Numismatik Lanz - Buyer Beware

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Nemo, May 21, 2019.

  1. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    The absolute best piece of advice in the ancient coin hobby is know the dealer or know the coin.

    In dealing with Lanz, I thought I knew the dealer. He is notorious for selling tooled bronze coins. I also know the stories of people being ripped off for $30,000 or $40,000 after buying fakes and being refused a refund.

    That being said, when an electrum trite came up for auction, I decided to bid. I was the winner at 1,126 EUR which was an outstanding deal IMO. Fast forward eight months later when Joe from Forvm questioned the authenticity of the piece for two reasons. One, he said the punches looked irregular and some dirt encrustations appeared painted on. He thought it was fake and suggested I send it to NGC if I wanted a second opinion. As you might have guessed, it was rejected by NGC as a forgery.

    In February I contacted Lanz and his reply was this:
    "If you really want to return this Trite you can but not because NGC has a negative opinion, but because you are an old client. NGC has absolut no capacity give an expertise on a globular trite. Regards Dr. Hubert Lanz"

    I was amazed he had agreed, thanked him and immediately sent him the trite. A month went by, I emailed him several times and he finally replied, "everyone was gone on Easter vacation." After several more emails, in May, I get an email saying he cleaned the coin and relisted it on Ebay. In the new Ebay listing, the description now included, "Somewhat harshly cleaned." I asked him what gave him the right to clean and sell a coin he accepted back for a refund and he said he "wouldn't charge me for the professional cleaning."

    Looking worse without the fake dirt, the coin sold for 694 EUR to some poor soul who thinks he won the lottery. Obviously, those who knew the coin stayed far away.

    When I again asked for a full refund, he said, "the trite was sold on Ebay and the result was €694,-, unfortunately you just paid to mach. I will pay you the full amount of €694,-, and shoulder the ebay fees for selling this genuine piece." This he did refund to me today, a loss of 432 EUR.

    I still demanded a complete refund and Lanz replied that he never agreed to a refund because he was having "a hip replaced in Bangkok." I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP! Then the best part was his concluding comment, "Ask NGC for a refund for making false expertises. Regards Hubert Lanz"

    Anyway, I take full responsibility for this mess, I knew the dealer, I knew his reputation but I ignored it for a coin I wanted. I also feel awful that someone else now has this coin in their collection. I hope this confession spares someone else the frustration that I have experienced. And thanks to honest dealers like Joe at Forum ancient coins who have the highest degree of honesty and integrity.

    Here is the "improved" trite and description, eBay item number: 233216959910:
    Ionia/ Lydia - Uncertain

    Circa 680-650 BC.

    EL Trite – 1/3 Stater.

    12mm // 4,53g.

    Lydo-Milesian standard.

    Obv: Blank convex surface

    Rev: Two square punches with raised lines within.

    Weidauer –, but cf. 4 (hecte); SNG Kayhan 673.

    VF, somewhat harshly cleaned.
    Plumbata, Theodosius and Jay GT4 like this.
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  3. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear that Nemo. Fake coin report? Maybe the new owner will see it and ask for his money back. Any chance Paypal or Ebay can do something? If you have emails saying he'll refund maybe it's worth a shot.

    Joe is fantastic.
  4. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    I will post it in the fake reports, I should have thought of that already. I guess it wouldn't hurt to contact PayPal. However, technically he didn't say he would give me a refund, just that I could return it. I assumed that meant I would get my money back....
    Theodosius and Jay GT4 like this.
  5. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Oh, what a snake! Sorry for your loss - both the coin and the euros.
    Nemo likes this.
  6. MeowtheKitty

    MeowtheKitty Well-Known Member

    Meow has experienced that Fleabay will refund your money, all of it; If there is a legitimate case, and you go through all the hoops to file a case. It is not hard to do, and takes about a week. Meow has had good results, and is confident in the Fleabay system.
  7. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    I don't know what this means but it made me laugh, thanks!
  8. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper Supporter

    Stop buying any coins from him, even if you are pretty darn sure the coin you are buying is real. Don't reward a dealer that occasionally sells fakes and cheats customers out of money like that. What a snake.
  9. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    “Trite you can but not because NGC has a negative opinion, but because you are an old client. NGC has absolut no capacity give an expertise on a globular trite. Regards Dr. Hubert Lanz"

    That’s hilarious coming from Lanz.

