The New York International Numismatic Convention is an important show for coin dealers and collectors. See http://nyinc.info/ The annual event brings many ancient and foreign coin collectors and dealers to New York City for a bourse, auctions and educational programs about ancient and modern foreign coins. The City --which is certainly feeling the pinch of the recession-- certainly derives its own share of economic benefits as well. Coin collectors and dealers spend substantial amounts of modern cash in local restaurants and hotels as they pursue their passion or business interests.
Even in a recession, this "must attend event" is quite expensive, particularly for coin dealers who can spend over a week in the City. As a result, these small businesses must sell a fair number of coins just to break even.
Under the circumstances, I find it particularly troubling that the dealer who sold the ACCG coins for its test case had his coins delayed at Customs for some four days. This meant he missed almost half the show. I understand his Customs broker could not fathom the reason for the delay, and when the coins were released no reason was given for the delay.
One would hope that our Customs service did not purposefully delay this dealers' coins for the show just because he provided other Cypriot and Chinese coins for the ACCG's test case. Suspiciously, however, the dealer in question also indicates that other shipments to the United States have also been delayed since the ACCG imported its coins back in April.
Still, is it all just a coincidence?
If not, it certainly does not speak well for officials at the US Customs Service.