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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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Will the real Zeus Salaminios please stand up?

A simple test will measure your abilitiy to select the proper coin for import restriction.

July 22, 2007

The recently approved import restrictions on coins of Cypriot Types include the following:

3. Provincial and local issues of the Roman period from c. 30 B.C. to 235 A.D. Often these have a bust or head on one side and the image of a temple (the Temple of Aphrodite at Palaipaphos) or statue (statue of Zeus Salaminios) on the other.
The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is now tasked to identify and detain such coins to assure that they have not been imported into the United States in violation of this agreement. One might suspect that Customs would have a hard time identifying coins from this description. There are hundreds of types from other places that may be so described. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if some "experts" found it challenging. It surely cannot be done by comparing coins to a generic photograph, as the following little test will illustrate. While customs agents will have to examine thousands upon thousands of coins and make judgements day after day that will affect tens of thousands of law abiding collectors, you get to pick from just four Roman Provincial coins. How easy can it get?

Answers are below, but don't peek!

Choose the coin from Cyprus:

A. 20mm bronze

B. 33mm bronze

C. AR Didrachm

D. AR Cistophoric Tetradrachm

Answers Below:

A. PHYRGIA, Cadi. Claudius. AD 41-54. Æ 20mm (2.51 g, 12h). Meliton Asklepiadou, Archon. Laureate head right / Zeus Laodiceus standing left, holding eagle and sceptre. RPC I 3063

B. PHRYGIA, Laodicea. Marcus Aurelius. 161-180 AD. Æ 33mm (29.42 gm). Laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / Zeus standing left, holding eagle and sceptre.

C. CYPRUS, Titus. As Caesar, AD 69-79. AR Didrachm (20mm, 6.38 g). Dated RY 9 of Vespasian (AD 77/8). Laureate head left / ETOYC NEOY IEPOY Q (date at end of legend), Zeus Salaminios standing left, holding patera and sceptre. Prieur 1572

D. Hadrian. AD 117-138. AR Cistophorus (11.49 g, 1h). Laodicea mint. Struck after AD 128. Bare head right / Zeus of Laodicea standing left, holding eagle and scepter. RIC II 497

(Photos courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group)

import restrictions

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