    The punches are completely wrong and the coin is too light for a trite. We also probably did a metal test on the coin if you have the NGC cert number I can look tomorrow.

    This is part of a huge influx of fake electrum hitting the market. Mostly striated and blank issues with wrong punches and metal content that fluctuates from pure gold to no gold to brass to nearly all silver. It’s a real problem right now.

    Barry Murphy
  10. Orielensis

    Orielensis Well-Known Member

    What a horrible experience!

    In the past, I have occasionally bought some inexpensive coins from Lanz, mostly small Greek bronzes and LRBs in the $10–20 range. After reading your post, I won't do so anymore. I doubt that this will make much of a difference to Lanz, but such behavior is unacceptable and I won't support it.
    Nemo likes this.
  11. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

    I do wonder how someone like this stays in business, you would think it would catch up to him at some point.
    @Barry Murphy he really hates you guys. I can’t imagine a higher compliment! If I posted all of his correspondence, you would think he had lost his mind. After saying he was in Bankock having his hip replaced then telling me to get a refund from you, I figured it was enough.
    Pellinore, Theodosius and Jay GT4 like this.
  12. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    He hates us because we keep him honest, and he doesn’t like that.

    Barry Murphy.
    Pellinore, Okidoki, Carthago and 9 others like this.
  13. Nemo

    Nemo Well-Known Member

  14. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Completely aside from the topic, medical vacations are common to Thailand. Their medical care is absurdly cheap and plenty of people travel there just for that reason.
  15. dougsmit

    dougsmit Member Supporter

    In the last ten years we have had more than one post on Lanz. I fail to understand why anyone who reads this list for a while would patronize them. They cheated me twice and I feel like a fool for the second one. As a result, I stopped buying from eBay from their country.
    ....and I felt like a fool for the second one?

    I only have three Lanz coins (the two I paid for in the last decade never came), Of the three, the most recent is this favorite from 2000. Was I foolish then, too?
    Pellinore, maridvnvm and chrsmat71 like this.
  16. Ken Dorney

    Ken Dorney Yea, I'm Cool That Way...

    Pretty crummy way to treat an 'old client'.
    Nemo likes this.
  17. Bing

    Bing Illegitimi non carborundum Supporter

    Man, that's a horrible story. I have purchased w/o problem from Lanz, but was a long time ago. I will most certainly stay away after reading your account. Sorry brother. That's a big loss in my books.
    Kasia and Nemo like this.
  18. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Nice coin Doug. You’re OK with that.

    Lanz sells a lot of real coins. The problem is he also sell quite a few forgeries and repaired coins and is normally not willing to give a refund, at least that’s the story that’s been repeated by quite a few collectors in various forums. He quit the IAPN to avoid having to give a refund on a $30,000 fake.

    If you want to study tooling, look at the sestertii in the last 10 Lanz sales. Most are tooled or fake.

    Some other fakes in the last 2 sales.... 8C830F82-3D71-47EC-A9A8-EA1E8C179519.jpeg 9B188910-C141-4F87-AFBE-C05D14C10D70.jpeg 44038ACA-2DA5-4A01-AE61-F32080394490.jpeg

    Barry Murphy
  19. red_spork

    red_spork Triumvir monetalis Supporter

    That's a real shame @Nemo. I really do hope this post might at least help the latest buyer get his or her money back. Whenever Lanz comes up I can't help but quote a very telling post he made on the Coin Forgery Discussion List a few years ago while discussing a tooled aureus:

    Restauration is not tooling.
    Beauty sells better not only in women.
    Dr. Hubert Lanz
    Nemo likes this.
  20. Barry Murphy

    Barry Murphy Well-Known Member

    Of course the root word of restoration is restore, which means to return to a previous condition. This coin never looked like this...., 23BCD659-8F53-453D-9629-9F6A3C91E931.jpeg
    benhur767, Pellinore, Okidoki and 5 others like this.
  21. ToughCOINS

    ToughCOINS Dealer Member Moderator

    If the seller never indicated there would be a restocking charge, I think a full refund is implied, or at least a full refund minus shipping, and I'd be surprised if PayPal did not agree.
    Nicholas Molinari, Nemo and chrsmat71 like this.
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