Tuesday, 23 June 2009

ACCG Misleading its Members: Twenty Days Left

Coin collectors in the US should take note that there are still twenty days for the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG), Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN) to call off their stunt involving using their members' money to fight a case brought on by an attempt to illegally import ancient coins without the requisite paperwork. This goes against the codes of ethics of these three organizations, a fact that all those who thought they actually meant something should note.

There has been some confusion introduced into the discussion which is failing to take place in no-questions-asked collecting circles over this. About ten days ago I made a post here in which any interested coin collectors and other observers can learn for themselves what piece of paper is missing to make this ACCG import legal and above board. It's not a particularly onerous task to get it. I even copied out the relevant paragraphs of the CPIA for them so they do not have to tire their mouse-clicking fingers overly to look at it.

Coin dealer Dave Welsh however says something different. On Moneta-L yesterday he informed members:
But to read what Barford said about this test case in his blog, you would think that this is an unethical gambit on the part of the ACCG.
[I must interrupt him here, actually, there is absolutely NO question about it, it is (even by the weasel-worded ACCG code of ethics... which is thereby shown to be worth nothing) an unethical gambit, it is also supremely mis-timed, but more of that later]

He harps upon the "piece of paper" that is all that has to be presented to secure the release of the coins, never of course mentioning that this document is not a packing list or other easily obtained bit of paperwork, but is instead an official export permit that cannot be obtained in practice.
Now that is sheer nonsense, since in my post I very clearly define what this missing piece of paper consists of. Very precisely. It is as easily obtainable from a reputable (note that word) dealer who is exporting these items, and it has nothing to do at this stage with "export licences". I find this comment on a numismatic forum from one of the officers of the main organization involved in this stunt extremely odd. Unless this is deliberate misinformation, it firstly suggests he apparently does not - as an importer of ancient coins - actually know in any detail what the laws of his own country at least say. That is shocking. Secondly the tracking widget over in the margin of this blog shows that somebody in Goleta California (which is where his Classical coins business is based) has been reading those specific posts about the ACCG illegal import stunt where I write quite clearly what this piece of paper should look like. (If its not Dave Welsh, and the person responsible is reading this now, give him a ring and tell him what you read).

But that's not the end of the misinformation, John Hooker who the ACCG is now increasingly relying on to produce "ideologies" for collecting (he's going to start up a "conservation spoof" blog soon and write some ideological bit about Jung) has joined in the effort to misinform "Monetans". He too says that I do not understand why there cannot be an "export licence". John, read the CPIA for yourself. We are not talking now about export licences.

Mr Hooker tells Monetans that the law is being broken by those involved:
to fight unreasonable U.S. import restrictions. The only way that this can be done under U.S. law is through an actual case and in the courts.
Well, first of all a detailed reading of the CPIA actually shows it gives such leeway to importers to be virtually meaningless (which was probably the intent of its authors), so I really think in the circumstances that the coineys' claim that these are "unreasonable U.S. import restrictions" is simply laughable. Secondly of course even in the US there is no need to break a law to get it repealed or rewritten. There are other mechanisms. The ACCG has however decided to flaunt the law to influence international policy.

Fine, but let them be totally honest and open with their members about what this is about. What kind of piece of paper is it Mr Welsh? Answers on Moneta-L please.

Photo: astronomical clock. Time is running out... .

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