The Ethics of Knife Collecting
A list of basic rules for Knife Collectors seems to have become necessary, probably because people in general have become more inline with the “If the rules don’t say you can’t; it must mean you can..” school of thinking.
I fully concur with the school of thought when it’s a competitive endeavor, but collecting isn’t supposed to be competitive. As a collector we are taking it upon ourselves to preserve historically important items for future collectors to enjoy. Collecting is a communal activity, what fun would it be to have a wonderful collection and keep it to yourself?
Collecting is about acquiring the items of our interest from sources both inside and outside of the collecting community. With that in mind, I believe we need a code of ethics by which to measure our activities.
Here’s what I have to start….
AS AN KNIFE ETHICAL COLLECTOR I PROMISE TO:
- Base all of my dealings on the highest plane of justice, fairness and morality.
- Promote Knife Collecting as a hobby while furthering the view of knives as tools and itens of interest rather than as weaponry.
- Encourage new collectors by providing guidance and assistance to assure their success.
- Furnish requested advice to the best of my ability and knowledge, and not to take advantage of superior knowledge on my part to the disadvantage of a less knowledgeable person. As a collector I will protect, preserve and share knowledge about items in my collection.
- Represent knives as genuine only when to the best of my knowledge and belief, such knives are in fact authentic, and when no significant question of their authenticity has been raised.
- Disclose all known defects, including tooling, re-engraving or reconstruction of knives I sell.
- Not to sell, exhibit, produce nor advertise counterfeits, copies, or reproductions of any knife unless their nature is clearly indicated as such.
- Neither to knowingly buy nor sell knives stolen from private or public collections or reasonably suspected to be the direct products of illicit activity.
- Not misrepresent the value of knives I buy or sell. Negotiating and “Horse Trading” are an integral part of the game and for many people the most fun. This is encouraged so long as both parties are playing fair and the resulting transaction is a win – win proposition.
- Take immediate steps to correct any error I make in any transaction.
These ten points will go far toward promoting our shared interest.
When a new collector is taken advantage of by one of the vultures who seem to lurk on the fringes of our hobby, not only does the new guy lose money, he also loses faith and most likely interest in knife collecting.
The Fakers, Liars and Charlatans chase the new blood away from the hobby. Like a miser ultimately comes to own everything, the victory is short lived as his once valuable collection is worthless since selling even one ends his monopoly. The value of a collection is based solely on the marketability of the items in it, a collection of used plastic forks has little value as nobody much cares about plastic forks.
Squashing the interest of an entering collector almost ensures a loss of value for your collection.
New collectors also bring with them more boots on the ground looking for the scarce items. You can’t hit every estate or garage sale on a given weekend; how many rare collectable knives become weed diggers or paint scrapers because nobody recognizes the rarity or value of it as a knife.
We need the kids and young adults to join the ranks of knife collectors if for no other reason than to have more people recognize the beauty and usefulness of fine knives to help avert the weaponization followed by government control of them as occurred in England.