Monday, 21 September 2009

Coin auctions: "Not illegal" does not mean "not unethical."

On the Moneta-L discussion forum they are discussing a piece of news that the coin dealer Heritage Auction Galleries might be bidding on their own auctions under an assumed name, some members are leaping to the firm's defence pointing out that its not illegal. In this discussion one John Tratman remarks flatly ""Not illegal" does not mean "not unethical"". Collectors of and dealers in portable antiquities in the USA are notorious for buying coins that were illegally dug out of an archaeological site in the source country and then illegally exported from it while defiantly stating "no American law was broken". It is a shame that they do not apply more widely to to their own purchasing practices what they do to price-regulating practices of auction houses.

Sam Merten Lawsuit Claims Heritage Auction Galleries Uses Fake Bidder to Manipulate Auctions, Sept 10 2009.

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