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Ancient coins exempted

Ancient coins will remain exempt from the import restrictions on cultural property from Italy, at least for another five years.

On Jan. 19, The U.S. State Department extended existing restrictions, originally approved in 2001, on importation of certain cultural items from Italy. Coins were exempted from the original decision and it was decided to continue to do so.

Including coins in the restrictions would have affected anyone collecting or selling pre-Classical, Classical and Imperial Roman issues of Italy.

At a Sept. 8, 2005, Cultural Property Advisory Committee public hearing, some members of the archaeological community argued that coins should be included in the list of restricted items because of their historical importance. The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild, along with several other numismatic organizations and hundreds of private collectors, argued that coins should remain exempt in part because of the sheer number of them produced and found through the years, making them much different from unique items such as sculptures.

More than 550 collectors sent faxes to the CPAC through the ACCG Fax Wizard campaign.

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