Wednesday, 11 December 2013

"Metal Detected" Hungarian Hammered Coins on Sale in US in Plastic Folders

For anyone curious about the coins which are among those Peter Tompa collects*, here's a US collector talking about his numismatic research on "handmade" coins metal detected from central Europe which come with a certificate of authenticity - but apparently no finds release documentation or export licence.  But he was assured that they were "legitimate coins and I took their word for that".
"It's a lovely coin" [actually, most are pretty cruddy strikes PMB], "it's just a little bit smaller than I expected" [his "World Coins" catalogue presumably includes no diameters]  ..."but, like I said, for a four to six hundred year old coin, its amazing, that it can be sitting here in my living room".
By the way, it's not a "dinar" young man, learn something about the difference. Is that PVC?

You Tube video posted by "Albanian Silver"

US coin collectors, advocates of removing restrictions on the no-questions-asked dugup antiquities market in the US insist that the people who buy them are engaged in "research" and some kind of academic activity with these decontextualised and unsourced pieces of loose "data" . When challenged to point to a textbook of the methodology of such a "discipline" and statistical presentation of the output of this activity conducted by 50 000 (they say) collectors, they are totally unable to do so (see the discussion on the pages of this blog on this topic with ACCG's Dave Welsh earlier this year). I think, if the truth were known (and I maintain there are few in the coin dealing world interested in the truth becoming known), a substantial proportion of the dugup coins smuggled out of the source countries and ending up on the US market are going to people like this, eager to have something "cool" in their living room, which they can then show off (as this young man is doing here). He has not even troubled to go beyond what it says in the (two-page, easy to digest) "book" he has just bought with the coin in it. I think it a proposition worth examining that the "wannabe-researchers" who figure so large in the US coiney propaganda are just a minority group on the edge of a larger "cool-stuff-collecting" community. 

* According to the ACCG webpage, "He is an avid collector with a special interest in Greek coins from the city states of Magna Graecia and Sicily, Roman coins of Marcus Aurelius and Medieval Hungarian issues", though, interestingly Peter Tompa has removed that information which was until recently visible in his blog's profil, when and why? What has he got to hide? 

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