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RIP Roma?


kirispupis

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  • Benefactor

This is probably sensationalizing a bit, but I'm beginning to wonder if Roma is done. Some signs:

  • The size and numbers of Athens tets and other coins in their last two auctions seemed like a fire sale of their inventory
  • They list no current auction, nor even any upcoming auction, on their website. In the past they at least gave tentative dates for upcoming auctions
  • Another member here recently asked them to hold a coin, and they replied that wasn't possible
  • They sold off a large number of coin cabinets in their last auction. Could those have been theirs?
  • They recently had to switch to yet another bank for wires
  • Shipping has taken considerably longer, whereas they were always the quickest in the industry (tied with Savoca) to ship. They mentioned it was due to a number of auctions closing near the same time, but they've handled that before. I wonder if it was due to several people leaving.

FWIW, I did purchase several coins at the auction prior to the one that recently completed and received the coins without issue eventually.

However, I'm wondering if Roma is done.

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The lady I dealt with left very recently,  I kept sending money to old bank accounts as I can't keep up with their changes and the superexpensive rare coin  I have been following (aka droning on about)as  I watch pedigrees be wiped off records was just shown to be likely glued together with no hint of that, and sold for 20% of prior estimate. Not the actions of a company soliciting long term relations with high-end collectors (not that I am  one). Photos stolen from a forum member's post on another forum, with apologies.

The cabinets  point  is very interesting!

 

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PyxosZoom2.thumb.jpg.4a1aa8b3b253e51a583b3206d3fa3ee5.jpg.53b1978f98a43953488c78323cc8a52f.jpg

 

PyxosZoom1.thumb.jpg.2ba6c589d2838af8e16e9e1f7df37453.jpg.110b4d51a858043ebe2ab9a5d4475cf4.jpg

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Wait and see.  Their E-Sale 119 ended last week and we are entering the "slow" period for auctions.  The next auction might still appear this week or the following week.

There has ben some changes in the staff, but I am not sure if this is anything out of the norm for these firms.  The labor market is tight, so perhaps this changeover is reflective of that economic dynamic.

While there were a number of Athenian owls, and tetradrachms of Tigranes II, it seems that the hammer prices, while somewhat on the low side, were not necessarily "fire sale" prices, especially for coins that are not slabbed.  Perhaps the last auction was more of house cleaning.

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Interesting to be sure, but I like to take that 'wait and see' approach.  A lot of the bigger dealers sit on very large inventories of hoard material, like the mentioned tetradrachms.  Heritage has been selling the same stuff weekly for many years.  Every week, the exact same material.  Roma isnt any different, but its possible they need to raise come cash prior to maybe his sentencing and potential fines with the US govenment.

As for bank accounts, I was going to create an individual post on this topic today.  Its not just Roma changing banks and accounts.  Seems like almost all of the auction houses are doing the very same thing for a few years now.  One big house, well known and above reproach, has changed their accounts many times in the last couple years and I had to email them today to get something which would work.  My suspicion is that our hobby is under a lot of scrutiny right now.  Often I try to make a bank transfer and it wont go through.  I'm given some reason to the effect of 'we cant send money to this account right now.  It might be they are trying to keep the money flowing without delay.

Members leaving:  There are new auction houses popping up seems like every few months.  The hobby has gotten very big, there are lots of coins out there and everyone seems to want to throw their hat in the ring to hopefully become the next new big one.  Lots of people are moving from one house to another, or becoming the new 'US' or 'UK', or 'European' representative.

I havent had much issue with shipping lately, but I have noticed that sometimes packages come Fedex and some DHL, I never know which.  My issue is more with Fedex, who constantly holds packages for customs.  This time I bought a few sestertii for my collection from Roma and for some odd reason one lot was listed by them as originating from Iran, which is prohibited.  So...I have to figure out that mess.  I suspect they will have to be sent back and re-shipped.  Fedex really sucks!

