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porcupine

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  1. Thank you for the link. it is really quite informative. I am not sure how complete is the transcript, but some of the arguments for inclusion of coins are pretty vague. One archeologist states that "when she finds a coin during her walks, it is “a cause for celebration.” She also indicated that “There may be millions of these little suckers, but they are still important.”" This could also be an argument for excluding coins form MoUs Some arguments may seem valid: inclusion of MoUs stifles looting. Maybe it can reduce it, but, unless there is a ban all sale of coins older than a certain age, it cannot make a significant dent and only discriminates against foreign buyers of such coins. It doesn't seem there will be other hearings on the subject before the decision is made, so maybe I am late to the party... I am just hoping that well articulated arguments of ANA attendees, and others opposed to inclusion of coins carry weight in CPAC decision making. I was also glad to read a comment from CPAC chairwoman that "broad import restrictions would be impossible to enforce"
  2. If you are an ANA member the following link should work for you: http://www.money.org/AM/Template.cfm?Secti...sePreview=False The article is on page 92 of the August issue.
  3. What I am hoping to accomplish is, when this MoU with Italy is renewed, coins are not included. I am not trying to influence American numismatic organizations: they are already against including coins in such MoUs. According to The Numismatist the ANS is the only exception. I was just wondering if anybody knew why they would support including coins, but, as Bill explained, they may not have supported inclusion of coins. And I am not hoping to change the law, just want to keep coins out of these agreements. Probably official channels are the way to go. The Numismatist mentions Cultural Property Advisory Committee. Maybe I should look them up and try to write to them. If anyone here feels the way that I do, I would suggest they write to them too, so when time comes to sign an MoU with Russia it will be easier for us to keep coins out of that MoU.
  4. Bill, Thank you for the insightful post. I didn't realize that ANS may have not taken a stance against including coins. Indeed, these are complex issues. However, there is a general consensus on this forum that Russian laws that prohibit export of coins older than 50 years are outdated and are designed to keep the vast bureaucracy busy. They do not benefit anyone, including Russian museums, Russian collectors, and advancement of numismatic research in general. I can also make a case that they take business away from Russian coins dealer community, and also promote corruption. So as it comes to Russian coins I see no good reason for the US government to be supportive of such Russian laws through MoU under this Act. I will also say I don’t see many good reasons for the US government to support similar Italian laws as they pertain to coins (at least most common coins—and when I say that I do realize that everyone has s different definition of “common”) There are clearly valid reasons to prohibit export of illegally obtained (looted, stolen, etc.) archeological artifacts that are culturally significant. It ludicrous to try to make a case that all coins fit that description--something that The Numismatist discusses in much better detail than I can here (although they don’t call such attempts ludicrous). As Maya correctly pointed out above the US should respect foreign laws, but IMHO it should not be making an effort or spending resources to support them if they do not benefit anyone, or maybe even harm somebody.
  5. I know we all have been complaining about the ban of export of coins from Russia, and, until recently, from Poland. But did anybody know that the US government could be assisting various countries in enforcing these types of bans? It turns out that under the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act the US government enters into these agreements (MoU) with foreign countries to restrict import of undocumented archeological objects. Coins can be included on the list of such objects. Right now the MoU with Italy is up for renewal and Italian coins older than 250 years may be included. Cyprus already has an MoU with the US under which Cypriot coins older than 300 years can be confiscated if you do not have Cypriot government permission to take them out of Cyrpus. I am all for improving US-Russia relations, but will that mean that in the future we will have an MoU with them which includes coins too? What boggles the mind is that there is a numismatic organization in the US (ANS) that supports including coins in the Italian MoU. What would there motivation be? What do you all think? Does anybody know who we should write to in order to stop this from happening?
  6. You can always try these guys: http://shopconros.ru/show_cat2.php?&ca...n=&idcateg= send them an email to find out if they ship modern commemorative coins to England
  7. Indeed. And I tried to look for that thread and couldn't find it.
  8. Thank you everyone for the info. Sounds like I should stay away from bidding on Polish eBay listings: either the seller (or I?) would have to break the law or I run the risk of not getting my coins at all...
  9. I think I remember reading some discussions on this forum about how foreign collectors cannot bid on coins at Polish auctions because Poland does not allow them to be exported. Yet, I see eBay listings like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/2-kopecks-1889-NGC-gra...c#ht_500wt_1154 http://cgi.ebay.com/1-Penni-1895-NGC-grade...=item27b2f32491 Was I mistaken? Description says that seller will ship worldwide. Can anybody shed some light on Polish law as it applies to export of coins?
  10. Don't know for fact if slab is real or not (seems fine), but I own an 1841 ruble graded XF45 by NGC. My coin shows slightly more wear than this coin, so based on that I would say there is nothing shady going on here.
