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Ancient Coin Collectors Guild


jlueke

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On Saturday I attended an open meeting of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild. Wayne Sayles, the executive director, gave a very interesting and thorough presentation on the basic purpose of the guild. The basics can best be read at the homepage ACCG. If you are a collector of anything over 100 years old, and especially if you reside in the United States I would urge you to join the organization. The cultural property movement is still quite zealous and bent on eliminating private collecting. Until that movement is stopped and more rational minds prevail, collecting is very much under threat. Membership, as an individual club, or online collective, is one way to help preserve the hobby. A $150 one time fee makes any grouping of people an affiliate membership group.

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Wow i thought our government were control freaks. Sure if a metal detectorist discovers a hoard of coins then it's government property (basically because the government wants to ensure that important archaeological finds are recorded and not sold off to be melted down for the cash), but the finder is generally given some of the material found that is not of national importance and gets the approx value of the hoard paid to them in cash [i think!]

 

Other than those laws our government to my knowledge has never banned collecting or holding any form of coin, and i strongly doubt they ever would. I'm glad i'm not in the US as there's not much freedom over there. You guys couldn't even own gold coins for many decades. Now there's pressure from some quarters to outlaw keeping ancients? Crazy.

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You guys couldn't even own gold coins for many decades. Now there's pressure from some quarters to outlaw keeping ancients? Crazy.

 

It is crazy but it's really more of an international effort. Foreign countries pass these laws and then beg the US to enforce trade restrictions. That is where the cultural heritage movement tries to introduce legislation. But the crux of the problem is the great socialists who came up with the Cultural property definitions of UNESCO 1970.

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Sure if a metal detectorist discovers a hoard of coins then it's government property (basically because the government wants to ensure that important archaeological finds are recorded and n... 

 

No, you do not seem to understand the basic issues. Read John Locke. You have an inalienable natural right to PURSUIT OF PROPERTY. The government of the UK has no right to take your coins. They are claiming the divine right of kings to own all the property in the land. You have to deny them that right. You have to be a roundhead whig about this. Parliament hires the king. The people elect Parliament. They have no rights that you do not give them.

 

"This was the charter of the land, And guardian angels sang this strain;

Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves; Britons never shall be slaves."

 

The use of the word "charter" was not accidental. It refers to the Magna Carta. The barons wanted more than just being tried by other barons. They demanded the right to fix their own bridges. They demanded at swordpoint the right to determine the disposition of their own lands. Therefore, if you find a coin on your own land, it is yours!

 

Parliament HIRED William and Anne. They HIRED George of Hanover. Stand fast, man! The king reigns at the sufferance of Parliament and Parliament rules at the request of the people.

 

"Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."

 

How can you Brits so easily dispose of your glorious passion for liberty?

 

They'll take my coins from my dead cold fingers, dammit!

 

Mike

"I collect archaic Greek -- and don't get in my way!"

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I know what the Magna Carta is, i've seen it. I never liked John Locke.

 

Thomas Hobbes on the other hand, now he knew what he was on about! Society needs rules and people need governing by strong government made up of their social betters. I really liked the Hobbesian ideal there. If treasure of historical importance is found i.e like a new previously unknown Roman Emperor turns up on a coin then that coin should be in a museum where people can see it. The coin should also be photographed and catalogued carefully. Sometimes people need protection from themselves.

 

William III was a mistake it has to be said, James II should never have been deposed in the first place as he was the true king, regardless of his faith.

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... Society needs rules and people need governing by strong government made up of their social betters. ... Sometimes people need protection from themselves.

 

Then you have no right to complain. Your social betters are strongly governing your coin collection for the common good. By that logic, they can legislate your collection directly into the national museum of this, that, or any other country with which they have an appropriate treatry.

 

That is hard for Americans to understand. When I was a college freshman, I had an honors history class taught by a young guy from Britain. He took the pains to explain to us that a "constitution" does not need to be written. He explained that if Parliament took away the right to vote from all blue-eyed dockworkers, it would be perfectly constitutional in the British system, as long as all of the traditiional procedures were followed.

 

The reason that the Ancient Coin Collector Guild exists is that its motive engines -- its philosophy of being -- come from American considerations for private property, personal liberty, and the limitation of government, which derives its power from the consent of the people.

 

We never pay much attention to those abstract principles until something happens to us. In this case, it is the fact that under Unidroit, the Government of Anyplace can take away anything of yours that is over 100 years old. As it so happens, I do have a few old British coins, two from the American colonial period. Are they UK or US? In whose museum must they reside... given, of course, that these governments will decide between them that those coins are no longer to be mine.

