Despite what one might think from reading certain well-known archaeological blogs, most foreign governments don't see anything wrong with the public being given access to common ancient artifacts, like coins. Ancient coins are openly sold in most of Europe with no readily apparent restrictions. Even Italy-- with its aggressive repatriation efforts against US Museums--has a vibrant internal market for ancient coins. Moreover, this is not just a European phenomenon. There is a large and quite open trade in early Chinese coins within China itself. Indeed, it has been reported that the Bank of China has a joint venture with a Chinese entrepreneur to sell coins from a 500 ton stash to tourists. Yet, for some reason, coins ended up on the list of items up for potential restriction under the still pending request for import restrictions on Chinese cultural artifacts.
Recently, news that the Israel Government Coins and Medal Corporations is selling sets containing both ancient and modern coins caught my eye. For more information, see http://www.isragift.co.il/asp/subcat.asp?cat=1&sub=103&lang=eng Modern Israeli coin designers have looked to ancient coins for inspiration. What better way to celebrate Israel's 60th anniversary than purchasing a set containing Israel's well-designed ancient and modern coinage for your favorite archaeologist!