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BNTA Ethics

Chard - BNTA Members From 1973 to 2008
Chard Coins, incorporating R.& L. Coins were a member of the BNTA from its inception in 1973 through to 2008 inclusive.

All members of the BNTA must agree to the Association's Code of Ethics, which is as follows:

A breach of the following shall be considered as prejudicial to the reputation of the Association and cause for action by the Council.

  1. I agree to be bound by and support the Articles of the Association and any further such Articles and policies as may be agreed by the Association.
  2. I agree to conduct my business in such a way as to bring no discredit on the Association or its Members and to take suitable action through the Association against flagrant breach of such business conduct.
  3. I agree to maintain adequate records of purchases so that any enquiries from proper authorities can be satisfied.
  4. I agree never knowingly to offer, exhibit or advertise counterfeits, copies, restrikes or reproductions without their being clearly described as such. In no way will I knowingly represent such items as being the genuine article.
  5. I agree to take all reasonable steps to correct an error made in a normal transaction. In the event of a dispute, I would agree to submit the facts to the Council of the Association for arbitration.
  6. I agree to conform to accepted standards of advertising within the meaning of the Trade Descriptions Act.
  7. I will not supply any goods on trade terms to anyone who does not order them in writing on suitably headed trade stationery or who does not produce a trade card when buying in person.
  8. I will place to the credit account of any customer money paid to me by the customer. I will refund all or any part of the money in respect of any which i am not able to supply if such repayment is demanded. if no such demand is made, I will hold the money to the credit of the customer for a reasonable time. in the event that the customer lives outside the currency area of my country, I will deduct from repayment no more than is expended on normal bank conversion charges.
  9. I agree to fulfil all contracts made by me either orally or in writing. I further agree to pay on delivery for any material accepted from a customer unless otherwise desired or on monthly account for such material supplied by a member of the Association.
  10. I agree to help Members of the Association and any others of serious intent in the furtherance of numismatic knowledge and research.

Chard & the BNTA
As stated at the start of this page, Chard were members of the BNTA for 36 years from 1973 to 2008. During this time, we met or exceeded the BNTA's ethical standards, and still do so. It would be hard to imagine a dealer meetings these standards for 36 years without being ethical, and we have not changed our policies recently.
In 2009, the BNTA Council, for reasons best, or only known to themselves, decided not to invite us to renew our membership in 2009. Apparently the BNTA Articles of Association allow them to do so, and do so without giving any reason. We believe this is a shortcoming of its Articles, which should be reconsidered and revised. As they stand, even if they are legally watertight, we believe they give power and responsibility to the Council which may or may not be matched by its wisdom and judgement. Perhaps a sensible arrangement would be for the Council to obtain ratification of its decisions by a democratic vote by its members. In this event, it could allow the member in question to submit a defence to the ordinary members.

The fact that the BNTA Council have chosen to hide behind the "without giving a reason" clause makes it slightly more difficult to defend ourselves. In time, we intend to publish a more complete account of events, decisions, and our opinions In the meantime, we have a thriving business to run. For the time being, we will place on record our opinion that the BNTA Council have shown poor judgement in coming to its decision about our continued membership. As stated above, we believe we actually exceed the ethical standards stated in their code in a number of ways.

Public Information
Our websites contain not only a sales catalogue of our current and past stocks, but also much information and advice. We also take the brave step of naming and shaming a number of dealers and other individuals for a variety of less than perfect practices. We believe this information is strongly in the public's interest, yet we observe very few examples of the BNTA or its current or other past members campaigning against these practices and their perpetrators. While we appreciate that individual members have no specific obligation to campaign for higher standards in numismatics (they all have businesses to run), we think the BNTA could take some initiative and publish advice pages which may or may not include naming and shaming where relevant.
We undertake our "name and shame" policy at a slight but important financial risk to ourselves. Whenever we criticise a fellow dealer, individual, company or website, we have to take great care to ensure that the information we present is true, and that we present and report facts fairly. Where we criticise a large and wealthy corporation, such as eBay for example, we place ourselves at some risk. Even though we try to ensure that all facts reported are accurate, and all opinions stated are fair and reasonable, any large, well-funded organisation could use its financial muscle unfairly and unjustly. If eBay decided to harass us, they could easily afford to spend say a million dollars or pounds in expensive lawyers, and we would be more or less forced to do the same or fold. It's rather like playing a high stake poker game, the player with the best cards may not always win, and statistically, assuming all other things being equal, the player who starts with the most money is most likely to win.

Since becoming an ex-BNTA member, the BNTA quite rightly asked us to remove any claim on our part to be BNTA members, this we have done, although not necessarily as quickly as we could, or perhaps should, have done. We did think they may have reconsidered their decision.
They have further asked us to remove all the pages on our numerous websites which include references to the BNTA. We believe this is an excessive and onerous request. Firstly, many of the pages which include BNTA references are beneficial to the BNTA, giving it free advertising, and secondly, we maintain a policy of retaining all our web pages, but editing them as appropriate with the passage of time, and with changing events.
One of the BNTA Council's requests is for us to remove our BNTA Ethics page, claiming breach of copyright. We are inclined to resist this for a number of reasons including, inter alia, public interest, fair usage, and our belief that we exceed them, and to claim this without stating them would be rather nonsensical.
Our name and shame pages also include a number of BNTA members, and they seek to have these removed, arguing that we are trying to discredit the BNTA. We believe the members so named have themselves brought discredit on the BNTA, and believe they or the BNTA should rectify the situation. We further believe that our information published is accurate, fairly reported, and in the public interest.

Gag Without Humour
One of the other requests from the BNTA is that we remove our beautiful photograph, as used as the top right of this page, of a 2006 selectively gold plated silver proof Britannia coin, claiming that it may mislead some readers to mistake and confuse it for the BNTA logo which is itself copied from the image of Britannia on various coins, and that it may mislead some members of the public to believe that we are still members. This is despite the fact that we clearly stated in its caption and also its "Alt tag" that it is "Not the BNTA Logo", and that we make quite clear that we are not current members. They acknowledge these facts but claim that some people may still be misled. While there will will always be a small minority of people who believe the improbable, such as the earth being flat, being only 6,000 years old, or that the 1969 lunar landings were fictitious and filmed in a studio, we think that only a very small minority of people would be stupid enough to be misled by any content of our web pages.
It appears that the BNTA Council do not have enough sense of humour to appreciate our small gag. Perhaps they are taking themselves a little too seriously. In the past, we have defended the BNTA against comments by at least one well known non-BNTA member dealer who described who describes them as having their heads in an anatomically impossible "dark place".

Silver Proof Britannia Coin versus BNTA Logo - Spot the Difference

Further Information
If you would like to order the next edition of the BNTA Membership directory, please contact the General Secretary enclosing a first class stamp.

BNTA British Numismatic Trade Association
Mrs R Cooke
Rye, East Sussex, PO Box 2, Rye East Sussex TN31 7SB
Tel: 01797 229988
Fax: 01797 229988

Please note we are no longer members of the BNTA.

Ethical Failures by BNTA Members
It seems to happen occasionally. Surprising but true.

Not the BNTA Logo
Not the BNTA Logo

"Tax Free Gold" website is owned and operated by Chard (1964) Limited
32 - 36 Harrowside, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1RJ, England. Telephone (44) - (0) 1253 - 343081; Fax 408058;
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