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Last chance in court for ancient coin collectors


Ancient coin collectors have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide just how much import regulatory power may be delegated to the U.S. State Department in a Feb. 12 petition for a Writ of Certiorari. said Wayne G. Sayles, executive director, Ancient Coin Collectors Guild.

The organization has been actively opposing progressive expansion of import restrictions on ancient coins since 2007, but so far without success.

Discover how easy it is to collect many types of ancient coins.

Discover how easy it is to collect many types of ancient coins.

Counsel of Record Peter K. Tompa said, “Washington bureaucracy broke with law and tradition in 2007 by imposing draconian import restrictions on ordinary coins that are freely and routinely exchanged and collected worldwide” in filed court documents.

Under these restrictions, American collectors are now subjected to requirements that they claim are impossible to meet and are extralegal on several counts.

“Congress limited restrictions to culturally significant artifacts found in a specific country, but now Americans importing common coins made in a specific country are forced to prove the negative – that their coins have not illegally exited a specified country subsequent to the signing of a bilateral agreement between that nation and the United States.”

A test case by the organization that began with the importation of a group of unprovenanced Cypriot and Chinese coins from a British dealer in 2009 has failed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore and at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Does the Executive Branch inherit absolute discretion when Congress gives it oversight authority even when there are limits and conditions established in the governing legislation? This question has now been asked of the Supreme Court.

Contact Sayles at director@accg.us for more information.

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