AES Grave Semis + MOU + GSP = I'm a Scaredy Cat

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by dadams, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. dadams

    dadams Supporter! Supporter

    With all the show and tell here of early cast RR coinage recently and the thrill of holding a huge AES Grave As in my hands about a month ago I've been keeping a lookout for something to splurge on.

    I found this Æ-Semis and was well prepared to bid having set my snipe up a few days before the close.

    The coin looked ok to my eye as legit and I'm pretty certain this is an example of Crawford 21/2 and I felt that I could place a reasonably high enough bid to win but I got cold feet.

    I noticed after reviewing the item listing again that the item is shipping from the UK through the Global Shipping Program (GSP) administered through Pitney Bowes. In reading through the terms of the GSP once delivery of the item has been made to the local (in-country) GSP destination by the seller all risk passes to the buyer. With title of the coin transferred to me and the MOU laws (which I have read about here) I canceled my snipe with about an hour remaining.

    I'm a bit disappointed, but more than likely I possibly averted a huge loss. If the coin was moving directly to me from the seller, and not routed through the GSP program, I most likely would have bid.

    Now I'm thinking I should be more concerned about my past and future coin purchases and wonder if I need take special precautions when buying ancients and especially so for items that may have MOU implications.


    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  3. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    As a Canadian, I HATE the global shipping program. Not only does it have the drawback you mention, Pitney Bowes adds all sorts of fees and taxes that are completely inapplicable. Total rip-off. All sellers should avoid it.
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  4. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus

    Hello @dadams! I may be completely mistaken (and I hope so), but I think that you got rid of being deceived. In my humble opinion, this is a forgery. I don't like the style, Minerva's bust, patine (looks like to me artificial). Maybe the weight is not the expected too. Therefore, I believe that you're lucky.
    dadams likes this.
  5. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    As another Canadian I completely agree. I will not buy from anyone using this program. I have on several occasions informed sellers of this.
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  6. dadams

    dadams Supporter! Supporter

    Hi Paulo, I have no experience in these type early pieces. When I first saw it I did think the devices were somewhat "soft" but I attributed that to wear, however you may be absolutely correct and the more I think about the whole affair I am glad I did not bid now more than ever.

    It is late for me here and you seem to be up late as well so tomorrow I'll tell you about my São Paulo experiences :)

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  7. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    Not 21/2 but 27/6 - note the club. I am not as experienced in aes grave as I am in other areas of Republican coinage, but I personally would have avoided this example. IMHO aes grave are not a type you buy from some random person on eBay unless you're very well experienced with the types as there are simply too many well-made fakes and even most dealers aren't competent enough to knowledgeably handle aes grave. As far as the MOU, I doubt any seller will refund your money if customs seizes the package and package insurance definitely won't reimburse you. Your best bet is to either buy within the US or buy a provenanced MOU-clear example when buying restricted Italian types.
  8. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus

    Hi Doug! I hope that you have enjoyed it here! As @@red_spork wrote above, these kind of coins must be avoided from unknown sellers. With one exception (that cause to me a real headache), all my aes gravii came from recognized numismatic houses/sellers (CNG, Jean Elsen, Ancient Imports, Forum Ancient).
    That's true that they don't appear frequently, but you can find some for affordable prices. CNG always has some pieces in the electronic auctions, as well as Jean Elsen.
    dadams and red_spork like this.
  9. dadams

    dadams Supporter! Supporter

    @red_spork I appreciate the correction as I did miss the obvious club. I much appreciate the comments and agree I was/am out of my element - I'll not consider another from an unknown seller. It's a leaning curve and I've got much to absorb.

    @Multatuli - appreciate your comments as well. As to Brazil I have fond memories of living in the Morumbi district of São Paulo. I was about 7 years old when my dad was transferred there to work as a hospital administrator. I regret never having fluently learned Portuguese, but I only lived there for a couple years and went to The American School (Graded). Two things I remember most is going to a Corinthians game - the crowds cheering and the sway of the stadium under the stomping feet of spectators and the huge wall around our house on Av. George Saville Dodd which I patrolled on foot and from where I would climb an avocado tree to secure bombs to drop on the neighbors Doberman pincher.
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  10. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus

    Cool, Doug! What a coincidence! I live today very close to your old address, in a district called Vila Olímpia (on the other side of the Pinheiros river). One of my best friends work on The American School as physician. I'am Child Neurologist and work on some hospitals nearby this area, including Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, where I believe, your father must have worked. And as you can see, I never have fluently learned English also! Well, I hope (and believe) that you should have enjoyed your passage here. The city of São Paulo, despite the brazilian situation, is still the best place to live here in Brazil.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2017
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  11. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I use eBay GSP when I ship coins overseas, even though I agree that it's a rip-off. The problem is that there is no real alternative if you want to insure the shipment. Anything offered by the US Postal Service that guarantees delivery is equally expensive.

    So basically I assume that my coins will no longer sell to anyone outside the US. Every now and then, however, someone will want something bad enough to pay the GSP fees. I don't feel good about this, but at least the customer knows beforehand what it will cost. If they still want the coin, more power to them.
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