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11 October 2006
in my opinion of all things military, the item that most people get ripped off with especially on ebay is cap badges.to say it is a minefield is an understatement i hope my advice will at least save someone some money. Firstly volunteer badges from helmet plates down to collar dogs are almost exclusively construted from white metal if otherwise view with caution. just because a badge can easily be bent does not mean it is a restrike. some firms especially in the 2nd ww. made lousy badges. on bimetal badges look or ask if the badge is rivited together if you are told that it is sweated together or that you cannot see where the rivit holes are view with care. on all badges brass should look like brass and white metal should look like white metal. the majority of badges of a date before 1920 will more often than not have loops rather than a slider. sliders were only gradually introduced from about 1910 onwards. loops should look long enough to go through the thick material of a service cap. copper loops should show a black tinge if very clean view with caution. the following regiments were the only ones issued with all brass 1st ww economy badges. CAVALRY. KDG/3DG/5DG/6C/5L/7H/8H/9L/10H/12L/15H/16L/17L/19H/ 21L/ INFANTRY. RS/QS/KS/NR/LR/DR/SR/SLI/WYR/EYR/BR/LR/GH/CR/RWF/SWB/RIF/GR/ELR/ESR/DCLI/DWR/BR/RSR/HR/SSR/DR/SLR/WR/BW/ERSF/ NR/RWKR/KOYLI/KSLI/MR/MAN,R/NSR/YLR/DLI/HLI/GH/CH/LRRMF/RDF/ YEOMANRY YH/YD/PEM/WOR/GLA/ER/ the harp on all irish regiment capbadges is voided if it is solid it is definitely a copy. the only exception is the white metal arm badge of the warrant officer.at the end of the day buy from a reputable dealer.i never buy from a dealer that offers a full refund if i am not happy with the badge. because if he knows is stuff and the badge is genuine why would i want to return it. i know a lot of militaria dealers that work on the principle that if it looks genuine even though that it is a copy it goes out as genuine.to put badge collecting in perspective i bought a collection of 1200 capbadges from a deceased estate all on boards. they had been put together over the last 50 years. more than half turned out to be restrikes. i sold the copies in auction as copies and was not suprised when they turned up on ebay described as genuine. as a rule of thumb the average price of badges to work on is as follows if less than these suggestions view with caution that cheap badge will more than likely be a copy. corps badges, between £4/£6. line regiments between £10/£12. yeomanry start at about £18.upwards cavalry and irish £20 upwards.badges that have been rough cast and discribed as indian were knocked up in bazzars and sold to soldiers who had lost their badge because they were cheaper than buying an army one. never recognised by military authorities as official badges. beware of silver badges many were knocked up in the back of tailors shops. one final word. up to the introduction of staybright. capbadges were highly polished we have all heard of bull .if a badge shows no sign of ware thats what you might be buying hope this helps.
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