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Gold EID MAR Aureus Returned to Greece


Al Kowsky

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Some discussion of this news can also be found in this thread starting from here:

As for why Greece, which is a question that might come up for those not following the other thread, it appears that there may have been a photo of the eid mar taken in situ, proving it was found in Greece. Just speculation at the moment but there is also other information from a Greek website that links two other coins, sold by Roma and Nomos, to allegedly illegal Greek excavations.

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The whole thing is sad. I'm not usually a fan of the repatriation game, but obviously in cases like this, where it seems pretty clear there was looting/smuggling involved, it's to be expected. 

I only hope that the EID MAR coin and the other artifacts are actually displayed and appreciated in their new (old?) home.

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A few things here to digest;

"New York officials have returned more than $20 million worth of ancient artifacts to Greece,"

So, were they just sitting on the other $16.5 mil worth of stuff? As well, this article states the coin was already up for sale in Germany and went unsold before Dickie B bought the bogus provenance! Who had the coin at that point??

"and were on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until their seizure in March."

=Don't loan your cool stuff to the Met!

"included 29 Hellenic antiquities dating back as early as 5,000 BCE, according to a news release from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. All of the antiquities were seized in connection with trafficking and smuggling investigations; New York Homeland Security Investigations special agent Ivan J. Arvelo said in a statement that Grecian artifacts are "especially susceptible" to trafficking because ancient Greece has "long (been) acknowledged as the cradle of Western Civilization."

Nobody tell the British Museum!

Screenshot_20230325_080813_Google.jpg.6c628949ac17657ada75e22a0af60f99.jpgScreenshot_20230325_080829_Google.jpg.617ff17299fafc422bae20d684b613a6.jpgsfy4j9555rf61.jpg.3414a86f271bf685a06bf93d00911ab2.jpg

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Edited by Ryro
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1 hour ago, Restitutor said:

I get the ‘why’ Greece, but really feel like this coin should be in Rome, if it was going to be repatriated somewhere. Given the historical significance. 

I totally agree with you 😉! The coin was struck from gold supplied by the Roman senate, regardless of where it was found. Even if the coin was struck in Greek territory by a traveling mint of Brutus, it would still be more Roman than Greek.

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16 minutes ago, Al Kowsky said:

I totally agree with you 😉! The coin was struck from gold supplied by the Roman senate, regardless of where it was found. Even if the coin was struck in Greek territory by a traveling mint of Brutus, it would still be more Roman than Greek.

IMHO they should settle this the old fashion way and have Italy and Greece play a football game for the coin. 🙂 

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5 minutes ago, kirispupis said:

IMHO they should settle this the old fashion way and have Italy and Greece play a football game for the coin. 🙂 

I was thinking more the ooooold old fashion way

bitwa-pod-pydna-christian-jegou-1200x675-cropped.png.78d0a8dd45a960227de9353c117518fb.png

I want to see short hairy dead bodies to the tune of $3.5 mil before I sign off on any of this repatriation nonsense!

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3 hours ago, Ryro said:

A few things here to digest;

"New York officials have returned more than $20 million worth of ancient artifacts to Greece,"

So, were they just sitting on the other $16.5 mil worth of stuff? As well, this article states the coin was already up for sale in Germany and went unsold before Dickie B bought the bogus provenance! Who had the coin at that point??

"and were on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until their seizure in March."

=Don't loan your cool stuff to the Met!

"included 29 Hellenic antiquities dating back as early as 5,000 BCE, according to a news release from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. All of the antiquities were seized in connection with trafficking and smuggling investigations; New York Homeland Security Investigations special agent Ivan J. Arvelo said in a statement that Grecian artifacts are "especially susceptible" to trafficking because ancient Greece has "long (been) acknowledged as the cradle of Western Civilization."

Nobody tell the British Museum!

Screenshot_20230325_080813_Google.jpg.6c628949ac17657ada75e22a0af60f99.jpgScreenshot_20230325_080829_Google.jpg.617ff17299fafc422bae20d684b613a6.jpgsfy4j9555rf61.jpg.3414a86f271bf685a06bf93d00911ab2.jpg

merlin_176229870_437b6d92-53df-4e88-bf4a-0b41a0c8e592-superJumbo.jpg.defaf4250ea062de611073c2176b0550.jpg5093.jpg.a632a010134c994bba20701ae8cb1e41.jpg

ADFD3A99-53F8-45E0-A9E5-F426CE103702.jpeg.5d7fce63c6a69bd7b9bd1a00bcdf1c46.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Al Kowsky said:

I totally agree with you 😉! The coin was struck from gold supplied by the Roman senate, regardless of where it was found. Even if the coin was struck in Greek territory by a traveling mint of Brutus, it would still be more Roman than Greek.

