USPS is no longer shipping “coins”; it’s on their “prohibited” list???????

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Libby007, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. Libby007

    Libby007 Member

    Hello fellow CT members: (I also posted this on the "Ancients" forum)

    I know this subject has been kicked around for years. However, this morning at my local Post Office I was told that USPS is no longer shipping “coins”; it’s on their “prohibited” list.

    I’m a small ancient coin dealer in Virginia. The majority of coins I sell are in the $300-$3,000 price range. I want to “insure” delivery or have the coins insured for full value.

    In the past four years I have mailed 100’s of coins both domestically and internationally via the USPS. In the last nine months I have had two separate coins sales lost in transit – within the receiving country (Germany).

    Although I sent them Registered with declared value, I was told that “declared value” means nothing. Subsequently, USPS rent me refunds for the postage paid ($86.00 for both packages) but nothing for the value declared ($2,100).

    So now I’m in a rock/hard spot. How do I ship/mail my coins – domestically and internationally - so that they are insured for full value? I checked with UPS and was told that they will not ship ancient coins to Europe.

    So ….. ANY advice or “pointers” would be appreciated.

    Wash – Wash – Wash …. And stay healthy!
    Inspector43 likes this.
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  3. Inspector43

    Inspector43 73 Year Collector Supporter

    @Libby007 I got some ancients from Europe recently. They were uncleaned and value not declared, But, the person sent them as "old bronze coins for education" to avoid a ton of paperwork.
  4. Dougmeister

    Dougmeister Well-Known Member

    I dunno. I still see it in their regulations...

    134.1 Service Options
    • The following services can be used to send the articles noted in 134.2:
      • First-Class Mail International service with Registered Mail service or First-Class Package International Service with Registered Mail service.
      • Priority Mail International service.
    Note: Priority Mail Express International service cannot be used to send the articles noted in 134.2.

    134.2 List of Articles
    The following valuable articles may be sent only with the services noted in 134.1:
    • Coins, banknotes, and currency notes (paper money).
  5. Histman

    Histman Too Many Coins, Not Enough Time!

    Interesting. I have purchased some 20 coins from European countries over the last month and a half and have received most of them to this point. Especially from Europe. I even had coins come in from Nepal. I hope that doesn't become an issue, especially if it is state-to-state. I'll be hard-pressed to buy those things on eBay. Most people just ship via flat rate boxes.
  6. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    First, especially if you are a dealer, get private insurance. I'm a collector and I have it. Not only will they pay the full insured value if a package is lost, but when you send via registered mail, you put a big fat zero as the value on the USPS form. This makes the package much less attractive to thieves. Hopefully, your return address does not indicate a coin dealer.

    If you are mailing domestically, they should not ask what's in the box. If they do, say it's business papers, which won't be a lie because there will be an invoice or receipt in there. If mailing internationally, you have to consider the PO on the other end and whether they will inspect the package. You could put down "tokens" and maybe get away with it. Some foreign countries consider all ancient coins that may have originated in that country to be government property. You should look into FedEx for foreign shipments, but it might be expensive.

  7. xCoin-Hoarder'92x

    xCoin-Hoarder'92x Storm Tracker

    They won't know the contents in most packages. Also I don't remember USPS asking me what's inside... none of their business. How would they enforce this?
  8. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    I just get the question : Anything perishable, liquid,nuclear, bacteria, viruses or live scorpions....and I press NO.
    xCoin-Hoarder'92x and Mainebill like this.
  9. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    Live scorpions lol. I wonder what would have happened if I shipped this girl to someone 8BC4EC75-CD0A-439D-A8F8-5B54E5AF7C6B.jpeg
    Paddy54 and xCoin-Hoarder'92x like this.
  10. LRC-Tom

    LRC-Tom Been around the block...

    I've occasionally had postal clerks ask what the contents are, when it's a single coin in a Safe-t-Mler in an envelope. A thin envelope that looks like it just contains a few pages of paperwork. The concern is that paperwork can be sent Certified but not Insured. My answer of "Merchandise" is the magic word that they want to hear.
  11. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I have seen "pressed metal parts" and bet "medals" would probably work.
  12. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    You were told wrong, probably by a clerk misinterpriting the regs. You can't ship CASH (except by Registered mail) and many postal clerks think that since coins are cash they can't be shipped. But collectible coins are an exception to the "can't ship cash" rule. They can be shipped and insured and the insurance will pay based on the collectible value not the face value.

    Now as to the Registered Mail packages sent to Germany. If you check the regulations you will find that Registered mail will pay the declared value on all domestic shipments, but that once a Registered Mail package leaves the country the MAXIMUM reimbursement is $49 no matter how much the declared value is.

    When it comes to international shipping about the only way to have your packages insured is to use a third party insurer.
    Dougmeister likes this.
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