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Bringing Numismatic Coins Overseas

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Valued Member
285 Posts
 Posted 09/11/2013  8:04 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add sg93 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I was wondering if there'd be any concerns with this at customs, since a short search implied that there'll be taxation on numismatic items. I don't want to be paying just to admire my coins while relaxing on a vacation, that'd totally take the joy out of it

Has anybody brought their collection of old(not bullion or proof sets) coins on a vacation only to get taxed for it by customs?
Valued Member
United States
374 Posts
 Posted 09/11/2013  8:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bababooey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If it's legal US tender I don't see how they can.

You can bring up to $10,000 through customs without forms. You can bring any amount of cash but over $10,000 requires a form and probably some questions as to why you have so much cash on you.

Valued Member
United States
374 Posts
 Posted 09/11/2013  8:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bababooey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Oh and if aquired overseas the value if all goods need to be reported. You allowed $800 duty free. But if you leave the US with a fancy suit case, they are not going to tax you when you come back with it. Same as with a computer or iPod. However if they were aquired overseas then you need to pay tax. If your coins look really expensive, then perhaps there may be some questions and you may need to show they were originally came with you from the US. I would think a few hundred PCGS cases may raise some eyebrows, but a book of old nickels or pennies may not be noticed.
Valued Member
United States
374 Posts
 Posted 09/11/2013  11:30 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bababooey to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I just noticed that you are from Singapore, so I guess forget my advice, as I was (probably inappropriately) thinking you were from the US. I don't think Singapore has restrictions on importing/ exporting currency as many countries do, not really sure about rare coins...
Pillar of the Community
Canada
5417 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  12:26 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add zxcccxz to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I lived in Singapore for 7 years before I moved to Canada but I believe is a limit on how much you can bring in to the country and knowing Singapore they won't let you take much out. Best to inquire with the authorities before leaving. Safr journey!
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Australia
13293 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  12:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It does depend on what you mean by "old". If you are in the US and intend to take coins you bought in the US with you, I'd advise bringing proof of purchase documentation with you if you wish to re-enter the country with them.

If you are from overseas and wish to visit the US on holiday, I'd suggest doing likewise, though US Customs agents may be less inclined to trust foreign dealership certificates.

In either case, whatever you do, do not attempt to enter the US while carrying ancient coins from Cyprus, Italy or China. Your coins are liable to be seized and "repatriated", even if you think you can prove they didn't actually come from those countries.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
285 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  10:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sg93 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
yeah I think there is a rule limiting how much in legal tender money I can bring out and in... or something like that. but what I don't know is if they'll find some sort of problem with old and demonitized money being brought out in 2x2's, air-tite albums or whatnot. I guess i'll have to sift through local sites for info, but being headed for Germany, I'm not too sure, since I already found a website which calculates taxation on every type of commodity, including numistmatics. No specification whether or not "numismatics" includes demonitized currency.

Whatever the case, i'll be real sure not to bring along any nazi currency lol

That's surprising Sap. What exactly is the situation surrounding these ancient coins and not being able to bring them into the US?
Bedrock of the Community
United States
16315 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  11:08 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The tax and customs situation will depend on what country you are going to. It would be best to contact the customs bureau in the country you are going to. The US has no customs duty on coins. It looks like you said you are going to Germany, if so I would agree DON'T take any ancient coins with you because there is a good chance those would be confiscated for repatriation to their home countries unless you can show solid provenances for each one dating back fifty to 100 years.
Gary Schmidt
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
775 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  11:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Tom Goodheart to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What I do sg is carry a memory stick with photos of my coins around. I'm not really a technophile, or else I'd probably have them loaded on a tablet or phone. But it does give me a way to look at them when I'm out and about.

I wonder if (good quality) photos wouldn't be an easier way to study your coins while away from home without the hassle of insurance / customs? You could supplement the pics with whatever details you like such as diameter/weight/alignment.

And finally ... I forget what you collect, but the British Numismatic Society has scanned past copies of its Journal viewable online. I don't know if other numismatic societies do likewise, but if there were any articles that interested you you could even take some reading material as well! http://www.britnumsoc.org/publicati...%20BNJ.shtml
Edited by Tom Goodheart
09/12/2013 11:40 am
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
2357 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  1:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bacchus2 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for that link Tom - very useful
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Australia
13293 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  6:46 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
No specification whether or not "numismatics" includes demonitized currency.