I think it's necessary as a practical matter to have a bright line rule that it's the place of discovery (where known) -- not the place of manufacture or the place of the closest cultural connection -- that's determinative. Otherwise, Greece could claim a substantial percentage of artifacts found in Italy, and probably in Turkey as well. And Italy could claim a majority of the ancient coins found all over Europe (including the UK), the Middle East, and North Africa. Things would be even more chaotic than they are now.

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Yes, location of discovery is the key determinant for repatriation.  In the case of the Eid Mar aureus, this is Greece.  This is a common thread that runs through the MOUs between nations over the years.  I would add that the likelihood of this happening is driven by the coin/object in question.  High profile coins such as the Eid Mar are far more likely to be scrutinized by the authorities than, say, an antoninianus of Gallienus.  

It also seems that there has to be some type of "trigger" to alert the authorities and raise their suspicions about a coin's origins.  In the case of the Eid Mar coin the trigger appears to have been an informer who notified authorities about the coin's dubious provenance, which in turn set forth the eventual process of repatriating the coin to Greece. 

 

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3 hours ago, DonnaML said:

I think it's necessary as a practical matter to have a bright line rule that it's the place of discovery (where known) -- not the place of manufacture or the place of the closest cultural connection -- that's determinative. Otherwise, Greece could claim a substantial percentage of artifacts found in Italy, and probably in Turkey as well. And Italy could claim a majority of the ancient coins found all over Europe (including the UK), the Middle East, and North Africa. Things would be even more chaotic than they are now.

Technically, Greece could clear out pretty much every Roman sculpture due to copyright infringement. 🙂 

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Yes, I hope the whole matter doesn't affect my London Ancient Coins order; i.e. anything old or ancient coin related would receive extra scrutiny at the border.  I hope it's just because Royal Mail has joined the Captain Slow club during the now-ended strike. I bought some relatively inexpensive coins to celebrate a clean MRI and my eye being on the (slow) road to recovery. The order contained some nicely patinated examples of common types.

While visiting my parents, they brought up the Roma matter and what a crock the whole situation is.   Mom brought up the Elgin marbles and how she could understand them being repatriated, but not coins.

I may be forced to use the $40 DHL shipping, which doesn't really make much economic sense for c. $250 orders.  Two to two-and-a-half weeks' was the pre-crisis order-to-door average.  It took four weeks during my only crisis order.  We're three and counting now.

LAC is currently the only UK dealer whom I buy from.  Perhaps I should move up my Vabalathus order.  I believe the Pavlou chap had some. Then Icould use that to see if the slow turnaround is coming from the customs' side.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Nerosmyfavorite68 said:

Yes, I hope the whole matter doesn't affect my London Ancient Coins order; i.e. anything old or ancient coin related would receive extra scrutiny at the border.  I hope it's just because Royal Mail has joined the Captain Slow club during the now-ended strike. I bought some relatively inexpensive coins to celebrate a clean MRI and my eye being on the (slow) road to recovery. The order contained some nicely patinated examples of common types.

FWIW, I bought from LAC a few weeks ago and had no issues receiving the coins. I also purchased at Roma's last E-Sale and similarly received the coins quickly.

However, for some reason customs did flag a recent order from Savoca, despite the total order amount being small and most coins in the $15-$40 range. They asked for the country of origin for each coin, so I gave them a lengthy response that included where each coin was minted, but also the region (typically multiple countries) where each would have circulated. They had me fill out a form where one of the fields was "return to." I filled it in with my own address.

All that being said, a week later I received the coins. My suspicion is the forms were just bureaucracy. No one at customs looked at them.

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I suspect that LAC goes to the post once a week. It took about a week for me to get the mailed out notice (sometimes it's a bit longer than that).  That's a bit slow by today's super-fast standards but I don't have a huge problem with that.  Perhaps it's a combination of the two; LAC is a tad slower than the 'old days' (2022) and customs also take a few days longer since the strike?

However, I had unfairly lumped the Netherlands into the Captain Slow club from one order with Biga, which took forever (perhaps they were at a coin show, or had a bad week, I don't know).  My first order with Tom Vossen showed up fairly quickly.

I suppose I'll have to weigh the opportunity cost of the fast, c. $40 DHL, or the it'll-be-there-in-a-month Royal Mail (around $15-17).  Savoca's sweetheart deal with Fedex (c. $21-24) made it easy to be comfortable with that being the only option.

I've never purchased from Roma, but that's only because I actively avoid coin auctions.

The package will probably show up this week.

Anyway, I'm just hoping that average customers aren't collateral damage. That's my worry.

 

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2 hours ago, kirispupis said:

 I also purchased at Roma's last E-Sale and similarly received the coins quickly.

The three ancient coins I purchased at Roma's March 16 auction, shipped via DHL Express a few days ago, appear to have cleared Customs. I was curious as to whether there might be a general problem with Roma's shipments given recent events, but apparently there isn't one.

