General News

24.07.2015 - Online petition for preserving the right to privately collect

July 23, 2015 – The ministerial draft on the new German legislation on the Protection of Cultural heritage is currently under heavy fire by the media. One possible reason is that no experts from the trade were involved in its preparation. Both the trade and the German Numismatic Society were left out of the preparations of the draft bill right from the start. Thus, representatives of the trade had to enforce their claim for participation in the preparatory meeting held at the Federal Foreign Office in December 2014 by writing a letter to the Federal Foreign Minister. Its request notwithstanding, the German Numismatic Society was not even allowed to attend the oral hearing of the draft bill on April 22, 2015. The key arguments of the German Coin Dealer Associations fizzle out because, after three months, there is still no publication of the minutes of the hearing from April 22, 2015, in sight so that the Ministers who will vote on the draft in the near future have no idea about where the representatives of the trade stand on this. This is all the more disappointing because Dr Günter Winands, Deputy of the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media, has stated expressively in the mentioned hearing that coins will be regarded separately.

The German collectors thus intend to light a beacon that hundreds of thousands of coin collectors in this country do not want a law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage that makes the bureaucratic due diligence procedures impossible to follow, to the effect that any collecting will be rendered impossible. The new legislation must not have the effect that objects, whose provenance cannot be ascertained for the past 20 years, diminish in value significantly and sometimes cannot even be traded anymore.

Affected are not only ancient coins, with items worth 100 euros and more requiring special due diligence procedures, but all coins above a value limit of 2,500 euros. 

The wording of the petition reads as follows:

For preserving the right to privately collect

The stipulations of the amendment of the law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage threaten the collecting of cultural objects by private individuals. This law will effect everybody specialized in traditional collecting fields, such as books, stamps, furniture, ceramics, coins, classic cars and paintings. Retroactively, this new law will impose due diligence guidelines that are impossible to follow even for the most meticulous collector. When it comes to a dispute, the law will require, by reversing the burden of proof, the owner of a “cultural good” with a value of at least 2,500 euros to provide proof as to the item’s provenance for the previous 20 years; this affects “archaeological cultural goods” with a value as low as 100 euros.

This is an unrealistic demand which misrepresents most of the objects that are currently traded on the domestic and the international art market in full accordance with the law as being illegal, and will result in a considerable decline in value of the objects in question.

We therefore demand a law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage that observes the following principles:

  • No retroactive effect of the law
  • No reversal of the burden of proof
  • A clear definition of the term “national cultural heritage” and a limit to claims by the state to “national cultural heritage” only
  • Free movement, unimpaired by bureaucratic obstacles, of cultural goods which are not classified as “natural cultural heritage”, EU-wide, according to the free movement of goods
  • An appropriate participation by the parties representing collectors and dealers in the law-making process

For centuries collectors have protected cultural heritage. Private collecting adds to national efforts and promotes the tradition’s preservation in all its variety, in a way museums alone could never accomplish. Collecting is an immaterial cultural heritage that is currently threatened by the latest drafts of the new German law on the Protection of Cultural Heritage.

It is important that the German government notes that this petition is appreciated abroad. Add your name to the online petition the matter of which we explicitly support. It will only take you a few minutes. You can sign either by name or anonymously.

So please support your fellow collectors by signing, too, and distributing the link as widely as possible.

Actively participating in this petition and informing as many collectors as possible is the only chance for us of getting a hearing from the politicians. It is high time that the collectors gain the government’s attention again, not just some fanatic archaeologists.

Click here to visit the online petition.

13.08.2014 - Minnesota Law – Bullion Coin Invoice

Mail from Marc Breitsprecher to our member Ed Waddell, August 13th, 2014:

Hi Ed,

I have attached a copy of the “bullion coin invoice” that I developed to meet the standards of the law and thought you might be interested. I think all dealers and collectors need to be vigilant as the Minnesota Attorney General, Lori Swanson, plans on spreading this to other states….she feels it’s landmark legislation.

