General News

  • 2024-01-01 04:00 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    With the beginning of the New Year, The IAPN are pleased to announce their long awaited website relaunch, resulting from an internal research and development initiative over the past several months.

    Members of the Association and the public alike are invited to explore the reorganized website for archived news, the activities of its Membership, important announcements on international trade and additional numismatic resources and ongoing event updates.

    Content available on the website has been reorganized by topic or associated to dedicated categories, while ongoing research into the Association's historical activities is being added as it becomes available. The Auction Calendar is regularly updated and the Lost Coin Archive is available for disseminating information when issues arise.

    For any enquiries about the IAPN, please contact the General Secretary.

  • 2023-10-06 01:47 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    IAPN Member, Jeff Garrett of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries Inc. has written an excellent article with important security reminders and suggestions for dealers and collectors alike. We encourage all to read and consider this important advice.

    Originally published on the NGC website, please use the following link read the entire article:

  • 2023-03-01 19:00 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    THE International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN) have joined Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Œuvres d’Art (CINOA) as an Associate Member. 

    Their membership to this important organization representing the art trade, enables the Association and its global members access to a better understanding of and participation in European political developments on trade regulations in cultural goods and on money-laundering legislation. In joining CINOA the IAPN are gaining further insight and influence within Brussels to help better understand future challenges within the numismatic industry and to cooperate in building communication channels with authorities of the European Union to ensure that the IAPN’s point of view is included in the decision-making that will eventually form future laws affecting the trade in cultural materials, numismatic or otherwise.

    Download the IAPN's Press Release to learn more about CINOA [PDF]

  • 2017-03-01 18:04 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    An article about Ancient Coin Restrictions by American Numismatic Association (ANA)

    Since 2007, the ANA has been involved with the global issue of cultural property, specifically with regard to numismatic artifacts. The hobby community’s interest in this topic began in 1983 when, in response to unlawful looting of archaeological sites abroad, the United States Senate passed the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act (CPIA). This legislation supports the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the “Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.” The concept behind the UNESCO Convention was to create a framework for governments to enter into agreements to enforce each other’s export-control laws on archaeological and ethnological objects.

    With some reservations, the Senate agreed to the convention with the intention of preserving the “independent judgment” of the United States as to when and how it would impose import restrictions on cultural artifacts when requested by governments that are in agreement with the Convention. The CPIA set up a panel of experts, the Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC), to assist the U.S. president in this decision-making process. The State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs was put in charge of the program, while U.S. Customs and Border Protection was tasked with implementing import restrictions.  

    Import/export regulations between the United States and other nations are drafted in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which clearly outlines each country’s responsibilities. Accompanying import restrictions then describe which categories of cultural artifacts might be subject to detention, seizure or repatriation. It is important to note that these MOUs affect American citizens only, regardless of whether the objects in question are available on the open market to citizens of other nations, including the country attempting to enforce the restrictions. This is problematic, especially since the State Department routinely disregards conditions requiring the source country to enforce its own laws.     

    Initially, import restrictions were imposed on behalf of poor, third-world countries, and on narrow categories of artifacts with high cultural value and rarity. However, since the 1990s, nations such as Italy, Cyprus and China have successfully placed restrictions on an ever-increasing range of artifacts, including ancient coins. The American Numismatic Association first became involved in the MOU process when Cyprus attempted to place such items on its restricted list. To protect the rights of American collectors, the ANA has worked with the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild and other organizations to send representatives to CPAC meetings and to address the attempts of Italy, Greece and other nations to restrict the import of ancient coins into the United States.

    A major concern with import restrictions is how they are enforced. The CPIA can authorize such enforcement only on objects of archaeological interest or cultural significance that are first discovered within and subject to export control of a specific UNESCO State Party. Such items can be seized only if they were exported from that UNESCO State Party after the date of restriction. Customs agencies ignore these limitations on their authority and instead draft restrictions based on the place of manufacture in ancient times without regard to the date of manufacture. They also seize artifacts imported into the U.S. after the date designated in the restriction. These practices have changed the CPIA’s focus from targeted restrictions to allowing an embargo on all objects made by a particular culture in ancient times.

