Buying coins in your home country

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by jamesicus, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    I recently made a decision to no longer purchase coins from overseas. Not because of any angst but because of what I perceive to be practical considerations. I have grown weary of International postal delivery delays and problems and I think recent court decisions may lead to more shipping and delivery problems relating to many Ancient coins purchased from foreign sources.
    Of course that may not happen, but I have found it far easier and much more pleasurable to transact with “in-country” dealers either by mail or in person at coin shows. Of course that does reduce the availability of Ancient coins for purchase considerably - a penalty that many collectors will not wish to bear. I am certainly not advocating my approach for anyone else - it is strictly a personal decision. I do not wish to denigrate any foreign dealer, for I have found all those I have contracted with to be honorable and ethical people. But there are many similar dealers here in this country that I trust completely and who provide superior service and impeccable attribtuion of the coins they sell - and if you purchase by mail you inevitably get lightning fast shipping - and no custom’s hassles to boot.
    There are several such dealers who are contributors to this Forum: Victor Clark, Ken Dorney, Warren Esty (Valentinian), John Anthony, come immediately to mind, but there are several others.
    Buying “local” maybe something all collectors may want to pursue for the majority of their purchases in the future, no matter what country they live in - but I will be long dead and buried by that time.

    In the mean time I just purchased the following coin by mail from a well known and respected United States dealer. I have always especially liked Juilio-Claudian coins with bare-headed Emperor depictions and Claudius is my favorite Julio-Claudian Emperor. I was particularly attracted to this coin because the stately and elegant inscriptional lettering greatly appeals to my calligrapher’s eye.

    RIC Vol. I, CLAUDIUS, AS, No. 113
    Obverse: Claudius, bare headed, facing left, undraped bust
    Reverse: Personification of Liberty standing right holding pileus (freedman’s cap) in right hand
    Inscription: LIBERTAS AVGVSTA - S C (left and right)
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
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  3. YoloBagels

    YoloBagels Well-Known Member

    I try not to buy from foreign countries. Shipping can take a very long time and sometimes not even get to its destination. Also it can increase the chance of getting a counterfeit or replica coin.
  4. Ancient Aussie

    Ancient Aussie Supporter! Supporter

    WOW what a wonderful Claudius James, congrats great pick up.
  5. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    I applaud your decision and have stopped except for a couple of old friends in Canada for the reasons you state. Further, I hate to see US dealers selling coins overseas when shipping that same coin into the US is restricted.
  6. Clavdivs

    Clavdivs Supporter! Supporter

    What an amazing coin... I would post one of my Claudius coins but they are more fit for one of the bargain threads..

    I am in Canada and my one complaint is that many US dealers lump Canada in with the International shipping rates. We know it does not cost the same as shipping to Europe - some are great (Valentinian and some others) but many don't care.
    I have even messaged them offering a few buck over whatever the actual shipping cost is they pay - but most are not interested. I guess the volume to Canada is low so they can't be bothered. Sometimes I get cheaper shipping from Europe to Canada - can be frustrating.
    Johndakerftw, benhur767 and Orfew like this.
  7. Cucumbor

    Cucumbor Dombes collector Supporter

    I get your point @jamesicus and the trend (at least here in Europe) is to buy everything local, which is good for not wasting the planet resources, but considering our hobby it's only possible when there is enough supply in the country you live in. Even though we're not far from "where it all started" we do not have as many dealers in France as you find in the UK or Germany, and none of the major auction houses that you find in the USA or Switzerland. Needless to say some countries over the world don't even have any dealer at all.

    My main source is a local dealer, but I couldn't stick to him only, just because I would miss 3/4 of what I might be interested in.

    Just to keep it legal and because you like Claudius, here are my two coins of his

    Claudius, As produced at a "branch mint", AD 41-42
    TI CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVG P M TR P IMP, Bare head of Claudius left
    CONSTANTIAE AVGVSTI, Constantia helmeted standing left holding spear, SC in field
    10,84 gr
    Ref : RCV #1857, Cohen #14
    For better understanding of where this might have been minted, see :

    Claudius, Dupondius
    CERES AVGVSTA, Ceres, veiled and draped, seated left on ornamental throne, holding two corn-ears and a long torch, S C in exergue.
    11,20 gr
    Ref : RCV # 1855, RIC # 94

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. Andres2

    Andres2 Well-Known Member

    wise decision James, I made the same decision.
    Lots of dyslectic employees at the postal service companies nowadays.
    I quit buying coins at the CNG auctions, shipments went all over the world except to my country. I shipped an enveloppe to TIF - US Virgin islands , ended up in the British Virgin islands , just a couple of miles apart, took almost half a year to finally arrive .....

