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JimZ

General Comments and discussion about fakes

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Rule:

This thread is to reserved for general comments and discussion regarding fakes but is not to be targetted at any one particular Order, Decoration or Medal.

Discussion is to include observed trends in the fake market, or any other related matters or items noted that should be brought to the attention of our collecting community.

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So to kick this off....

I must say that I am impressed by the number of fakes on sale on on the German site of one of our fave auction sites. Admittedly, alot of the items I have posted have infact come off that site. It seems that not only are there terrible cheap fakes but also some high quality fakes with fake documents complete with pics, stamps and all. Clearly a market of its all.

My first question is - why is there such a wave of fakes in Germany? And more importantly.... why do such fakes sell for sometimes relatively good money! As I see it a fake can in no way at all substitute an original.

I am a firm non-believer in gap fillers and have often displayed my collection in half empty frames. However, from the observed trend on this german site, it seems increasingly evident that either

1) bidders are unaware of what they are buying

2) bidders are finding originals too expensive so are resorting to fakes as a replacement

3) bidders are just keen on having a full display of originals and fakes and do not really care what they spend to fill those gaps!

Either way :speechless: !!!!!

Anyone got any ideas?

Jim

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I've never had any use for reproductions either.

Anyone who wants a "filler" like those hundreds of dollars of Order of Victory stars that are everywhere...

could get very nice, very researchable, interesting Soviet awards that are R-E-A-L.

One particularly troubling, and odd, trend in Eastern Bloc fakery is the tidal wave of fake and fantasy People's Republic of China material which has now been out for several years--

despite the fact that I can count (myself included) persons interested in the REAL awards on the fingers of one hand.

Given the language difficulties, that is one area of collecting utterly and permanently spoiled BEFORE any market for collecting ever developed here-- or ever will, now.

Tourist trade junk from Vietnam has also crippled any real potential market for those items either, unless they can be attributed from theperiod and not as recent junk.

Oddly enough, I have yet to see a single fake North Korean militaria item show up. Go figure.

How about fakery of Warsaw Pact items? I've never ventured into DDR (despite the lack of a language barrier), or awards from any of the Eastern European countries that were not made TO Soviet soldiers.

I suppose it is inevitable that anything worth money will be faked. Sigh.

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Dear Jim,

1) bidders are unaware of what they are buying

2) bidders are finding originals too expensive so are resorting to fakes as a replacement

3) bidders are just keen on having a full display of originals and fakes and do not really care what they spend to fill those gaps!

strong and true arguments :beer: .

A 4th point might be the inflation of "Umalatova-Awards", which are - rather cheap manufactured - Soviet Awards with documents, where you can fill in your name :cheeky: .

Best regards

Christian

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Implicit in what has been said before is a very simple point: In this, the Age of eBay, there are many accumulators of various "stuff" out there (including medals) who can feed their habit (1) without having any knowledge all, (2) gleefully happy with poor-quality images, (3) thinking they are getting "rare things" (because the seller said so) for "cheap", and (4) quickly and easily.

OK many of these fakes would not fool a goat (though others are very good), but what I worry about is what it does to a naive virginal collector who starts out on eBay, gets well and truly eBayed, drops a lot of cash on dreck, and who then gets driven away from the phaleristic "hobby" into collecting . . . oh, I don't know . . . bicycle chains.

There are far too many hair-thinning gray heads at any OMSA meeting and so few young collectors. Maybe fakes from eBay drive them away?

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There are far too many hair-thinning gray heads at any OMSA meeting and so few young collectors. Maybe fakes from eBay drive them away?

Well I'm pretty sure I'm among the young forum member from the Soviet section. I do not think that fakes from eBay are driving us away, because there is always a possibility to ask other people on forums about the originality of any items. I think the biggest problem is the increase of the prices that the younger generation cannot afford. I'll see in few years if I made a good choice to invest some of my scholarships in my collection. :rolleyes:

Concerning reproduction, I will never be interested to fill the gaps in my collection with fake awards. For me they have to historical value and that is the reason why I am collecting those things. If I don't have the money to buy the big groups or the expensive awards, well I have to wait or dream about it. Hope I'll get my HSU one day. :unsure:

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Well,

My ongoing analysis of fakes is by far not targetted at the experienced collector. I do in fact have the more inexperienced "newbie"0 in mind and when I see good money being spent on what I can only call RUBBISH, I do really feel for the person in question. On the other hand, I cannot but think of anyone approaching collecting armed with nothing at all is like walking into battle without a gun! Not saying you're gonna make a killing but at least you armed as a start and what you do with the knowledge is at the end of the day your business.

Take the Otlichnik badges as an example. I have seen some on e-bay at very interesting prices. I can say that I have never looked at these items, that I have never researched or followed them up as they are not within my area of expertise. I do however know that these are heavily faked. I do try to inform myself about them. But even if the price looks good, I am still not ready to spend say $25 - $35 on a badge that I know could cost around $150 if I really and honestly feel that I do not know what I am buying even if the amounts are small. Buying 10 such otlichnik badges would add up to over $300 and I'd rather own one good genuine OGPW 1st class than 10 possibly fake badges. With limited financial resources there should be no room for speculation.