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  I'm glad i'm not in the US as there's not much freedom over there. You guys couldn't even own gold coins for many decades. Now there's pressure from some quarters to outlaw keeping ancients? Crazy. 

 

1. The pressure is to have the US join an existing international treaty.

 

2. You might want to make sure that the UK is not already signed on.

 

3. It was never illegal for Americans to own gold. That is a common misconception. See here:

http://www.coin-newbies.com/articles/gold_never_illegal.html

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Then you have no right to complain.  Your social betters are strongly governing your coin collection for the common good.  By that logic, they can legislate your collection directly into the national museum of this, that, or any other country with which they have an appropriate treatry.

 

 

Correct. Things still happen this way in the UK, as seen with treasure trove laws.

 

 

Wonderful system ain't it?

 

Property ain't very much of an issue over here. The right to a vote is the main thing above all else, oh and the NHS.

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Oh and Mike you do know that on occasion you have to take my comments with a pinch of salt? You might have noticed i like arguing to extremes, dunno it's just more fun i guess.

 

 

In truth when i said i disliked Locke, it is true i do.

 

However, you'll also notice i frequently throw in both Hobbes and Mill references when occasion lets me. Both of which contradict each other somewhat. My real position is unclear because i like both Hobbes and Mill. If i'm thinking of myself as working class then i like Mill, if i change my perception of my status to a middle class person in a meritocracy then i favour Hobbes. Hobbes' stated social betters; social betters can be interpreted either in blood ties to traditional sources (monarchy/aristocracy), or to social betters as the educated, the business man or the respected people in society; doctors, lawyers, politicians etc. I can quite happily imagine myself one day in a profession of that nature.

 

So if you're wondering why i switch sides so much, well lets face it my ideal position in life is the fence sitter. Although the number one rule in all of this; if someone is arguing for something then i might as well argue against it (whether i believe it or not, my beliefs are not important), what's important is that both sides get a say, even if done by proxy.

 

I suppose i can blame the education system for insisting that 'you address both sides of the argument'.

 

So in this instance i'm gonna argue Hobbes all the way. ;)

 

Who said we never had fun? :ninja:

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... you do know that on occasion you have to take my comments with a pinch of salt?

 

Same here. I had a great reply going and then lost it with a keystroke.

 

I can take any side of a discussion. If you search the archives of the Usenet newsgroup rec.collecting.coins you will find my posts under the rubric "Third Side of the Coin."

 

[got some of it back. here it was.]

Oh and Mike you do know that on occasion you have to take my comments with a pinch of salt? .. 

Ditto that! ;) I appreciate your comments about Hobbes and Mill. For us, it is Jefferson and Hamilton. Same thing, though. If I want more rights for me, I am a Jeffersonian. If I need to block someone else's move though, it's Hamilton to the center of the board.

... well lets face it my ideal position in life is the fence sitter. ... I suppose i can blame the education system for insisting that 'you address both sides of the argument'.

I think that some people just like to :ninja:argue. Some people do seem to see both or more sides of an issue more readily than others. You probably know of the Myer-Briggs Personality Type Indicator, and perhaps the Keirsey Temperment Scale. I am an ENTJ: "Extrovert iNtuitive Thinking Judgmental" also known as a "Field Marshall." Big ideas, broad themes, new challenges, discover rather than sort, introduce myself to strangers. People like that are great salesmen. Close to the direct opposite of the "Field Marshall" would be the "Inspector General." Wants to know the rules and enforce them. Hates surprises. Sorts and categorizes what is given.

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I see i'm learning from the master here! :ninja: Man i need more practise!

 

One day Mike, one day.

 

I must confess that i'm very fond of some of Jefferson's ideas from what i've read. I loved his idea that church and state should be separate and that people should be left to follow their own beliefs (if the soyrces i read were correct). For his time that was rather revolutionary as alot of places were big on institutionalised religion.

 

The open mind is a key to success.

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  • 3 weeks later...

... meanwhile, back on the topic...

Nominations for election to the ACCG Board of Directors will close on February 15.

(see http://www.accg.us/issues/news/election)

 

and

 

"ACCG Sponsors YN Scholarship A Young Numismatist will attend the 2006 ANA Summer Seminar thanks to ACCG funding."