  11. A little disclaimer, I have no idea if that "Nobleman's" collection was really put together by dealers with coins exported from Russia, but if it was, here is a theory on how it can happen: As far as I understand the Russian law that relates to export of antiques, you have to get permission from the Ministry of Culture (or some other ministry) to take your item out of the country. They have these lists there that show what is valuable and what is not, which is how they determine whether to allow you to export your item. Now if you are an art/coin/stamp/whatever dealer you can afford to make that trip to the offices of whatever ministry and get those export licenses. Maybe this is where bribes come in, or maybe the ministry thinks that most coins are NOT cultural "treasures", a determination a customs official at the airport cannot make. If you are a tourist who came to Russia and bought a coin, will you have the time to go to some Russian ministry and fill out forms in Russian and stand in liines? Probably not. Therefore, foreigners don't buy coins in Russia, and consequently, Russian auction houses are not international. As for my earlier comment that Western auctions are better venues for selling Russian coins, think if it this way: you need as wide an audience to bid on your coins. Even if you are confident that some Russian oligarch wins all the coins, you still want some western collector to bid them up. In other words, for best prices you need the auctions to be international. I don't want to get into a big discussion of the legislative process in Russia, but if they want to keep their laws so complicated, let them. it's entirely their business. We still get a chance to bid on their coins as evidence'd by this "Nobleman's" collection (assuming these coins did in fact just came from Russia), so we don't care. The only people who should care, are the Russian auction houses that are missing out on all those fees. They are the ones who should be lobbying for this "legislative fix", but I don't see Russian legislators initiating any fixes without at least some lobbying by Russian local businesses or some other vested interests.
  12. I think Western auctions are a better venue to sell coins and art because they are international, while Russian auction houses are not (when was the last time you saw a Russian auction house on sixbid?). As for Russian coin dealers, they know hot to take their coins out of the country--legally or otherwise, whereas, us, common folk, don't.
  13. Had you said that about a year ago I would have agreed with this sentiment, but... a few months ago I started reading a Russian book (and never finished because it was so boring). I don't remember the name of the book or the author, but the story in the book started just before the revolution in some small town not far away from some minor provincial city. The book had a passage about a girl who was working as a cook's assistant or a maid or something like that in the house of a local doctor. That girl collected stamps. I know, stamps were not coins, and she was not a peasant, but still, the point is, you didn't have to be a nobleman to be a collector.
  14. Y-59.3 is the number of this coin in the Standard Catalog of World Coins. You should probably buy this catalog. AU58 is better than AU55. Read more about PCGS grading on their site: http://www.pcgs.com/lingo.chtml?universeid=313&letter=0 $900 seems to be a fair price for your coin.
  15. A little story. This past January at Bowers & Merena NYINC auction lot viewing I spent hours looking at the Russian coins. A fellow came in with a heavy Russian accent, sat down next to me, and asked to look at the 37 1/2 roubles. He didn't want to see anything else, and I don't event recall if he asked for a bidder number to be assigned to him. I have no idea who won the coin that evening, but he looked very much like a real buyer to me. BTW, the coin was graded AU by B&M and Genuine-Rim Repair by PCGS.
  16. Very true. Alex Basok recently took a coin back from me for full immediate refund, after NCS could not verify authenticity.
  17. Thank you for the info Sigi. Yellow pages are all in German, but I think I got the hang of it. I found one auction house and one coin dealer in Dusseldorf and one coin dealer in Krefeld, which is where I will be staying. I will not make it to Dusseldorf coin club as I get there on the Saturday before the 4th Sunday of March. Neuss is a possibility, however; if you happen to have their address or contact phone number that would be huge help as I couldn't find anything on them on the web.
  18. I will be visiting some relatives near Dusseldorf in a couple weeks time the week before Easter. Can anybody recommend any coin dealers with Russian inventory in the area? I will also go to Belgium (Liege and/or Antwerp) for a couple of days, maybe somebody has recommendations for coin dealers there too? Can anybody think of any other places of numismatic interest that I should visit while I'm there?
  19. Those stories come up in the media frequently, with different sources quoted. Here is UN's projection: http://esa.un.org/unpp According to this one Russia's population will be 116mm by 2050
  20. This is one of the most interesting questions on this site and probably the most difficult one to answer, because you are literally asking people to predict the future. Instead of telling you whether I think Russian coin prices will go up or down, I will tell you that I see positive signs for the short term and not so good signs for the long term. Russians are now getting richer and the middle class is growing--good for coin prices. After 10 or so years of economic and social mayhem people are longing for the calm old days -- also good for coin prices. Now here is the part where I stick my neck out and wait for the hate mail. When I was a kid growing up in Russia it felt like every other friend of mine collected coins. Now, however, when I go to Russia and visit coin shops, I don't see any kids there. When I ask my friends who now have kids of their own if the younger generation are interested in numismatics they all tell me the answer is "no". Another bad sign is that Russian population is set to fall significantly over the next 30 or 40 years--so that too means fewer collectors. Once again, not making any predictions here, but just pointing out some things...
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