I would define "numismatics" to include any form of money apart from actual current spending money.

Quote:
That's surprising Sap. What exactly is the situation surrounding these ancient coins and not being able to bring them into the US?

It's all to do with international agreements countries make between themselves, to try to prevent illegal looting and smuggling of antiquities. Under the 1970 UNESCO Convention, which America is a signatory to, coins may be listed as antiquities of cultural significance to be protected from illicit export. Under Memorada Of Understanding signed with America, Cyprus and Italy both have certain types of ancient coins listed.

The theory here is that archaeologists and legitimate collectors will carry around with them at all times the paperwork proving the coins were legitimately acquired. And by "paperwork" I mean letters of authority from the country the coins were allegedly exported from - a coin dealer's receipt certainly is not sufficient as proof of legality, since coin dealers are part of the problem they are trying to solve.

Anyone importing coins without paperwork is going to be assumed to be a coin smuggler. The concept of coin collectors travelling around with coins they already own does not seem to have occurred to them - why would anybody want to do that? The coins are then sent back to "where they came from", and it becomes that country's problem - and your problem, if you want your coins back.

It's been discussed on the forum before, notably when the Memoranda of Understanding were still being negotiated and ancient coin collectors were lobbying for coins not to be included. See some old threads here, here and here.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
285 Posts
 Posted 09/12/2013  9:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sg93 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
shucks lol that's a pity because most of my coins are either from Germany or Austria, with a few from the UK and Russia. And quite a number of them are more than a 100 years old. I guess I won't be bringing them along then, which is what i'd prefer doing as opposed to looking at pictures because in some way just having the coins physically in your hand is much different.

I guess its the history, and I think Germany is one of the historically richest places to visit, at least for me. Coins or music and architecture there's beauty in either but I suppose customs is going to make it difficult for me to achieve this 're-unity' of human footprints in the sense of art lol

Thanks for the link too Goodheart! Very informative resources.

I see. I never knew numismatics could be such a sensitive issue too. Sure brings a touch of caution and paranoia to the hobby haha. But from what you say, wouldn't sellers on say eBay or any other online auction houses have to obtain these paperwork to get the right to export them then?
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Australia
13293 Posts
 Posted 09/13/2013  12:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
But from what you say, wouldn't sellers on say eBay or any other online auction houses have to obtain these paperwork to get the right to export them then?

Yes, they should obtain whatever permits they might need to export them from their own country; failure to do so puts the coins well and truly into the "black market" category. But the seller's obligations to obtain permits etc ends at their own country's borders. If an American imports the coins, it's up to the American importer to make sure everything is above board and the coins can be imported legally. It is entirely possible to legally export something from one country that is illegal to import into another. As was proved in the original Cyprus test case, where Cypriot coins legally bought in Britain and legally exported from Britain were seized on arrival in America.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
285 Posts
 Posted 09/13/2013  10:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sg93 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And I thought it wasn't as complicated at that.... guess I've got a lot to learn then haha I see you're from Australia, are numismatics a popular hobby there too? Is it just as troublesome to deal with numismatics?
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Australia
13293 Posts
 Posted 09/14/2013  05:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Coin collecting is fairly popular here, though not as popular as it is in America or Germany. There aren't any major legal issues or hurdles we have to overcome.

The biggest problem we have here in Australia regarding coin collecting is trying to buy coins from dealers and sellers in America. The American postal service has, for reasons known only to them, declared "coins" to be a prohibited import into Australia (even though they are not) and therefore refuses to accept "coins" for shipping to Australia if people do the right thing and actually put "coins" on the customs form. There are ways to work around this, though many American sellers are understandably reluctant to tell lies on a customs form.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
285 Posts
 Posted 09/14/2013  06:31 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sg93 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
That's strange. Hope things clear up for you folks. Thankfully I've had no such trouble so far, that is, until the winds of change brew here even though I don't see it happening yet.

I've been to Perth and Darwin before although that was before I got into the hobby and I'm not sure how many coin shops or dealers I can hope to find there. Are numismatic coins cheaper to obtain considering the comparatively lower demand for them in Australia?
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