Here in Minnesota there were only a small handful of dealers who said a word about this. Collectors were silent and most dealers were silent. Part of the problem was that the legislature kept the entire thing as quiet as they could and then passed it through both houses and got it signed by the governor in 3 days. There were no alerts sent out by the numismatic community and other than Gary Adkins, the ANA knew nothing about the law even after it passed. I called them and they had no idea what I was talking about. The only response came from Ebay who sent their attorneys to Minnesota with a bushel of cash and successfully carved out an exemption for themselves. Money bought Ebay a voice in committee while my voice as a citizen was ignored by our “representative”Republic.
All the best, Marc


08.08.2014 - New addresses – Nouvelles adresses

Please, note the change of address of the following members:
changement de adresse des membres suivants

Fritz Rudolf Künker GmbH & Co. KG, Osnabrück
Nobbenburgerstr. 4a, 49076 Osnabrück Germany

Nudelman Numizmatika Kft.
Petöfi Sándor Utca 16, 1052 Budapest, Hungary

01.07.2014 - Minnesota Bullion Law

Dealers to reject Minnesota clients

Posted on July 1, 2014 by Pat Heller

The nation’s coin dealers are saying no to Minnesotans. Their choice is to reject these clients or comply with a draconian new state law.

It might surprise some that it has come to this, but there has been a long lead time in reaching this point of decision to stop doing business with people in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Last year the Minnesota legislature and governor, in response to what were considered a large number of incidents of coin dealers taking advantage of customers in that state, enacted what was supposed to be a consumer protection solution. That law took effect on Tuesday, July 1


20.06.2014 - Operation Choke Point – IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM PNG

From: Robert Brueggeman

To: All PNG Member-Dealers

June 19, 2014

RE: Operation Choke Point

There is a U.S. Justice Department initiative that has the potential to shut down every coin dealer — PNG member and non-PNG member alike — in the United States as well as curtail business by overseas dealers who use US-based banks. Read that again: the potential to shut down every coin dealer.

The threat is real, and this urgent email is sent to make sure every PNG member is aware of this profession-killing peril, and to encourage members to promptly take appropriate action.

The coin market menace is called “Operation Choke Point” and it literally has the potential to choke your business to death by pressuring banks and other financial institutions to close your accounts. Why?  Because, according to the Justice Department, you are engaged in a business with a high risk for fraud.

A May 29, 2014 report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform stated: “Operation Choke Point has forced banks to terminate relationships with a wide variety of entirely lawful and legitimate merchants….  Acting in coordination with Operation Choke Point, bank regulators labeled a wide range of lawful merchants as high-risk including coin dealers….”

The concept of innocent until proven guilty apparently no longer applies to professional numismatists.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FIDC) now includes coin dealers in the same risk category as ammunition sales, drug paraphernalia, credit card repair services, debt consolidation scams, escort services, online gambling, payday loan companies, Ponzi schemes and pornography.

Coin dealers are specifically mentioned on pages 1 and 8 of the House Committees report, and you can read the full report here: http://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Staff-Report-Operation-Choke-Point1.pdf

So, what can you do?  First, support the recently-launched efforts by the Industry Council For Tangible Assets (https://owa.kuenker.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=7zkLxXenDUiG0rFxmJK8hFMEMaDfX9EIR_uWAVTcp_LQuJ-nnJmCen_CD-AmTr0XEOevKtAuCN4.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.ictaonline.org%2f) and the Gold & Silver Political Action Committee (http://www.goldandsilverpac.com) to oppose the unreasonable and unfair actions by the Justice Department.  ICTA and G&SPAC are on the front lines of fighting for legislative matters on behalf of professional numismatists.

Second, personally contact your local member of the United States House of Representatives and your state two U.S. Senators to strongly urge them to vigorously oppose the frightening, sweeping generalizations of Operation Choke Hold as outlined in the eye-opening May 29 report of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  (There are 40 members on that committee; perhaps your local Congressman/Congresswoman is one of them. Here's a list of members: http://oversight.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee)

Earlier this month, a trade organization representing payday loan businesses filed a federal lawsuit (https://owa.kuenker.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=7zkLxXenDUiG0rFxmJK8hFMEMaDfX9EIR_uWAVTcp_LQuJ-nnJmCen_CD-AmTr0XEOevKtAuCN4.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fcfsaa.com%2fPortals%2f0%2flegal%2flawsuit%2fcfsa_complaint.pdf) against the FDIC, the Federal Reserve System Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. PNG’s Legal Counsel Armen Vartian will be following the progress of that complaint and PNG may file a friend of the court brief.

