This week, the BBC reported about Toby Robyns, a 52-year-old ambulance driver from the U.K., who may be facing an up to three-year prison sentence for trying to take home ancient coins he found on a beach in Turkey.
Immediately, my thoughts turned to a story I wrote about my friends in a similar situation. While sitting on a beach, they found several ancient coins. Just like the British man, they threw their finds in their luggage and proceeded with their vacation.
When airport security found the coins in the luggage they detained Robyns, just like what happened to my friends.
One of the differences between the two stories is that the U.K. news outlets are reporting about this state sanctioned abduction. It was confirmed that when the family that returned to the U.K. they contacted the media to tell the story.
In the U.S., my friend’s family was asked by the government representatives not to talk about the case with the media. Part of the reason was that my friend was working for the U.S. federal government at the time and had clearances. Although it cannot be confirmed, I am sure that this is why his story ended quickly.
Regardless of the disposition of Mr. Robyns’ case, the damage has been done. The coins are likely not valuable and this is nothing more than harassing a foreign national because they can. And given some of the rhetoric between Turkey, Europe, and the U.K., especially over Brexit and the Middle East refugee situation, it will be unfortunate if Mr. Robyns is made to pay for the politics.
And now the news…
Priceless collection of 75 gold Roman coins depicts evolution of propaganda and portraiture over 300 years → Read more at timesofisrael.com
The Treasury Department will accept orders for special coins commemorating King Rama IX’s cremation at banks and state financial institutions from Aug 22 to Sept 30. → Read more at bangkokpost.com
"We don’t give away keys to the city, John. Too many people breaking in." → Read more at denverite.com
It's a challenge coins for veterans to be given out by police officers → Read more at wbay.com
The pair had been sweeping a recently ploughed field with metal detectors when they discovered the buried hoard → Read more at cornwalllive.com
A Government push to phase out the old pound coin is being hampered by firms mistakenly returning its 12-sided replacement. Around half of the coins being delivered to cash centres have turned out to be the new pound coin, slowing efforts to remove the round pound from circulation. → Read more at helensburghadvertiser.co.uk
Ambulance driver Toby Robyns was arrested as he prepared to fly home with his family. → Read more at bbc.com
The Cairo International Airport antiques’ unit blocked an attempt by an Egyptian passenger to smuggle a collection of Khedival-era coins, paper currency, contracts, and bonds to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the unit head said in a statement. → Read more at egyptindependent.com
(JTA) — An 8-year-old Israeli girl found a rare coin from the Second Temple period. The half-shekel coin dates from a time when it was used to pay a yearly Temple tax, archaeologist Zachi Dvira told The Times of Israel. The custom is prescribed in the Torah (Exodus 30:11-16). Hallel Halevy discovered the coin in… → Read more at jta.org