Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sayles Suspends Sales

Over the past few days there have been a number of sycophantic posts on coiney blogs lauding Wayne Sayles. There was Dealer Dave's fluff piece: "Wayne vs. Goliath" (March 16, 2012, cross posted onto several lists) and Lobboblogger Peter's "Help David Take on Goliath" (March 15th 2012) with the US government cast as the Philistines. One wonders why so much attention is suddenly being paid by the dealers' lobbyists to why Sayles has been battling his own country's government over its efforts to prevent culture crime at such great risk to himself. One might wonder whether they are preparing their readers for something?

I ask this because readers may recall that a while ago Wayne Sayles was moaning that because of his anti-government activities in the ACCG in favour of suspending import controls on unlawfully-exported coins into the US, he probably was on an ICE 'watch list'. Now it seems that Mr Sayles' firm Sayles and Lavender went offline. - nota bene, this seems to have happened about the same time as a coin dealer was arrested at a numismatic conference in New York and is facing a court case over a numismatic items he was selling. Nevertheless, according to Sayles' current LinkedIn profile it should still be online:
Sayles and Lavender [January 2007Present (5 years 3 months)] is a limited liability corporation chartered in the state of Georgia. The primary activity of this corporation is retail sales of ancient coins and books about them. Marketing activities are directed mainly at online venues. The firm maintains three storefronts at and serves other customers through private treaty.
We find however that despite this, his V-Coins shop Sayles & Lavender has also gone. Odd. I recall I have seen that happen equally suddenly at least once before recently...

Is it a coincidence that in the last few days we observe a fellow coin dealer, also in the ACCG board of directors, suddenly changing his tack over the Greeks "who cannot look after their own heritage [so they might as well sell it to us]", and making a hefty donation to the Greek Archaeologists' Association (and no I'm not going to give him free advertising by giving the link), writing of "the importance of safeguarding Greece’s antiquities and protecting that nation's more than 1,000 archaeological sites", against looting? What a volte face from someone notorious for his constant anti-archaeological sniping and carping ! What has happened to make him - suddenly it would seem - believe it is worth making a gesture to show that deep down inside he has warm cuddly feelings for all archaeologists and he "really is" all for "protecting sites" and halting looting, theft and smuggling?

What is going on here? Why has Mr Sayles' sales site gone off line? Has something unpleasant befallen the veteran warrior for "Truth, Justice and the American Way" in coin collecting? Or has he just got tired of dealing with suppliers who cannot tell him where what they are trading actually comes from? Has he realised the days of nineteenth century no-questions-asked dealing are numbered and is getting out while the going is good? What has happened to his stock, his business records which are a vital link in the collecting histories of all the coins he handled in his career as a dealer? In whose hands are they now? Where will they end up?


Ancient Coin House said...

The way the current law has been interpreted.
Homeland Security has the authority to seize any ancient coins mailed from outside the USA to US Residents.
So, if you buy the coins overseas you can lose your money. The other effect is that prices will go up. There are many collectors and supply has been limited since some sellers outside the USA will not sell to Americans since their coins can be seized under the MOU with Italy. --- Alex K.

Paul Barford said...

I allowed that post, even though I suspect its author wants to advertise his coins here.

"Homeland Security has the authority to seize any ancient coins mailed from outside the USA to US Residents".
No, actually it does not.

"some sellers outside the USA will not sell to Americans since their coins can be seized under the MOU with Italy"
REALLY? I do not suppose you could show us an example of a dealer's website where he says "Will not ship to the USA"? Or two?

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