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6 minutes ago, DonnaML said:

The three ancient coins I purchased at Roma's March 16 auction, shipped via DHL Express a few days ago, appear to have cleared Customs. I was curious as to whether there might be a general problem with Roma's shipments given recent events, but apparently there isn't one.

FWIW, I did notice a few (minor) changes with Roma.

  • They have a new 'auction points' system where you can use points to purchase extra boxes or coin holders. I didn't add any, since I already have a decent-sized stack of Roma boxes that I feel bad throwing away.
  • However, I won two coins from them and each came in its own box. Normally they put 3-4 per box, depending on the thickness of the coins (these were small bronzes).
  • My more expensive coin came in its own holder, only the second time they've sent me one. They look cool, but I worry about keeping coins in them long term because I'm not sure about the plastic (which I worry may have vinyl) touching the coin long term.
  • Each coin also included a little baggy with its details printed in market on the outside.

So, the packaging was better, but I'm honestly fine with the cardboard holders the other auction houses use. I'd be happy with just a tag with the coin details so I don't have to write my own.

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I have been buying mainly solidi from Roma from the last 8 years, I live in Switzerland and have never had any issues with shipping or clearing the customs.

I manage to secure a solidi of barbaric mint from the mare nostrum hoard, I must admit I had my doubts due to the turmoil with R.Beal but the sale went well.

I have read a lot of comments on the prices some coins fetch but because I buy all over Europe I would say it is a general tendency , A nice solidi selling 350 to 400 € 6 years ago will now fetch 600 € , nevertheless one can still find good deals in smaller auctions.

Byzantine solidi are still great value for money . Just to end with the Roma saga , I must admit, and I am not the only one, I have always been surprised with the quality and abundance of coins on offer from day 1….

 

 

 

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On 3/26/2023 at 8:12 PM, kirispupis said:

FWIW, I did notice a few (minor) changes with Roma.

  • They have a new 'auction points' system where you can use points to purchase extra boxes or coin holders. I didn't add any, since I already have a decent-sized stack of Roma boxes that I feel bad throwing away.
  • However, I won two coins from them and each came in its own box. Normally they put 3-4 per box, depending on the thickness of the coins (these were small bronzes).
  • My more expensive coin came in its own holder, only the second time they've sent me one. They look cool, but I worry about keeping coins in them long term because I'm not sure about the plastic (which I worry may have vinyl) touching the coin long term.
  • Each coin also included a little baggy with its details printed in market on the outside.

So, the packaging was better, but I'm honestly fine with the cardboard holders the other auction houses use. I'd be happy with just a tag with the coin details so I don't have to write my own.

I have been buying from Roma for the last 8 years , mainly solidi ,  I too have been wondering about the plastic in the black Roma holders, so far it does not seem to affect the coins. Regarding their troubles , I hope they can pull through as they are a great auction house to work with. Their e-sales  are definitely more affordable , the higher prices are all over…Have you noticed the DHL rates have gone up…I won a solidi from the mare nostrum hoard in the last floor auction and I will keep members posted on how the sale goes.

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On 3/26/2023 at 7:59 PM, DonnaML said:

The three ancient coins I purchased at Roma's March 16 auction, shipped via DHL Express a few days ago, appear to have cleared Customs. I was curious as to whether there might be a general problem with Roma's shipments given recent events, but apparently there isn't one.

I bought a solidi from their last floor  auction and will post how the sale went. I have been buying from ROMA for the last 8 years and shipping via DHL has always been spot on and clearing customs in Switzerland in no time…

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3 hours ago, Sauniere said:

I bought a solidi from their last floor  auction and will post how the sale went. I have been buying from ROMA for the last 8 years and shipping via DHL has always been spot on and clearing customs in Switzerland in no time…

The package arrived from Roma via DHL Express this evening. No Customs holdup. Not that any of the three coins I bought were anything out of the ordinary that might have caught anyone's eye, I think.

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Nicking /looting cultural items has always been popular...didn't the Persians half-inch the statue of the Tyrant Slayers from Athens c 480 BC  etc.... a very popular hero napoleon Buonaparte was keen on that sort of stuff and when we Brits decided we wanted stuff we nicked the nicked off them. Who actually was in charge of the Parthenon is a moot question ...cos the repair bill is enormous and they didn't have a gunpowder storage certificate too!

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On 3/27/2023 at 11:46 PM, Sauniere said:

I have been buying mainly solidi from Roma from the last 8 years, I live in Switzerland and have never had any issues with shipping or clearing the customs.

Really? I also live in Switzerland and Swiss customs has been an absolute a nightmare in the past. They constantly opening parcels and charging all sorts of (fantasy) fees on top of the customs rate.  

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