Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by JayAg47, Dec 9, 2020.
Can I simply add my name to the coins to start the provenance from there?!
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However, not all provenances are equal. A coin that is ex- Joe Shmoe the vest pocket dealer is not as good as one that came from a famous collection from 100 years ago.
I will pay extra for a good provenance from a well-known collector of yesteryear.
Generally, I won't pay extra for a hoard provenance, unless the hoard is known for being particularly significant or of very high quality.
I consider it cool to know my coin belonged to someone of whom I have heard but I am not willing to pay several times a price to have it traceable to someone in the last century. I have many coins traceable to the last century mostly because I have owned them 20 to 60 years. Dealers are not beating down my door to buy them for my name.
not a lawyer but I don’t understand how this would fly in the US. Existing coins owned already would have to be grandfathered I hope?
Don't forget that 95% of the time a collector's name gains value only after the guy's DEAD...
1) Gives evidence that a coin is not fake. If you know someone knowledgeable or trustworthy owned it and thought it was real e.g. you can see the pictures of it in the archives of well-known auction houses or dealers, you have more confidence in it. If it came from a hoard, you might have provenance back to its manufacture - there have certainly been fewer people owning it who might've faked or altered it.
2) Shows where the coin has been. This is the story of the coin. If it was in a famous collection, someone's attic or in the ground for 2000 years, it's interesting to know, no matter how famous they were, rather than just seeing a piece of metal that appeared from nowhere. This can also be used to prove ownership.
How important these are will depend on:
- how likely the coin is to be a fake.
- how interesting the story is.
- how reliable the story is. How long is the provenance? Is there proof?
You wouldn't pay a significant premium to know Joe Bloggs owned it for a year. But it's a scale, where no provenance at all is zero. If you offered me two identical coins, one with no provenance and one that a regular named collector owned, I would take the latter - so it must be worth something, however small.
Quite frankly, I don't understand why everyone doesn't record the provenance of every coin, no matter how insignificant they think it is. It doesn't cost anything and might add value. Once it's lost, it's lost.
Some dealers are terrible for this - they even discard provenance - probably because they don't want you to know how much they paid for it. But you can find out anyway if it was sold at auction. (Some dealers realise it is important and send you previous tickets and receipts, even with prices on them e.g. Chris Rudd is great - you almost always get told where a coin was found, even if they have to be vague).
@John Conduitt. I believe provenance serves his two outlined points. On his first point, provenance adds an additional layer of assurance that a coin is real. Of course, old and important collections did have fakes, and some, such as Mazzini, had quite a few. However, when a coin has passed through the hands of many notable collectors and dealers, it does lend the coin additional gravitas.
On his second point, I believe “where a coin has been” is important for 2 reasons. The first is that the coin may come from a line of distinguished or interesting collectors, such as famous archaeologists, nobility or even royalty. This may help increase value as some collectors, like myself, do enjoy owning coins that belonged to well-known collectors. Additionally, and as noted by others in this thread, knowing where a coin has been, and how long it has been on the market, helps give assurances it was not recently looted, and so is not subject to MOUs that are, or may come, into effect.
I agree. Confiscation of legally purchased coins is a highly unrealistic concern. It's a bit more realistic to be concerned that future laws and MOUs will make coins more difficult to transfer without a lengthy provenance.
yes, existing coins would likely be exempted, but if it came time to sell, it would be your obligation to prove they were coins you’ve owned for “x” years. Perhaps further motivation for us all to post our coins here so we have a visual provenance record
To be a legal purchase, the seller must have good title. To be a legal import, the customs declaration must be correct.
Several countries claim a blanket ownership of everything over 100 years old. Without a provenance showing the coin was privately owned in the past it is hard to establish the seller had good title.
Legal issues aside, another reason to buy based on provenance is when you believe the previous owner had better taste than yourself! I buy a lot of ugly coins. Sometimes I regret them later. Doctor Pozzi bought no ugly coins. If you buy something that used to be his, you don't have to worry about your own lack of taste!
This is my fake. How do I know mine is a fake? CNG sold the one from which mine was cast last year. Admittedly photos would allow a bit better chance of seeing a problem but big name provenanced coins can serve as masters for making cast fakes so you have to be able to be certain that you have the exact specimen and not its evil twin.
Long story short he wanted the Athens NewStyle back that he lost in 88/7 BC and tracked it down through provenance to me. His name Apellikon was on it so I gave it up to the original owner. Bugger provenance...it cost me.
Here is my last picture of it. Now part of the Apellikon pocket collection, Athens.
PROVENANCE;Ex Mr Apellikon 146 Parthenon Way,Kerameter, Athens, Ex Lucius Cornelius Sulla,Ex Apostello Zero,ex Count Funkledorf temp French Revolution, ex CNG,ExSteven Corn, ex HJB,Ex NewStyleKing.
Now Back where it belongs!
The coin involved in this thread is a good example of why a provenance is so important. Geoff lent this coin to the British Museum for a few years where it was on display to the public, but after some time its provenance was questioned regarding the length of time it had been in his possession and could he prove private ownership before the cut-off date. It was one of those coins that was nearly owned for long enough, but now in danger of confiscation. Needless to say, he promptly removed it from the BM to avoid it going anywhere, not to mention a significant financial loss. Fortunately for him, an image was subsequently found of it in the catalogue for the Sarti sale in 1906 which contained a large number of bronzes from the Bolsena hoard. Happy days and a great deal of relief.
This was the coin which was illustrated in the thread on the postcard produced for the BM. Previously in the attached thread, but presumably deleted.
1. a few coins from J. Douglas Ferguson (the dean of Canadian Numismatics; deceased)
2. a few paper money issues from the Eric P. Newman auctions.
3. was underbidder on several issues from the Garrett collection, just got too rich
4. have a note or two from Steve Taylor; past president of the ANA
As is my usual practice I sent an email after paying to ask for any provenance information that the seller might have. The response I got, about a week later, sounded like I had spat in his cornflakes. It told me that everything he knew about the cheap coin was in the listing, and warned me about other sellers listing fake provenance to generate business.
I personally would have been happy with being told that it was purchased from a private collection in x country, or that it was purchased at y auction, but I guess that that is asking too much.
For ebay purchases, I print out the offering the record of sale and any documentation that comes with the purchases.
Any other purchase, I can only keep what they give me. I have bought a few coins on the "black market" without documentation.
If that is a Provenance, I guess I have one.
Separate names with a comma.