And so it should be. If one is seriously interested in any area of collecting, then one should arm himself with books and literature and of course ask for the help of other collectors before being ready to spend his money! I do hope that this forum on fakes does pick up and that other collectors take to the idea of posting observed fake material onto the various threads. In such manner, we can provide a database for those who may not yet have their sources of verification. If these threads at least manage to 'scare' newbies into not buying medals at random and instead, get them to first invest in the proper literature, then I believe this particular forum would have reached its goal by bringing about more awarness that all the glitters out there is definitely not gold.

Jim

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There are far too many hair-thinning gray heads at any OMSA meeting and so few young collectors. Maybe fakes from eBay drive them away?

As a younger member of the forum, the fakers on ebay made me expand my knowlege.

But I dont see there being any thing wrong with spending money on fake of Soviet Medals that you will never be able to buy or buying them untill you have the real one and then selling the fake.

I spent a few hundred dollars on an Order of Victory just to fill the gap, and that is the only copyI have ever willingly bought :speechless:

I personaly dont like the term fake, I find that replica or copy a better term :unsure:

Order of Victory

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As a younger member of the forum, the fakers on ebay made me expand my knowlege.

But I dont see there being any thing wrong with spending money on fake of Soviet Medals that you will never be able to buy or buying them untill you have the real one and then selling the fake.

I spent a few hundred dollars on an Order of Victory just to fill the gap, and that is the only copyI have ever willingly bought :speechless:

I personaly dont like the term fake, I find that replica or copy a better term :unsure:

Order of Victory

Definition of fake:

Adjective - Having a false or misleading appearance; fraudulent.

Noun- One that is not authentic or genuine; a sham.

As long as a non-original piece is sold and described as a copy or reproduction, then if someone wants to spend money on it....by all means if it makes you happy! Call it a replica, copy, museum copy, restrike or reproduction - its still not original. The transition to fake is made when a seller knowingly passes on a replica, copy, museum copy, restrike or reproduction as an original. From that point onwards, the item starts to be a fake as there is now the intention to mislead or deceive a buyer.

I honestly think that a reproduction or any gap filler by any other name is not worth having and does not belong in a collection displayed amongst other genuine ODMs. My opinion of course!

Jim

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But to answer the first part of my question -

"Why is there such a wave of fakes in Germany?"

I am still puzzled and can only conclude that someone has set up his own little cottage industry there!!

Jim

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But to answer the first part of my question -

"Why is there such a wave of fakes in Germany?"

I am still puzzled and can only conclude that someone has set up his own little cottage industry there!!

Jim

Jim,

there are such a wave of fakes in Germany, because many immigrant from the former Soviet Union

are living now in Germany. They still have friends an relatives living in the Ukraine, Russia ... .

They buy them cheap and sell them with profit in Germany. The fakes are not produced in Germany.

Some persons have 3 or 4 different ebay accounts.

But I don?t know why so many fools buy them.

regards

Andreas

Edited by Alfred

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Hi Andreas,

I never made the immigrant/friend/relative connection but it makes sense.

As for the sellers having 3 or 4 accounts - definitely! That is something I noticed especially when the medals keep cropping up on the same grey leather background :D That makes it a bit obvious in the long run doesn't it?!

But from the October Revolution thread in this same forum I start to fear that even fakes may start to get fancy names.... like "Umalatova awards". Granted that these may be collectible in their own right, where does one draw the line!

I far one do so at "Official Soviet Governement Issued Orders and Medals". Anything post 1991 falls out of that defintion by a mile where I am concerned.

Jim

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I know that nobody has responded to this post in over 6 years. I have gone through -and mostly read- over 2000 post of this forum alone and another 4600 if the Imperial German forum and come to the conclusion that our hobby has become a minefield. I started to collect in the early '80s but stopped because of financial constraints. I started again about 1 year ago and found the entire landscape changed almost beyond recognition.

It appears that the internet, which did not exist 30 years ago has made a tremendous impact, both positive and negative. On the plus side, we can now communicate with our fellow collectors instantly and share ideas and information; in the minus side, the unscrupulous have found a new way to separate the unwary from his or her hard earned cash through all manner of crooked schemes and medal collecting has, sadly, not been immune. There must now be legions of counterfeiters all over the world producing what can only be described as garbage and sell this stuff on auction sites.

Unfortunately, there really are people out there who still believe that one can buy gold and platinum Lenin or a Pour le Merite at a bargain price on Ebay. Even more concerning are those items which are more everyday goods like Red Banners or Iron Crosses, and sell them for prices approaching market values. It is only because my near permanent state of impecuniosity that I have not been ripped off by these characters.

After having read 6000+ post, I have to admit that i am very reluctant to buy anything online, even from what appear to be reputable dealers. Unless one has expert knowledge of the items in question, it is at best a crap shoot. I know there are some on this site who can recognize fakes at a glance, but the vast majority of us do not have this skill. I do not wish to impose on the good will of other forum members every time I want to make a purchase.

I have come to the conclusion that I am really quite ignorant when it comes to fakes. I am trying to learn but it is difficult when one cannot make an actual visual comparison between a real and a fake medal.

If only someone could come up with a solution..................

Jerry

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