological views similar to those of Barford, which I think many of us are familiar with. We're not professionals, so we have no business near antiquities.

Secondly, they're affected by the loss of information caused by the inability of the said professionals to work with amateurs such as detectorists. This is ludicrous when amateurs have contributed, and continue to contribute, to many areas of science, especially those where fieldwork plays a predominant part. They can't argue that such collaboration is impossible, because we're making it work here in the UK, and have done over many years. If detecting was illegal, the Staffordshire Hoard, and many other finds, would either never have turned up, or would have disappeared into the black market. Similar losses of data will be occurring in every country which fails in this area.

When it comes to the repatriation of antiquities, there's an excellent case for items of significant interest, and I totally support their return, or bans on their export. Before someone raises the question, I've long believed that the Elgin Marbles should go back to Greece. It's much harder to see that there's any case for the return of coins minted by the tens of thousands. There's nothing unique about them, unless it's something like the Ashmolean's Domitianus, and they should be available for study to the international community. Experts, both amateur and professional, from all round the world, contribute to research in this area. Destroying the trade in ancient coins would seriously limit the amount of study which would take place, impoverishing everyone.

Robert Brenchley

My gallery:
Fiat justitia ruat caelum
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