The shocking truth about coins from Baltic Regions
25 Feb 2014 09:38:31
In some regions of the world it is strictly illegal to try and sell coins or any types of antiquities, often these have been looted at night from historical areas without the landowners consent and against the law. This is particularly a large problem in the Roman Baltic regions. We are always staggered by the amounts of people contacting us from this region trying to sell coins. Being an ethical supplier we always refuse to purchase them, but they continue run the gauntlet knowing they could go to prison. Despite this the unethical and illegal trade in coins and antiquities from this region can be readily seen all over the Internet.
Read this shocking e-mail that we received from someone in Croatia:
Hello, I have some uncleaned roman coins for sale. I coming from Croatia, and I have 5 friends who searching for roman coins in the area of antic Mursa and Cibalia, Sirium, Siscia etc. If you interested let me know. Quantities depends on the season, for example now are all crops down, and now season for us begins till the strong winter and snow... I can monthly delivered to you 1000s uncelaned coins from me and my friends, but I am also connected with other coin searchers so if you want more I can buy from them and sold to you.... Also we have silver denarius various kinds, anthonianus, sometimes good sestertius, folis, as, good archeology small and big it depends on our luck on field....in the past there was bronce and silver medals, but now there is mostly small coins and denarius. I have at home some example of coins that I have found, I have sent you pictures of coins and artefacts we find. Please contact me for price
Our reply was follows:
Hi I am afraid we only purchase ethically obtained hoards or collections of coins, and it is Illegal to sell coins from Croatia unless you have official permission. Do you have official permission??
Hello Dont need to check the laws, because I can not get approval, it is illegal hobby here unfortunately...my friend almost get in jail... Please be aware of my own risk and do not mention my name or e mail ever. We are selling but without any state approval, just sending via DHL and using paypal for transaction, you are buying on kilos, but I selling per coin, I will be happy with this price: 1 dollar for one poor coin, and two dollars for better quality coins and bigger, also will get in bulk poor folis, as and provincial folis, for good and nice antonianus we can negotiate, and denars also depends on quality and rare. I can get many kinds of fibula, now I have peace of military diploma with letters on it ( i can send you a picture so you can set the price for it if you interesting?, we sold one piece of diploma to Berkshire from UK, every time something else is find, two days ago my friend found sestertius from auelius and sell it for 1000 euros do you buying that kind of coins or just regular and not rare small coins we call it bulk. I was thinking that we can trading without any papers or approvals, if you do just like that unfortunately I can just say nice to meet you and good luck.
It is clear that they know the risks yet supply a very wide number of dealers globally. This kind of large scale organised and illegal looting is literally ruining any archaeology and context from these regions as nothing is recorded.
They obviously know what each and every coin is, and what it is worth. They sell them separately by type and grade and pick all the best ones out. This is the reason why people never find anything other than disappointment in those lots of “1000 unopened coins” you often see for sale on ebay. These coins are flooding the global market, but we refuse to be any part of it.
The dealers that sell these coins fuel this robbery by encouraging looting. They also knowingly push the poorest grade lowest quality coins onto their customers.
As you can see from the e-mail we received, the land they detect is also rapidly running out of the better finds. It is only a question of time until this region is completely exhausted. Supply is definitely slowing and demand is increasing. Unfortunately those that make an illegal living from coins and antiquities in this region are now also producing a wide range of faked and artificially aged coins to replace their income that is being lost from the Illegal genuine coins becoming scarcer.
Please read more about Ethical Regulations.