Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Is It With Coin Dealers?

For some reason I still can't fathom, many continue to deny that "don't ask-don't tell" buying and selling contributes to looting. They also don't understand that despite their great numbers and relatively low value, coins are still archaeological artifacts and should be treated as such.

Many of the coins on the market now may not have provenance, but dealers and collectors could start building them now by keeping and passing on paperwork. Their argument against that is it would cost too much and take up too much space to keep paperwork on all their coins. Frankly I don't give a hoot if it costs you a bit more to do business or takes up more space for storage for you to keep paperwork on the coins you sell if it helps to curb looting. It's the right thing to do.

The ACCG claims to be fighting for "collector's rights" yet the Italian MOU has been in existence for a while. So have the Chinese and Cyprus ones. Not a peep from the ACCG. The only time the ACCG decided to step in was when the possibility of coins being added came up. The ACCG is not fighting for "collector's rights", they're fighting to be able to continue to do business as they've always done instead of having to make sure that the coins they are buying and selling aren't recently looted. They freely admit that they have no idea where or when the coins used in their "test case" were dug up.

Wayne Sayles himself says (in response to my calling him paranoid when he said "It has nothing at all to do with preserving sites in Cyprus, it has to do with eliminating private access to the coins in America. Now that is a fact" ):
Are we paranoid? Well one thing in itself, like the Cyprus or China MOU would not cause me to be "paranoid". But a decade of well planned and executed steps toward eliminating free trade does cause my radar to paint danger signs. I would call that caution and concern rather than paranoia.

So if the ACCG has seen this coming for a decade, why didn't dealers start documenting coins back then? If only out of "caution and concern" about what might be coming in the future?

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