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As a accountant myself, i can say the numbers were profitable for the company in 2022, and many shares transactions during 2023. True also many nice staff members sadly leaving the boat, for what reason can not know. 
49B2ED59-EA52-44E6-A29C-6B6650925D88.jpeg.b3d9da7dbe5c2ebd9420c2c7cee9f92f.jpeg

 

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I have won around 35 AV coins in past five years from Roma. Their service was excellent/ also send coins via Royal Mail/ no customs hassles or fees😍

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, panzerman said:

I have won around 35 AV coins in past five years from Roma. Their service was excellent/ also send coins via Royal Mail/ no customs hassles or fees😍

John

Same here! I wish them the best. Love my latest win from Roma :- )

Rasiel

680CD7B6-7DF4-40C7-8AF0-5910B0E131FD.jpeg.22e996bad46fd7a2ca997b9f4ff8f825.jpeg

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Posted (edited)
On 4/30/2024 at 6:30 PM, kirispupis said:

This is probably sensationalizing a bit, but I'm beginning to wonder if Roma is done. Some signs:

  • The size and numbers of Athens tets and other coins in their last two auctions seemed like a fire sale of their inventory
  • They list no current auction, nor even any upcoming auction, on their website. In the past they at least gave tentative dates for upcoming auctions
  • Another member here recently asked them to hold a coin, and they replied that wasn't possible
  • They sold off a large number of coin cabinets in their last auction. Could those have been theirs?
  • They recently had to switch to yet another bank for wires
  • Shipping has taken considerably longer, whereas they were always the quickest in the industry (tied with Savoca) to ship. They mentioned it was due to a number of auctions closing near the same time, but they've handled that before. I wonder if it was due to several people leaving.

FWIW, I did purchase several coins at the auction prior to the one that recently completed and received the coins without issue eventually.

However, I'm wondering if Roma is done.

Your cabinets point is certainly interesting. However, also hear this! A few weeks back I asked to consign a coin. Cue response: " thanks for your email, but we are not accepting consignments at this time."

I think either a rebrand or total winding down is coming...

Edited by wuntbedruv
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On 4/30/2024 at 2:50 PM, KenDorney said:

My suspicion is that our hobby is under a lot of scrutiny right now.

Roma didn't help matters with the false provenances and looted material. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot!

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30 minutes ago, David Atherton said:

Roma didn't help matters with the false provenances and looted material. Talk about shooting oneself in the foot!

False provenances, sure. As far as looted material, almost everyone is selling it. Athenian tetradrachms come to mind.

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43 minutes ago, discoinfiltrator said:

I have heard from several reliable sources that their most recent E-Sale was their last ever, and judging by the sale of the coin boxes, it seems to be the case. 

It seems that a couple of employees have left to join The Coin Cabinet, judging by their 'about us' page - https://thecoincabinet.com/about/our-people/

Any rumors of the cause of any such changes or winding down of operations? They seemed to be doing operationally ok despite any hit to reputation, so is this part of some plea bargain perhaps? I guess we'll see soon enough if their e-sales have ended, but hard to see why they would end them unless the whole company is shutting down.

 

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  • Benefactor
23 minutes ago, Heliodromus said:

Any rumors of the cause of any such changes or winding down of operations? They seemed to be doing operationally ok despite any hit to reputation, so is this part of some plea bargain perhaps? I guess we'll see soon enough if their e-sales have ended, but hard to see why they would end them unless the whole company is shutting down.

 

This is only speculation, but the following may be causes:

  • Significant legal bills
  • Loss of banking and/or payment providers
  • Loss of business license or the threat of it
  • Desire of the owner for another occupation/venture and the lack of buyers due to recent events
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2 hours ago, Heliodromus said:

Any rumors of the cause of any such changes or winding down of operations? They seemed to be doing operationally ok despite any hit to reputation, so is this part of some plea bargain perhaps? I guess we'll see soon enough if their e-sales have ended, but hard to see why they would end them unless the whole company is shutting down.

 

Update - they've confirmed via email that they are ceasing operations as a company. I had some winning bids in the last E-Sale and got an email to that effect asking for me to pay my invoice by the 13th May.

 

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Posted · Supporter
1 minute ago, Hrefn said:

Just received an invoice from Roma from the latest E-auction confirming they are ceasing operation May 24th.  It is official.  

The whole business is shutting down, or just the e-auctions?

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Posted · Supporter

"7. Roma Numismatics Ltd guarantees the absolute authenticity of all Lots Sold. There is no expiration to this guarantee."

The never expiring guarantee just expired.

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