The director of a London-based auction house was arrested in New York City in January on charges relating to his sale of multi-million dollar ancient coins, including the “Sicily Naxos” coin, which was created in 430 B.C. in the Greek colony of Naxos on Sicily.
The arrest of Richard Beale, the owner and managing director of Roma Numismatics Limited, has gone under the radar and was first reported by Observer.
Beale is the owner and managing director of Roma Numismatics Limited, which claims to be “one of the world’s foremost auction houses for rare and collectible coins,” according to its website.
Alongside Italo Vecchi, an Italian coin dealer who works at Roma Numismatics as a consultant specialist, Beale allegedly falsified the record of ownership for two coins which sold at auction in 2020, according to a complaint filed in New York criminal court.
Vecchi and Beale could not be reached for comment.
Between 2013 and 2014, Italo Vecchi, an Italian coin dealer who works at Roma Numismatics as a consultant specialist, allegedly sold two rare coins to Beale without provenance.
The first coin in question is the Sicily Naxos, one of the “rarest and most prized ancient coins in the world,” according to the complaint.
The second is the “Eid Mar” coin, referring to an ancient Roman gold coin minted in 42 B.C. to celebrate the assassination of Julius Caesar on March 15 of 44 B.C., commonly referred to as the Ides of March.
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In February, the Sicily Naxos coin was returned to Italy by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office alongside a number of other antiquities collectively valued at nearly $2.5 million.
Read the full report here.
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