    The ANA fully supports the idea of protecting cultural property, but has consistently argued that ancient coins should not be included in MOUs for a number of reasons. First, coins are among the most common and durable of artifacts (with a few notable exceptions), and therefore the information they contain is in no danger of being lost to historians or archaeologists in the way unique or rare objects would be if not preserved in cultural institutions. Additionally, there is no shortage of coins in museums in nations that have ancient specimens as part of their history, particularly Europe, the Middle East and China.

    Finally, coins are excellent teaching tools. Their durability—and the large number of specimens available—makes them ideal collectors’ items. They encourage interest in the past, which in turn promotes educational programs in museum and universities, many of whose collections were formed or financed by hobbyists.

    Originally published on the ANA website:

  • 2016-04-17 20:09 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    Statement of Arthur L. Friedberg, Honorary President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists on the Proposed Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Hellenic Republic and the United States of America

    March 31, 2016

    Dear Professor Reid and Members of the Committee:

    During my past tenure as President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists I closely followed the issues the committee addressed, and do so again now as it discusses the request of the Hellenic Republic. I last appeared before this committee to speak against the imposition of import restrictions on coins of Italian origin and remain of the opinion that similar restrictions already imposed against coins of Greek origin are unworkable, overreaching, impossible to enforce, and discriminatory against American citizens.

    Although I will not be speaking before you on May 24, my comments concerning the issue at hand are consistent with what I have said previously:           

    1) Import restrictions are unnecessary given that Customs already has the authority to detain, and should detain, suspect coins whether they are smuggled, improperly declared, or in the case of coins taken from the ground, stolen. In this regard, the Committee must distinguish between import restrictions and Customs authority to detain smuggled, improperly declared or stolen coins. Customs already has ample authority to seize smuggled or improperly declared artifacts, including coins. Customs can also seize artifacts stolen from museums or other collections. Finally, courts have already blessed efforts to repatriate artifacts traced to illicit excavations in another country where that country has unequivocally declared such material to be state property. In the appropriate case, U.S. Customs can, therefore, already seize coins taken from archaeological excavations and repatriate them to Greek authorities.

    2) There are significant practical problems presented. First, by restrictions in terms of the inability of the untrained and inexperienced to differentiate a coin of supposed Greek origin from a similar looking one struck outside of Greece and second, by difficulties in defining “country of origin.” Just as with Roman and Greek coins from Italy, the State Department will impose serious compliance issues on Customs, collectors, and the small businesses of the numismatic trade that import thousands upon thousands of ancient coins from the EU each year.

    Furthermore, ancient coins typically circulated far from their country of manufacture. For example, Chinese cash coins were exported in quantity from the fifth to tenth centuries to East Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaya, the Philippines, Sumatra, Java and Borneo. And, because Cyprus is located on an important trade route, coins minted in Cyprus circulated widely around the Mediterranean region and even as far away as Afghanistan. Accordingly, it is impossible to determine a coin’s find spot merely from identifying it as being made at a particular mint. It would also be false to assume the find spot of an ancient coin struck in ancient Greece would be modern Greece.  While the State Department appears to have recognized this fact at least with respect to large denomination Greek coins, the fact is most smaller denomination Greek coins (particularly those of silver and bronze created by Empires such as that of Alexander the Great) circulated too.  

    Problems of identification are numerous. Even experts may have difficulty distinguishing between ancient coin issues. Greek was lingua franca for centuries of Mediterranean civilization and was the language of inscription nearly everywhere until the advent of Rome. One needs to be a specialist to tell Chinese and Cypriot coins on the State Department’s “designated list” from others that remain unrestricted and these represent a far smaller number of coins than those recently added to the “designated lists” prepared in conjunction with the Greek, Italian and Bulgarian MOUs. 

    3) Compliance costs are prohibitive, and in fact, punitive. Importers and exporters of ancient coins are either small businesses of the numismatic trade or individual collectors. Given the numbers available, the absence of pedigrees, and modest value for most coins, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for coin collectors and dealers to submit the mandated information if restrictions are put in place. Coins are typically sold without provenance information either here or abroad. Even assuming such information were retained, why would any rational European dealer sell to an American when he could avoid such red tape altogether by selling to a fellow European? And what of Customs? Have new restrictions on coins been accompanied with additional funding to allow Customs to hire the necessary experts or train its personnel? One suspects not.