    another (common) Claudius

    Claudius as2.jpg
  9. Deacon Ray

    Deacon Ray Smiles, everyone! Supporter

    I don't have a lot of confidence that international orders are going to be successful anymore. I've had 3 go missing in the past 2 years. The tracking information states that the coins made it as far as the United States—then they disappear into the Twilight Zone :vamp:
    benhur767 likes this.
  10. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus

    This is really very easy to do and say when you live in countries with a large offer of sellers and numismatic houses. If I lived in the United States or Europe, I would have an easily accessible offer, not worrying about customs barriers or postal delays. But I live in Brazil, where there are only two good sellers of Greek and Roman coins. Both are my friends and sell very good things. However, one of them triples the actual purchase value, making it virtually impossible to buy with it. That is, if I do not have the option to buy Abroad, my collection will be very restricted. But okay, who cares about countries outside the United States-Europe axis?
    Orfew and benhur767 like this.
  11. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    Does the United States have the toughest import restrictions on ancient coins? I don't know the laws of other countries like Canada, Brazil, France, the UK.

    I don't buy anything outside the US because of the import restrictions unless there is airtight proof of importabily and even then onky rarely, like once every few years.

    If your country does not have tough import laws then you can worry only about practical shipping considerations like cost, time, and going missing.

    What are the laws like where tou live?

  12. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus

    Here in Brazil, in addition to a long long waiting for the goods to be released by the post office, if it goes to the customs, it will be placed taxes of 60% on the estimated value of the merchandise. The only good thing is that this hardly happens with registered mails letters, that is, although on average it takes about 30-45 days for me to receive an order from the United States (Europe takes two to three weeks), my coins are rarely taxed.
  13. Theodosius

    Theodosius Unrepentant Fine Style Freak! Supporter

    That is a high import tax rate! But are there laws against importing ancient coins?
  14. Jaelus

    Jaelus The Hungarian Antiquarian Supporter

    Why not just purchase foreign coins at auction through a domestic dealer acting as an intermediary?
  15. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    Living in Ireland, I more or less have to buy ancient coins from overseas, unless I buy them at fairs here. I buy mostly from UK-based auctions, followed by mainland Europe and to a lesser extent, the U.S.
    Postage from the U.K. to here is fast and reliable - typically 1-2 days from London. I've never had a coin fail to arrive from anywhere.
    From the U.S., on a couple of occasions I've had to pay VAT - if this happened all the time, I'd reduce my bids and probably end up not buying from outside the EU. Postage from the U.S. is random - on three occasions, I've bought a coin on Sunday and received it on the following Thursday; on two other occasions, packages have entered a black hole where the U.S. tracking says they've left the U.S. and they take another month to appear here. Within Europe, the main peeve I have is waiting for Italian export licences - I'm still waiting (impatiently) for a coin from Tinia's April auction - other Italian companies seem better able to obtain export licences in advance than them (or they set up in San Marino).
    Brexit next year will be interesting - if I end up being hit for VAT on purchases from UK, this will reduce my purchasing from UK-based dealers - I don't know what percentage of their trade is with the EU - it may encourage them to move if enough of their customers desert them. On the other hand, if they were outside of the Customs Union, I wouldn't be liable for UK VAT on the buyer's premium or Naville's 5% charge for duty paid on coins which they've imported from outside the EU.

    As far as the legal side goes, so far as I know there are no restrictions on what coins I can import to Ireland. Coins may be subject to export restrictions in the seller's country (e.g. Italy), but the Irish customs isn't going to seize them.

    Theodosius likes this.
  16. TIF

    TIF Always learning. Supporter

    I buy from all over as long as the auction house handles coins which can be exported to the US.

    Nice Claudius, @jamesicus-- and regarding your signature line, here's one of my favorites: "Old age is when everything hurts. What doesn't hurt doesn't work." Perhaps it's a little too true to be funny :D.
    Cucumbor likes this.
  17. Multatuli

    Multatuli Homo numismaticus

    No. Government is only interested in taxes. If a product I care about here gets caught, I'll pay those heavy taxes. I pay, they release.
    Theodosius likes this.
  18. Terence Cheesman

    Terence Cheesman Supporter! Supporter

    I have been collecting ancient coins since the summer of 1971 and in the fall of that year I started buying coins from foreign dealers. On the whole I have gotten good service. Out of the hundreds of coins shipped, only one has ever been lost though i must admit there have been a few with a major delay that being over a month. I will say that the overall service seems to be getting progressively worse. What used to take a week now takes two or even three. I will continue to buy from any source anywhere where I think the coin offered has some significance to me. However I will say that I have been attending more shows as well as auctions and purchasing more coins at them than I did in the past. This is because I am purchasing fewer more expensive coins and I want to see them in the flesh before I purchase
  19. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you @Clavdivs.
  20. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you @Ancient Aussie.
  21. jamesicus

    jamesicus Supporter! Supporter

    That Dupondius is superb Q!
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