The ASO does not allow the display or sale of fraudulent artifacts at our meetings. Our position on the sale and display of fraudulent artifacts has been a cornerstone of the ASO since its inception in 1941. The ASO Fraudulent Artifacts Committee will review displays at each State sponsored Meeting. Items deemed fraudulent will be identified and the own/exhibitor will be asked to remove the piece(s) from his/her display. If the fraudulent item(s) is not promptly removed, the exhibitor will be issued a written notice of the fraudulent display and will be instructed that unless the fraudulent display is immediately removed, the exhibitor will be asked to leave the meeting.
We will do our best to limit the display and sale of fraudulent artifacts at our shows, but ultimately, the responsibility is yours to educate yourself against fraudulent artifacts. Knowledge, experience, and good dose of skepticism are the best tools to combat fraudulent artifacts. Nowhere in the country will you find more people knowledgeable on authentic Midwest artifacts than at our State meetings. Most of these people are willing to share their knowledge and experience if asked. So, if you are not confident an artifact is authentic, ask as many knowledgeable people as you can before buying and make sure to ask how they came to their conclusion. Even better, don’t spend your hard earned money on artifacts until you have handled and closely studied as many field found and broken artifacts as you can, and don’t ever stop learning or take authenticity for granted. Along these same lines of reasoning, we do not allow Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) to be displayed at State-sponsored meetings in the sale of an artifact. A seller is allowed to mention that a COA is available for a particular artifact, but the COA cannot be displayed on the table.
If, as an ASO member, you feel you have purchased a fraudulent artifact at an ASO State sponsored meeting, you do have recourse. The following language is taken directly from the ASO Constitution and By-Laws:
“Upon the sale of any artifact at a Society meeting, the buyer must notify the seller within 10 days that the artifact is questionable. If the seller does not feel the buyer is justified in his opinion, the artifact in question may be judged on by the Fraudulent Artifacts Committee no later than the next Society meeting. The buyer has 30 days to return any questionable artifact to the seller after the date of purchase or date of authenticity determination by the Fraudulent Artifacts Committee to receive a refund of the purchase price. The article must be in the original condition as purchase when returned.”