    4) Litigation costs are prohibitive for most coins. Costs are such that with few exceptions, once a coin is seized the most practical decision an owner can usually make is to abandon it.

    So what will happen if the overreaching and quite frankly, illogical import restrictions requested by a small segment of the academic archaeological community are imposed? Restrictions will be unenforceable and the broader they are, the more unenforceable they will be. Collectors will still collect and dealers will still deal. Coins will still cross borders.

    What will be different is that first, much more business will be driven underground. While the Hellenic Republic has always tended ignore with a wink and a nod its endemic institutional corruption and the black aspects of its economy (estimates of the underground economy in Greece range from 30% to 50% of GDP), restrictions  only encourage some American collectors to also evade the law, as so many in Greece have done and are continuing to do with impunity. Second, some may urge US law enforcement to implement some very harsh and unpopular enforcement tactics. Yet, while a few individuals will be caught and punished, coins will still enter the United States with little difficulty.

    Much as they do now, important and expensive coins will have proper commercial invoices and new legal requirements will force legitimate dealers to try to secure the required documentation of provenance—if it is indeed available. But, as I said previously, the vast majority of coins, the unimportant and inexpensive ones, those which make up most of the volume, will move invisibly and unencumbered – in the pockets of travelers, and especially though the world’s postal services, which lack the ability, the resources and the will to do anything about it.

    In addition, there are several compelling factors specific to the Greek MOU. 

    • The governing statute requires that restrictions only be applied on artifacts “first discovered in Greece.” But hoard evidence demonstrates that Greek coins circulated extensively outside the confines of the modern Greek nation state.

    • The governing statute requires that restrictions be consistent with the interests of the international community in cultural exchanges. But restrictions will diminish the ability of American collectors to appreciate Greek culture and could greatly limit people to people contacts with other collectors in Europe.

    • Restrictions are unfair and discriminatory to Americans. Collectors in the EU–including Greece– have no similar limitations on their ability to import ancient coins. In fact, the very coins for which restrictions are being discussed in this forum are actively and legally bought, sold and shipped in every member country of the E.U. and Switzerland, as well as the major coin collecting countries of Australia, Canada, and Japan, and Hong Kong.

    • The current restrictions are already excessively broad, broader even in at least some respects than the restrictions on Italian coins. There were hundreds of so-called Greek mints. But many of them that we would call “Greek” today, and which will be found in any ancient Greek coin catalog are actually from elsewhere – eastern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

    • There has been a trend starting with the Bulgarian MOU to impose restrictions on coins even as late as the eighteenth century.  If such a move is contemplated here, the result from a numismatic perspective is that in addition to the entire Hellenic and Hellenistic coinage of the Mediterranean basin described above, this would also encompass most of the coinage of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Mints and Coins by Slobodan Sreckovic (Belgrade, 2002), documents over 100 Ottoman mints during the empire’s six century existence. Yet among all of these we find less than a half dozen located on Greek soil. Only an expert in Islamic coinage can differentiate most of these and to expect a Customs official to do the same is absurd.

      In sum, CPAC must contemplate the practical impact of any import restrictions on collectors, the small businesses of the numismatic trade and U.S. Customs before considering whether to extend or even expand import restrictions on coins.  American citizens have long enjoyed collecting ancient Greek coins just like their counterparts elsewhere in the world do. Unfair, unworkable and unnecessary import restrictions on ancient coins  do nothing but strangle legitimate collecting in the United States and with it the study and appreciation of ancient coinage and culture in this country, and the contribution to international understanding that goes with it.

    Statement of Arthur L. Friedberg, Honorary President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists on the Proposed Renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding Between the Hellenic Republic and the United States of America

  • 2016-04-06 20:12 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    Please be informed of this new informative website, publishing news about rules regarding the situation of Cultural Goods, especially in Germany.

    Veuillez noter ce nouveau site d’information qui publie les nouvelles concernant la situation des Biens Culturels, spécialement en Allemagne.

  • 2016-01-22 15:33 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    The International Numismatic Council and the IAPN launch a job portal at MuenzenWoche / CoinsWeekly

    To help young numismatists find a job, the International Numismatic Council (INC) and the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN) decided to launch a platform where vacancies and applications can be published. As publication channel they chose the internet journal MuenzenWoche / CoinsWeekly. By way of its weekly newsletter, it aims at building a bridge between university and the numismatic market. The IAPN has agreed to sponsor the new platform.

