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  • The rule of selling of Old coins

    Have a query about selling old coins in another country? Looking out for detailed information and procedure to sell the coins legally? Find advice from our ISC experts on this page and decide how to sell coins legally I another country.

    Can I sale 150 years old coins in Gold/Silver and Copper (which is no longer in legal tender) to USA ? If can then in which law I shall send those coins to USA and what are the documents I need to furnish and where shall I get the permission ? I have export import license . Can I export it legally to USA ? Please give the legal options and please guide the way to send those to USA ? Shall I have to give tax for the money I will earn after got the money in my account ?
  • Answers

    8 Answers found.

  • In India, we have 'The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 which is applicable to the entire nation. In this antiquity includes any coin which has been in existence for not less than one hundred years.

    Under this, if one intends to sell any article that comes under the preview of this act, then he/she needs to apply for a licence to do so. At times, based on the value (not monetary) of the particular antique item, the Government may decide to acquire it, register it and conserve it.

    I would suggest, if you are not a numismatic expert, please meet the experts of such numismatic societies that are active in major cities. Here you would get an idea of how valuable your article is and also how to go about selling it to other countries without unknowingly breaking the law. This link has the list of major coin clubs in various cities and states (

    The other option is to approach various well known Philately, Arts and Coin trade establishments that can sell the article on your behalf for a certain commission percentage.

    If there is any debate about how valuable the coin is then you can approach the Director-General of Archaeological Survey of India and an officer authorised by him/her. Any individual is legally not allowed to export any antique item unless he/she is authorised by the Government of India to do it on it's behlaf. (please refer page 3 and 4 of the pdf below)

    Please read this pdf that covers antique items and the Indian rules. (

    Once you have the appropriate valid license then you can sell it. Please ensure that you insure the object adequate and yes, you would need to pay tax on the earnings (profits) from the sale. Before shipping any antique overseas, please discuss with the courier company or the International speed post division.

  • To control the smuggling activities of antique items including the old coins etc the Govt of India has restricted the movement of such items from India to outside especially when they are more than 100 years old. One can neither send them by post nor carry it while travelling abroad.

    If one wants to dispose such coins especially containing silver or gold and wants to sell them abroad then the clearance from ASI (Archeological Surve of India) will be required. If they are of no historical significance and of no rare value, ASI will give permission to take them abroad.

    Another way is to talk to some license holders and dealers in this business of selling old coins and antique items who can take permission on your behalf from the authorities and give you the documents. These agencies have some experts who will tell you whether it will be possible to ship out these coins or not.

    In online, you will find some agencies like Indiamart, Oldcoinshop, Clickindia, Ecwid etc which specialise in this field and you can find a lot of authentic information from them in this regard.

    Knowledge is power.

  • The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 says only licence holders can sell these items. Onlly centre government is authorised to sell these items. A person who wants to sell has to apply to the concerned department and get the licence.
    You get the coin Scrutinised by an expert in the field of antiquities. He will scrutinise and give you a certificate in which the age of the coin will also be mentioned. The Director-General, ASI, or any other officer who will be equal or higher than the rank of a Director in ASI who is authorised by DG, ASI are eligible to scrutinise and give you the certificate. Then you have to get the required clearance for exporting it to the USA as per the above-mentioned Act from the concerned authorities as mentioned in the above act.

    always confident

  • I am very much thankful to Mr. Natarajan, Mr.Umesh, and Dr.N.V Srinivasa Rao for imparting lot of inputs and knowledge regarding my quarries of selling Old Coins. In fact PRO Custom, Kolkata advised me that to contact Archaeology department but they were not confident also in their comments. However one custom officer told me Curio is restricted items but not banned , now can anyone one inform me the definition of Curio ?

    Is 100 years old called Curio or more that 200 years called Curio ?

  • In simple terms, the word 'Curio' refers to any item or artifact that is interesting, unique, desirable, etc. As far as I'm aware, it is not exclusive for coins alone as it can include a whole lot of other antique items.

  • Curio is defined as any object which is a rare, unusual, or intriguing. Due to this it gathers a value sometimes quite high also depending upon its uniqueness. There is no age assigned to a curio item. An antique item can also be a curio and in that case the rules and regulations applied to the item will be that of for antique items.

    Antique items in India are governed by The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 and The Antiquities and Art Treasures Rules, 1973 which fall under the purview of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Ministry of Culture. This was brought to prevent the smuggling of these items which in some cases are like valuable art treasures or other antiques.

    An antique item could be anything more than 100 years old and could be like coin, sculpture, painting epigraph, thing detached from a building or cave, illustration of bygone ages, thing of historical interest etc. For manuscript and wirings the antiques are considered if they are more than 75 years old.

    For finding the age one has to take the help of a licensed or registered antique expert or ASI office and take a certificate about it. Strictly speaking if someone possess such antique items which are more than 100 years old, then these are to be registered in the office of local registrar in the area of the residence of the holder. This authorises the holder to declare it as his property.

    Knowledge is power.

  • Why you wanted to sell outside and take risk. Seek third party or buyer from country and sell it. Just check online first value it holds and then put for sell. If you have more collection then you see if you can take patent and make museum for paid visitors. Anyways in foreign developed countries rich people have made own museum by buying such antique items and gave their name as collectors.

    Life Is Beautiful

  • Dear Mr.Avi,
    Thanks for your answer. I appreciate you answer and the sentiment behind it. But you know the foreign buyer has given a fabulous price which is very difficult to deny and in my terms and conditions.

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