.On his Numismatics and Archaeology blog, Nathan Elkins discusses two recently-offered lots of Roman coins cutely labelled by their sellers „English dugups”. He notes the relationship between these offers and the coin dealer-rhetoric urging other nations to adopt the “British system”.
Elkins notes lots of coins offered by sellers Joe Blazick (caesars12 on eBay) and Tony Jaworski of Common Bronze, selling unwashed, unrecorded coins from Suffolk. Neither offer seems to mention the existence of an export licence (which of course, being the declared products of direct excavation, by law their export without one is totally illegal). The coins shown by Elkins are anything but "unsorted" and "unwashed". Given the existence of the PAS in Britain and the general support it has among the numismatic community, why would any ethical dealer be dealing in unrecorded ancient coins from England? Why would any ethical collector buy them? This stinks.
Elkins rightly emphasizes that “schemes like the PAS are not effective solutions against systematic looting as long as dealers and collectors refuse to conduct any degree of due diligence”. He points out that “the PAS […] is not a license to loot systematically in order to provide masses of material for market consumption” (though some of us would say that whatever the original intent, in effect, through its current “partnership” with artefact hunters, that is precisely what it turns out to be).
It seems to me whether "friend of numismatics" or not, the PAS should be in touch with Messers Blazick and Jaworski tomorrow to find out where those coins came from and what documentation they have that they were obtained legally from their finder and the landowner(s). I doubt though that they will.
Photo: and where do no-questions asked dealers get the coins from? who knows where they come from and how?