Ancient Sasanian Empire coins seized at border crossing

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Victor_Clark, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    CHAMPLAIN — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to the Champlain Port of Entry Cargo Facility recently discovered seven Sasanian coins being shipped into the United States.

    CBP officers assigned to the cargo facility encountered a shipment manifested as documents on June 2 and found nine unrecognizable foreign coins upon further inspection of the package, according to a press release.

    A specialist from the American Numismatic Society was contacted in order to determine the origin and value of the coins, according to the release.

    The specialist determined two coins were minted in Armenia and the remaining seven in Iran.

    On June 23, CBP officers were notified that seven of the coins were from Iran, dated back to the fifth century, during the Sasanian Empire and have an appraised value of approximately $2,000, the release said.

    As a result, the release said, officers contacted the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of the Treasury who determined that the Iranian coins lacked the required licensing for importation.

    I think the actual problem was that the sender sent the coins manifested as documents, which probably annoyed the Customs agents, so they decided to teach him a lesson. He will probably get them back...eventually.
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  3. DonnaML

    DonnaML Supporter! Supporter

    I wonder where the shipment originated.
  4. Victor_Clark

    Victor_Clark standing on the shoulders of giants Dealer

    they originated in Canada
    Nicholas Molinari and DonnaML like this.
  5. EWC3

    EWC3 (mood: stubborn)

    Stuart Williams likes this.
  6. dltsrq

    dltsrq Grumpy Old Man

    EWC3 likes this.
  7. gsimonel

    gsimonel Supporter! Supporter

    I love this quote from the US Customs and Border Patrol web site:

    This is another example of how our officers continue to protect our country and its interests,” said Steve Bronson, Port of Champlain Port Director.
  8. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    God forbid we be invaded by the Sassanid Persians!:p
  9. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Amen-Ra-Hotep

    This seems very strange. Hope it does not become a trend.
  10. I am in the EU and got the same message. WHY !!!! What's so illegal about it!!??
  11. Last year I've had a similar problem selling ancient Persian coins. In my case, PayPay blocked my account when a buyer was paying for two Persis Kingdom obol coins via PayPal. These coins were originally minted and circulated in an area of south western Iran over 2,000 years ago and their value was no more than €40 (about US$44).

    It is presumed that online sites such as PayPal automatically scan all text for keywords which would have picked up the word PERSIAN, which the buyer wrote in the PayPal notes section when making payment. PayPay immediately blocked my account without warning or notification, as well as my buyer's account. Trying to plead with PayPal was in vain as it seemed like I was dealing with an automated system and it was a week before I got a reply that seemed to have come from a human being. Took 2 whole weeks before PayPal gave me and the buyer full access to our accounts. The coins were being sold in Ireland to a buyer who was also in Ireland.

    PayPal took the blocks off our accounts only after I could prove to them I purchased the coins from an eBay seller in England back in 2007. Thankfully, I still had records of the transactions.

    PayPal made no apology, no admittance of error nor gave any kind of reason why that happened. I can only presume it relates to an over-interpretation of US anti-Iran sanction rules?
  12. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    It's not worth it for some companies outside the EU to appoint an EU representative, among other things, to meet GDPR. Easier just to block EU residents.
  13. Hamilcar Barca

    Hamilcar Barca Active Member

    Blame Canada
  14. froggycoins

    froggycoins Member

    They have mixed Khavad with Covid !
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  15. Co1ns

    Co1ns Member

    Very interesting. Seeing as this is related to a trade embargo and not just an MOU, I wonder if a simple statement from the seller still suffices as sufficient documentation?

    Where did the Sasanians primarily mint their coins? Ctesiphon the capital was located in present day Iraq, but arguing that would just get you another problem :stop:

    As VC says, if the package wasn't manifested fraudulently, they probably wouldn't of ever looked inside.
    Nicholas Molinari and DonnaML like this.
  16. +VGO.DVCKS

    +VGO.DVCKS Well-Known Member

    One caveat. Recently, a numismatist and collector told me about having bought a rare drahm of Ardaser II (379-383 ACE). Close inspection revealed first that he was looking at a die match, then the exact specimen, of an example from a "particularly rich hoard" which had been looted from the Kabul Museum. His only (ethical) recourse was to send it back to the seller, whose supplier, "I am afraid [,] just palmed it off to a less scrupulous collector."
    In that kind of context, one can sympathise with attempts from Customs, however belated and even misguided, to monitor this sort of thing. With Afghanistan in the shape it's in, it's really not okay to participate, however passively or even innocently, in the exploitation of its cultural heritage.
    Co1ns likes this.
  17. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

    Was the issue a lack of paperwork? Or the generic sanction list that says "good of Iranian origin" are not allowed to enter?

    Ardashir called himself king of Iranians and non-Iranians, but can we talk about "Iranian goods" from the Sassanian period? How about Parthian and Seleucid coins? Does anybody have experience importing them?
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