 

I give ACCG my fullest moral support. They are fighting the good fight against terrible odds. The academic establishment is lined up against them -- and therefore us -- and powerful Washington lobbyists are carrying the message that anything more than 100 years old deserves to be "protected." Use a crowbar to insert the word "Iraq" in there and you can see how the playing field is tilted on behalf of the professional archaeologists.

 

The personal webpage of astronomer and numismatist Kavan U. Ratnatunga, Ph.D., quotes Philip Grierson: “Numismatics, like some aspects of astronomy and natural history, remains a branch of learning in which the amateur can still do valuable work, and it is on the great collecting public, or rather on that part of which is interested in the subject at a scientific level, that the progress of numismatic science largely depends.”
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Therefore, if you find a coin on your own land, it is yours!

 

 

Let's move closer to reality though. What if you find a coin on someone else's land (as happens with the vast majority of cases in the UK) ?

 

Moving back to the hypothetical....what if a Russian nuclear satellite fell from the sky and landed in your back garden. Would the local municipality have a right to threaten you with legal action for any failure on your part to clean up any debris or radioactive contamination? It is on your land. It is a threat to the community....and most importantly...it is yours isn't it (?)

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I'll side with the real world over the hypothetical for the moment.

The problem right now is that the cultural prooperty activists are seeiking a total ban on collecting. They are not interested in compromise at this point. Thus the ACCG's primary focus has been to stop the increased regulation of the hobby. Hopefully with more successes the ACCG will take a more proactive approach, this has started with the scholarship fund.

 

My hope is that once the extremists are stopped, the more reasonable heads will prevail and collectors and archaeologists can work together to curb looting, increase reporting of finds, and enjoy collecting coins.

 

Michael makes mention of moral but no financial support. I wonder if Coinpeople would be interested in becoming an affiliate member of the ACCG. For a group this is a one time cost of $150. I'm thinking of auctioning off some stuff for that purpose. Other members could donate items as well as bid.

 

Who would I need to get approval from? Would a poll be a sufficient start? If the majority of members does not want to be affiliated then perhaps I would auction of some individual one year memberships instead.

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  What if you find a coin on someone else's land (as happens with the vast majority of cases in the UK) ?

 

1. Do you have the owner's permission to be on the land?

2. What are the terms of that permission.

 

It matters little of the detectorist is the owner or an agent or a contractor or an employee, as long as there is an obvious title and agency.

 

Where these archaeologists get involved is in the claim that this or that old thing is of extreme import. Consider the analog. Under the broadest terms of English Common Law, no one from the government can intrude on your privacy without a warrant from a court of competent juridiction. Of course, we all know and we all agree that if the policeman on the beat -- or anyone, really -- hears cries of "Help! Help!" coming from within your home that selfsame common law allows -- may even require! -- intervention, warrant or no.

 

So, what is on your land is yours.

You can give someone permission to detect on your land, to walk and look or to use any and all transducting equipment or whatever or however limited.

 

Then, along come the archaeologists claiming that the discovery of a pot of old coins is the moral equivalent of "Help! Help!" granting them right to take your property for the common good.

 

I do not agree. :ninja:

 

Michael

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... the cultural prooperty activists are seeiking a total ban on collecting.  They are not interested in compromise at this point.

 

Neither am I interested in compromise.

 

How much poison would you take in a compromise?

 

Property rights are absolute.

 

Property rights are objective.

 

Your right to property is an extension of your right to personhood.

 

To deprive you of your property is to deprive you of your life.

 

Anyone who would steal your property would just as likely kill you.

 

You have an absolute, immutable right to defend yourself and your property.

 

To me, it is a symptom of intellectual decay that we pretend to negotiate with the archaeologists as if we were traders negotiating over price.

 

Archaeologists are the real looters.

 

It is perfectly moral to stop them by any means necessary, just as you would stop a burglar from ransacking your home.

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So, what is on your land is yours.

 

 

So by that arguement you (as the owner) would be happy to be held responsible for dealing with anything bad that was unearthed on your property as well as anything possibly advantageous? Willing to take the bad with the good or only the good?

 

In the UK there is no loss in terms of monetary value suffered by any land owner. You argue as if there is such a loss being suffered. If so, i've no idea where you get that concept from. It just doesn't work that way here.

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The government can deprive you of your property via eminent domain. Of course you must be compensated. This is similar to the treasure trove laws in the UK. Those make sense to me.

 

Cultural property makes sense to me in the conext of the 1954 Convention from the Hague. The 1970 Unesco convention defining movable cultural property is a farce. The former seeks to protect unique works that cannot be moved, the altter is a socialistic attak on provate property.

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