Editorial- Speaking My Mind

Regarding old knives, we know knife collecting exists as an industry because folks spending their hard-earned money in good faith believe the knives they buy are authentic. At the point these folks’ confidence is jolted then the whole knife collecting hobby/ industry will suffer.

We can not allow collectors’ confidence to be shaken in the knives they are offered or buy, otherwise, we might as well go buy real estate or Bank CD’s.

The reason the confidence in what I am calling “the system” is critical is this- How many collectors are experts in metallurgy? Or in the technical qualifications of genuine blade finishes or really have the expertise to judge whether an etch is ‘new’ or authentic with certainty. Sure, there are a handful of folks who are qualified, but do you know what… it is only a very small handful. So where does that leave 98% of us relying on our own judgment. Yes, I know we have a few books, like Witcher’s, but I also have talked to many a dealers who have told me- these books have turned collectors into an army of critics who really don’t know and are just looking for what is wrong with the knife…and at every knife they look at. 

For our hobby remain healthy we have to believe knives are real and authentic. I am not naive here and know there are fakes out there. Nor, am I saying we should blindly accept everything a seller tells us, BUT, therein lies the problem. There has to be balance.

Yes, I know we lock our houses at night in an attempt to lock out the bad guys. We know they are out there, and we also know our deadbolts aren’t really going to keep someone out who really wants in. 

The same with driving…do you know how miserable we would be if EVERY TIME we got in our car we worried that EVERY car we pass coming towards us in the other lane is going to come over and hit us head-on. Sure, we are aware that could happen, but we don’t look for each and every car to come at us…or we would all suffer nervous breakdowns. We, for sure, wouldn’t let our kids drive if we really believed it was probable that at any moment the next car is going to hit them head-on.

We have to have faith/trust/confidence in “the system.” That the police and the legal system are doing what we need them to do and that is keep the “streets” safe, in the case of protecting our homes. And in the case of cars staying in their lanes, sure we know it is possible we could get hit head-on, but it is not expected or probable. We have to believe in the system, otherwise, we would be forced to go to drastic measures. So, like I said, there has to be balance.

Back to knives- so what are we to do? Send every knife we buy over $200 (or $50) to one of the so-called knife experts? 

It would be a very sad commentary on the state of knife collecting, if every knife we looked at required us to go through a 20 Step Checklist to determine if it is a fake or not and even then there are elements of subjectivity involved. 

So, what am I saying here? Basically, that for our hobby to exist and live on, we must believe that most of the knives out there are good and that our system works. Like my Dad told me early in my business career ( it was the same thing his father had told him) and that is- “There are folks out there who are going to screw you, but, you can’t live your life thinking everyone is going to. You will be miserable if you live your life thinking every person you do business with is that one who is going to screw you.”

We must have confidence in the system or it all breaks down.

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Published in: on August 26, 2008 at 11:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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