Posted by: CoinCoin Post Reply
I'm not the best one to consult on the details, but coin people often refer to Britain's Portable Antiquities Scheme as a model that could be followed by other countries. I recall reading that Denmark or another Scandinavian country adopted something similar. The bones of it are that antiquities and coins found (usually by metal detectorists) regardless of property ownership must be presented to the British Museum, which studies them, often publishing the hoard, has first option to buy anything the Museum needs at market value, and the rest stay with the finder (or property owner?). This way if the owner chooses to market the items, they can refer to a published hoard, which increases the value to the buyer. This is probably cleaner even than allowing a museum or antiquities bureau to oversee marketing, which would only provide opportunities for corruption in most source countries. Shipwreck items are often mass marketed with custom boxes, informative inserts, certificates of authenticity - often the (coins) being sold can be had from existing stocks in better grade and cheaper prices, but they are selling the sizzle, more than the corroded metal in a fancy box. Yes, I've seen the same in Mexico, acres where there are more shards than stones on the ground.
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