    The idea was born at a round table which was held at the International Numismatic Congress in Taormina initiated by former INC President Carmen Arnold-Biucchi and Arne Kirsch, President of the IAPN. On September 23, 2015, some 200 researchers exchanged views on “Jobs, careers, professions for the young generation of coin enthusiasts”. One problem identified was the fact that some job offers do not reach the right address. So although there are numismatists looking for a job, coin companies do not find the fitting employee. Ursula Kampmann offered to create a job portal to boost the awareness of offers and requests. This requires an easily accessible, constantly updated, internationally popular platform which is visited by scholars, collectors and coin dealers alike. On behalf of his organization, IAPN President Arne Kirsch spontaneously declared to bear the costs involved in establishing this platform, while MuenzenWoche / CoinsWeekly would be in charge of the content-related management. This way, it was possible to announce the foundation of a new job portal already during the closing ceremony of the International Numismatic Congress.

    Since November 5, 2015, the job portal is online. Anybody who would like to place either a job advertisement or a job application is kindly asked to submit his or her text via email at The text can be written in any language. Indeed, each company, each institution should address its potential employees in the preferred language, the one that is spoken in everyday work. Naturally, you may also place offers and requests with box numbers. MuenzenWoche / CoinsWeekly will serve as a facilitator in this regard.

    The International Numismatic Council and the International Association of Professional Numismatists hope that the new platform will be met with maximum international response and help as many young numismatists as possible find a position. At the same time, they ask for support of the platform by forwarding job advertisements.

    Please find the job portal under

  • 2015-09-19 20:15 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    September 17, 2015

    By Ursula Kampmann
    translated by Annika Backe

    On September 15, 2015, the German Ministry for Culture and Media has finally published the long awaited ministerial draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property. It is now available on the internet and can be downloaded for free.

    Modifications of the ministerial draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property

    Without going into too much detail at this stage, the draft seems to have been heavily revised though it still comprises some stipulations that may cause a coin dealer or a collector much trouble. To give only one example: in regards to due diligence guidelines, the value limit of 0 still applies to Greek coins, coins of Roman Imperial Times as well as coins bearing Arabic inscriptions, with these categories being mentioned in the ICOM Emergency Red List of Syrian Cultural Objects at Risk (§ 44,1). In this case, a coin dealer still faces the risk of imprisonment if he places an item on the market to which a third country later makes a claim. 

    As to the rest, we have to wait for the assessment of the jurists before we can say something about the repercussions this new draft bill will have on both collectors and dealers. 

    You can see it for yourself anytime. Please, download the ministerial draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property (written in German) here

    Oral hearing of the draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property
    It took the Ministry of Culture and Media nearly five months to also publish the minutes of the oral hearing of the draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property.

    Please, download the minutes of the oral hearing of the draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property (written in German) here

    Opportunity for federal states, community associations, experts and organizations to comment
    Associations and interest groups are given a period of three weeks to submit their written statements on the draft of the amendment of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Property. The statements have to be presented to the Ministry of Culture and Media by October 7. Then the draft will be adopted by the Cabinet.
    The parliamentary procedure will follow afterwards. The adoption of the draft by the Cabinet, however, will have set the course by then.

    Please, read the press release of the Ministry of Culture and Media (in German) here.

    Text from

  • 2015-09-15 17:25 | IAPN Webmaster (Administrator)

    Article in CoinsWeekly: New Internet Presence of IAPN

    September 17, 2015 – The world-leading association of numismatic firms, the IAPN (International Association of Professional Numismatists), has reworked its website. The new internet presence impresses with a clean layout, a fresh design and a user-friendly structure.

    Above all, the website provides information on the organization proper, its committees, its history as well as its tasks. A calendar listing auction sales of IAPN members as well as a freely accessible database of stolen coins are likewise worth a visit.

    As a sub-committee of the IAPN, the Anti-Forgery-Committee IBSCC (International Bureau for the Suppression of Counterfeit Coins) provides information about its work. Furthermore, IAPN members are granted full access to the IBSCC Archive of Fakes.

    See more at CoinsWeekly

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