ABOVE...a genuine example,stamped brass with THREE LUGS..forget what you see on any internet threads or links...a genuine one will allways have 3 lugs...a copy will only have 2 (see below)..even if the lugs have been removed and the badge has been brooch pinned, a genuine badge should have evidence of the lug at the 6 o clock position (see below). The badge has three lugs as it was for wear on the sleeve cuff of the uniform tunic and the upper lugs will keep the wings flat against the cloth, whereas the 2 lugs on a copy will not. Badge was introduced 1923 and declared obsolete by 1939 and was not worn again as the cloth AG wing made it obsolete..........to my knowledge, no one is doing fakes or copies with the lugs in this position as you see in the above pic...another hint to a copy is that the area of the wings will be solid whereas the bullet will be stamped out...i sold the above example on e bay at the end of january 2011 where it reached over £50.
ABOVE...an example of a solid silver private purchase example, it has lost its loops and has been brooch pinned....this example, in my collection was bought on e bay from a jewellery dealer.
ABOVE..the first 2 pics show an example of a copy, not having an example in my collection, i have lifted these pics from an ebayuk ad from jan 31 2011, the seller claims it is a Royal Australian Air Force item and is genuine, he also goes on to mention that an internet thread explains that the RAAF issued dark (blackened brass) versions in 1939?????.....i have paid a visit to that thread which started as the question "all the genuine examples of the RAF winged air gunner badge i have come across have 3 loops, does anyone know if genuine ones had 2 loops"...someone gave the answer (with no pictures to support the claim) that the RAAF issued brass ag badges with 2 loops until 1939 then replaced them with the cloth wing and went on to say the RAAF issued them in brass,gilt,bronzed and blackened brass....i have not seen any examples of the "commonwealth" badge, but it is safe to assume that even if issued with 2 loops then the badge would be an all die striking, not with flat wings as in the above picture.unfortunately the responder does not show any pics of the bronze/blackened/gilt badges he claims to have in his collection...Far from being an original badge what the above pictures show is an example of a well known copy which has been circulating in the uk since the 1980s, they were first being sold back in the 80s by the UK repro badge dealer Martin Marsh Badges...its a copy because A) the wings are solid not stamped like the rest of the badge and B) there are only 2 loops......the upper 12 0 clock loop is never a feature of an original badge.....lets face it, as explained, these were meant to be worn on the sleeve and if a genuine badge had loops in the above position the wings would get snagged on various fittings.this example was spotted offered on e bay at a buy now price of £50, a few days after my genuine example sold for over £50......they do say that imitation is a form of flattery!!!!!!. I have to say that of all the RAF badge websites i have visited where someone has submitted a picture of an RAF Air Gunners badge,not one shows the BACK of the badge, which makes me think that perhaps the pictures being submitted are of repro badges?, because when it comes to this particular badge the front will tell you nothing, its what back looks like which determines a £3 repro from a £50 original.....even the Hobart book(shown above with the relevant picture from same book) published in 2000 "Badges And Uniforms Of The Royal Air Force" only shows the front of a (possible repro?)badge and gives hardly any information,relegated to only 2 or 3 lines...and this is a book on collecting RAF insignia!!!!!i hope this guide is of some use.