If you think your business has been harmed by bank actions arising from Operation Choke Hold, please contact me immediately.

Robert Brueggemann

17.06.2014 - Operation Choke Point

We have just become aware of a US Department of Justice initiative called Operation Choke Point. It appears that the US government is pressuring financial institutions not to do business with companies in trades in which the government claims there is a high risk of fraudulent activity. There is an allegation that the actual government goal is to deny banking services to types of business that the government objects to for ideological reasons. Among those being targeted are coin dealers. A group representing payday lenders has filed a lawsuit challenging the initiative as contrary to law.

Here is the Wikipedia article on Operation Choke Point with links to a congressional report criticizing the initiative and links to the lawsuit that has just been filed:

Here is an article from The Economist:

15.05.2014 - Carmen Arnold-Biucci Statement for the CPAC Meeting

Attached the letter from Carmen Arnold-Biucci – Damarete Curator of Ancient Coins, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Lecturer on the Classics, President of the International Numismatic Council – sent to the Cultural Property Advisory Committee, Cultural Heritage Center


11.05.2014 - Coinex 2014

COINEX 2014 26 & 27 September, The Ballroom, Millennium Hotel, 44 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HP

I am pleased to attach a copy of the Booking Form for Coinex 2014. Please return this as soon as possible. Please ensure that you read the Terms and Conditions noting the changes highlighted in red.

I would be most grateful if you could send the attached files to the members of the IAPN advising them of Coinex 2014.

Best wishes and many thanks, Rosemary, General Secretary BNTA



17.04.2014 - Fraud attack form Mr. Diaz from France

This information was brought to us through the Gemran Dealer Association. The text is in German, but the message clear:

Derzeit erhalten sowohl Mitglieder unseres Verbandes als auch Briefmarkenhändler, von einem gewissen „LIONEL DIAZ“ (https://owa.kuenker.de/owa/redir.aspx?C=7zkLxXenDUiG0rFxmJK8hFMEMaDfX9EIR_uWAVTcp_LQuJ-nnJmCen_CD-AmTr0XEOevKtAuCN4.&URL=mailto%3alionel.diaz%40aol.fr), angeblich aus Frankreich, unten anhängende Email, wonach er von einem Händler einen Posten Münzen gekauft hat, der u.a. auch einige deutsche Münzen enthält. Da Herr DIAZ nur französische Münzen sammelt und angeblich  keine Ahnung vom Wert der Münzen hat, fragt er nach dem Wert der Münzen. Bilder der Münzen (alle in NGC-Slabs) sind der Email beigefügt.

Nach Recherchen im Internet stellt man fest, dass er die Bilder aus recht aktuellen Auktionen (z. B. Heritage) aus dem Internet kopiert hat. Es handelt sich hierbei um die Originalbilder der Auktion, er hat die Bilder also nicht selbst angefertigt. Seine Behauptung, dass er die Preise der Münzen nicht kennt stimmt nicht, da diese direkt neben dem Original Auktionsbild stehen. Auch, wenn man dann Herrn Diaz einen viel zu niedrigen Preis anbietet, ist er zum Verkauf bereit. Er verlangt allerdings Vorkasse. Händler, die auf diese Masche hereingefallen sind, haben niemals Ware erhalten.

Mit dieser „Masche“ versucht Herr Diaz schon seit längerem – auch bei Briefmarkenhändlern  - angeblich „teure Stücke“ zu verkaufen (s. hierzu auch nachfolgenden Link, im unteren Teil) http://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=41739

Nachfolgend der Originaltext der Email:

Hope you understand english as I don’t speak german.

I got some german coins and I did some search on internet but with no real result.

I bought part of the stock from a retired dealer for my own collection

(France) and I found some foreign coins, 7 of them are from Germany.

Each one is certified in a NGC slab.

The 7 coins are (as stated on each slab) :
– 5 Mark 1927A MS65

– 5 Mark 1925A PF65

– 5 Mark 1930A PF65

– 5 Mark 1929E PF65

– 3 Mark 1928D PF66

– 50 Reichspfenig 1924E MS62

– 5 Mark 1928J PF65

As I don't collect Germany I don’t know what they are. Do you know ? I assume they have some value since they are slabbed.

I join pictures if that can help to tell me more about these coins.

Thank’s a lot in advance
Lionel DIAZ from France