Preserving our freedom to collect


The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild has become a driving force in the ongoing effort to protect coin collectors and museums in which coins are stored from being forced to give up these items to foreign governments under the premise the coins are the cultural patrimony of the claimant nation. — Richard Giedroyc, World Coin News April 26, 2010



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Collectors Rights Win in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Republican Party has formally supported collector rights and called for legislative protection.

May 24, 2006

On Sunday, May 21, 2006 the Wisconsin GOP in assembly at the organization's annual state convention passed a landmark resolution supporting the rights of ancient coin collectors. The resolution marked the culmination of nearly two years of effort by ACCG member Jim McGarigle of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Jim is a member of the ACCG Legislative Affairs Task Force and also serves as vice-chairman of the Portage County, Wisconsin Republican Party.

McGarigle introduced the resolution last year and shepherded it through County, District and Pre-convention Resolution committees only to see it tabled at the 2005 state convention in Sheboygan. This year, at Appleton, the resolution was brought from the floor after considerable pre-convention lobbying and passed by a substantial margin. An exhibit table at the convention was staffed by McGarigle and Zach Beasley of New Berlin, Wisconsin. Literature explaining the ACCG mission and the issues of concern to guild members was distributed along with samples of genuine but very common and inexpensive ancient coins. The point of this exercise was to convey in a very immediate way the fact that age is not always a determinant of rarity or value. Millions of common ancient coins pass through the legitimate collector market each year.

The Wisconsin resolution calls for lawmakers to oppose any attempts to restrict the importation into the U.S. of coins more than 100 years old. Further, it asks lawmakers to pass legislation exempting coins and other utilitarian objects of artistic or historical interest from any future cultural property legislation or international negotiations. The text of the 2006 Collectors Rights Resolution follows:


WHEREAS, we believe that the U.S. Constitution, not the United Nations should be, where appropriate, the guide for the regulation of business and trade;

WHEREAS, we also believe that a government that wishes to regulate the collecting hobbies of private citizens on behalf of foreign powers, especially if it involves the seizure or reclamation of property purchased in good faith has overstepped both the spirit and letter of the 4th, 5th and 11th Amendments of the Constitution;

RECOGNIZING that the numismatic trade provides many fine families with their means of income, and also creates numerous jobs in support industries, key to states such as Wisconsin where companies publish books, manufacture coin and stamp holders, binders, software and other supplies that support the collectibles hobby;

WHEREAS, we believe that import restrictions and cultural property laws may have the unintended consequences of driving hundreds of family businesses into ruin and also criminalize the hobbies and educational activities of numerous law abiding citizens;

WHEREAS, we support reasonable efforts to protect archaeological sites and public and private collections, we oppose the claims of those who say: (a) Anything “old” should be considered state property; (b) Anything without a detailed ownership history should be deemed stolen; and (c) Only foreign states and their favored academics should have the right to preserve, protect and study the past.

THEREFORE we reject recent efforts to restrict the collecting of art, books, coins, pottery, stamps, weapons and other common antique collectibles over 100 years old;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Wisconsin, in convention assembled, asks lawmakers to oppose any import restrictions or other constraints on the collecting of art, books, coins, militaria, pottery, stamps, weapons and other common antique collectibles as a waste of valuable government resources.

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED that the Republican Party of Wisconsin, in convention assembled, asks lawmakers to pass a bill exempting art, books, coins, militaria, pottery, stamps, weapons and other common antique collectibles for consideration from future import restriction and cultural property laws and treaties.

legislative affairs
collectors rights
jim mcgarigle

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