American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society



[This page provides public notice of the Collection Policies of the American Numismatic Society pursuant to Section 233-a of the New York State Education Law]

Acquisition and Disposal of Numismatic and Library Material

ANS will acquire by donation or otherwise only those items that comport with the Society's mission, are in acceptable condition, and for which ANS has the financial resources to acquire, conserve and maintain. All acquisitions shall be archived by recordation in the Society's collection records. Donors should be discouraged from making restrictions on such gifts, and items acquired for immediate resale or auction shall be so denominated. The ANS supports the spirit and intent of the UNESCO convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illegal Import, Export, and Transfer of Cultural Property of November 14, 1970. The Society will not purchase or exhibit numismatic objects or other items that the Society reasonably suspects to have been unlawfully removed from archeological sites, stolen from public or private collections, removed from their country of origin in contravention of that country's laws declaring them state property or otherwise imported in contravention of the laws of the United States. Competing claims of ownership in items in the Society's collection shall be addressed and handled by the Society as impartially as possible.

Deaccession of Numismatic, Library and Other Material in ANS Collections

The Board of Trustees has the responsibility to assure that deaccessions of material belonging to the ANS are handled forthrightly and ethically. In general, it is the intention of the Society that items acquired by it be given a permanent place in the Society's collection. If, however, the Society possesses several specimens of a particular item, the less desirable duplicate may be considered expendable and subject to deaccession pursuant to the ANS By-Laws and this Statement. If ANS possesses items no longer desirable for a number of reasons set forth below, such items may be considered expendable and subject to deaccession pursuant to ANS By-Laws and this Statement.

Duplicate or undesirable coins, medals, paper money, books and materials of numismatic interest, and material not related to the objects of the Society, if not specifically restricted by the wording of a gift or bequest or other legal restriction regarding its transfer, may be deaccessed by sale, exchange or otherwise appropriate disposal at the discretion of the Board of Trustees. The term "duplicate or undesirable" shall be substantiated in writing as described below and shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following six (6) criteria: 1. duplicates or multiples of items to be left in the collections; 2. no longer relevant or useful to ANS's Mission or Object and its loss does not compromise ongoing research or study; 3. deteriorated or beyond any safe restoration; 4. beyond the capability of the Society to preserve properly; 5. failed to retain its identity or authenticity; or, 6. more appropriately placed in another institution's collection.

With regard to items in the Society collections having a reasonable market value of $1000 or greater, such deaccessions shall be implemented and recommended to the Trustees by the Executive Director with the following procedure adhered to:

➣ An item may be considered for deaccession based upon a reasonably uniform written memorandum to or by the Executive Director, justifying the reasons for the deaccession and on finding the existence of no legal impediments (restrictive gifts, required return to donor, etc.) to such action. The Executive Director shall inform the donor, or her or his family or heirs, of the planned deacession, and seek her or his non-binding comments, including possible reacquisition at an agreed upon appraisal price.

➣ The Executive Director shall document her or his decision in a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, including photographs or descriptions of such items.

➣ The Board may, with the advice of the Executive Director, arrange for an appraisal of such items, or evaluation pursuant to private treaty. The Board may delegate authority to the Executive Director, the Librarian, and the curators, in their respective fields, to recommend deaccession of "duplicate or undesirable" items meeting one or more of the six (6) criteria set forth above, or other reasons explained fully, otherwise not inconsistent with this Statement of Ethics.

➣ The Board shall, with the advice of the Executive Director, in all cases reasonably attempt to arrange for, in order of preference: first, the sale of such items to affiliated organizations; second, based on arms-length, competitive terms, conditions, and arrangements most beneficial to the Society, sale through accredited and licensed auctioneers; third, based on arms-length, competitive terms, conditions and arrangements, sale by way of commission or outright sale to independent dealers or other individuals not a Trustee. It shall not be considered in contravention of this Statement for those auctioneers or dealers chosen by competitive analysis to be Fellows or members of the Society. In the case of an auctioneer or dealer who sits on the Board of Trustees, he or she shall recuse him(her)self from the deliberations leading to deaccession and sale. All items may be advertised and labeled as formerly in or from "the collection of the American Numismatic Society" or its practical equivalent.

➣ At no time may any member of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Director, any Staff member, employee or volunteer, purchase directly or indirectly any deaccessed item, except in an arms-length, competitive auction or commission sale, or resale.

➣ Records of all deaccessions, including memoranda of recommendations and photographs, reports, minutes, if any, and sales transactions shall be recorded and filed in the ANS permanent records. A report shall be made by the Executive Director of such records at the Annual Meeting of the Society.

Unless otherwise directed by the Board of Trustees, all receipts from the sale of deaccessed publications, books, numismatic and other items shall be credited to the augmentation, care, maintenance and security of the Society's numismatic and library collections.

As adopted in 1997 and amended in 2005.