Author Topic: AWOL coins  (Read 1418 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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AWOL coins
« on: December 21, 2011, 01:30:03 AM »
Coin dealers alerted by INTERPOL over illegal sales of ancient Roman treasures
Undated (December 19, 2011)

(NewDesignWorld Press Center) - LYON, France – Specialist dealers and collectors are being warned about the illegal sale of the so-called ‘Lava Treasure’ of ancient Roman gold coins and plates after a number of items were recovered from the open market. INTERPOL and French police are working to recover the ancient coins.

The rare collection, which dates back to 300 AD, is believed to have been found by divers in the gulf of Lava off the coast of Corsica in the late 20th century. It is considered unique maritime cultural heritage and part of French state property, and therefore should not be sold.

To date, some 450 gold coins from the Lava Treasure have been traced and identified after their sale in Europe and in the US, and enquiries by French authorities are continuing.

Details of the coins have been added to INTERPOLs stolen works of art database, which has secure online public access, and specialists from INTERPOL and the French National Police are advising coin dealers and collectors who may be offered part of the Lava Treasure to check this database in order to avoid its illegal purchase and to preserve this historical treasure.

INTERPOLs database on stolen works of art currently contains more than 38,000 records, and in addition to being accessible to all 190 National Central Bureaus, some 2,000 users from 80 countries also have access.

Source: New Design World
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: AWOL coins
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 08:27:05 PM »
Here is an Interpol poster regarding the Lava treasure ...

In case the image does not show, try this link. Why would that get posted these days? Several Swiss newspapers had articles about coins from the treasure this weekend.
(free, it seems)
(and other Tamedia papers - paywall)

Apparently an auction house in Geneva was searched, upon the request of French investigators. The legal situation is complex according to the Tamedia article, but at least the pieces that are obviously, or very likely to be, from the Lava treasure cannot simply be sold. Matteo Campagnolo from the numismatic department of the Geneva Musée d'art et d'histoire, puts it this way: If a coin from that period shows up that is not listed in a catalog, it is likely to be from the Lava treasure, and selling such pieces is highly problematic.

And Olivier Chaponnière (of the Geneva coin dealer Chaponnière & Firmenich SA) adds that such coins are to be avoided if you don't want to get in trouble. Again according to the article, no expert has been able to refer to a find of coins that look similar to the ones from the Lava find.

In 1950 the first of these coins were found in the Gulf of Lava; all in all, there must have been more than 1,400 gold coins plus jewelry and a gold statue (later melted down). Whoever is right or wrong in this case - of a list of 448 coins on that Interpol "Wanted" list, 96 have been sold in Switzerland. One out of five ...

« Last Edit: March 26, 2018, 08:01:05 AM by Figleaf »