Saturday, September 24, 2011

Badly tooled Kushan coin

I usually avoid tooled coins but this Kushan coin is one of my favorites. I really like the three-fingered Santa Claus but not as much as as the goggle-eyed horse rider. I see this piece more as the equivalent of a hobo nickel than as a damaged ancient coin.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

NAC auction import guarentee

Many collectors are looking with amazement at the catalog for the upcoming part 1 of the RBW collection. The catalog can be downloaded in three parts from Numismatica Ars Classica.

Numismatica Ars Classica is offering an import guarentee to US customers. This is the first guarentee of this type that I have seen, but I expect such guarentees to be increasingly important. Here is the guarentee:
The RBW Collection is an American collection and all of the coins that make up this collection were outside Italian territory prior to 19th January 2011. Furthermore, almost every item was exported from the United States using a special procedure: Certificate of Registration (CBP Form 4455), which proves American provenance,
therefore none of the coins offered in this sale are subject to any kind of US
import restrictions.

Nonetheless, Numismatica Ars Classica NAC AG endeavours to provide its American clients with the best service possible and we will therefore take it upon ourselves to carry out all of the customs formalities for importation into the USA and will then ship the lots to each individual client from within the United States.

NAC guarantees importation to the US of any coins purchased in this sale.
Blank copies of “Form 4455” can be downloaded from the US Customs web site.

I was previously unaware of this procedure. Has anyone tried it? Could I take my collection to Toronto for a long weekend to prove its provenance for the future?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

3D scanning of ancient coins

I recently became aware of a paper on 3D scanning of ancient coins delivered two years ago at the 22nd CIPA Symposium. The paper, by M. Kampel of the Pattern Recognition and Image Processing Group at the Vienna University of Technology along with S. Zambaninia, M. Schlapke, and B. Breuckmann, is available online.

The group scanned 16 ancient Roman coins and 9 medieval coins using a 3D surface scanner. They produced 3d models of the coins that look quite good! I would be curious to know how long it takes to scan a coin.

I have mentioned Martin Kampel's work before. He worked on automatic classification of ancient coins for the European Union's COINS project. This new research was partly paid for by the same European Union grant that underwrote COINs.

I would also be curious to know if a commercial service could scan my collection for a fee. This technology, if commercialized, could benefit collectors who are often obligated for insurance reasons to keep their coins in a safety deposit box at the local bank.