Peter Tompa and Nathan T. Elkins have both weighed in on my suggestion to use timestamp notary services to register coins cheaply (here and here)
Mr. Elkins likes the idea so much he thinks that there should be a deadline for entering coins into the registery and after that 'regulations' against selling coins without provenance. (I disagree—not everyone who has an ancient coin has a computer!)
Peter Tompa thinks the idea needs goverment blessing. Although I'd like to see a centralized searchable archive for research purposes, perhaps supported by National Endowment for the Humanities grants, but I think the strength of the idea is that no govermental blessing or registry is needed! These certificates prove something in a court of law without needing an organization to administer anything.
The ability to create proveably old photo-receipts is a boon because some folks fake proveances. The ability to do it without a central registry means that folks who are hiding their collection from their ex-wife's divorce lawyer have no excuse not to certify their photo-receipts.
There are technical flaws with the idea. It certifies a digital file, not the coin. One attack against it is create a cast fake, legally export the fake from country X as a replica, create a video of yourself holding the fake up in Time Square and timestamp notarize the video. Then go back to country X and take the original out. If anyone questions you at the border, the video seems to imply the the genuine coin wasn't being illegally exported...
I think extremely hi-resolution pictures protected against this attack, but I just wanted to point out timestamp notarization of physical objects is not 100% unbreakable.
Rather than regulations making it illegal to have unregistered antiquities I want to create an incentives to track provenances. If there are incentives more and more coins will carry histories, and the ones without will start to seem dubious.
Where's the Beef? - Last week's Diane Rehm Radio Show segment entitled, "The Big Business in Looted Art," is getting lots of play in the archaeological blogosphere. And why n...
2 days ago