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As we start out, we can use this thread for Fake or Reproduction Victory Medals, clasps, ribbons, etc.

The

Polish medals immediately come to mind but, we see several other areas

as well. Let's keep it to the items that are considered FAKE though and

not items that are considered re-issues or official restrikes.

Tim :cheers:

Hallo Gentlemen,

this heads-up was recently posted over at the O.M.S.A. by:-

Rdave O.M.S.A. Member 7876

with regards Fake Inter-Allied Victory Medals amongst others, so I thought I would add it on here:-

Default eBay WW1 Victory Medal and Korean Service Medal Fakes -

by ebay user-seller mcstls

The ebay seller mcstls routinely has a huge quantity of WW1 Interallied, including all the rare ones, and other medals on a frequently occurring basis.

http://cgi.ebay.com/WWI-Siam-Victory-Medal-Siam-Thailand-WW1_W0QQitemZ220493644605QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item335672033d

http://shop.ebay.com/mcstls/m.html?_...1&_from=&_ipg=

I follow the Thai version, and these are clearly fakes. The seller also has Korean service medals, and the Thai version of this is also a fake. I obtained one of each as an example for my "black museum" and confirm directly.

I suspect that the others are all fake also. Anybody else with background with the others countries have comments ?

When questioned, the seller reported that he buys them at the Show of Shows. After a while the seller starting making the descriptions with vagueness about the medal "I got this medal like this and that is how I am going to sell it". "It is hard to find one of these and I picked it up at the show. I dont know the age of this item."," I do not know the exact age of the medal."

Of course ebay is buyer beware, however it used to be possible to warn other ebayers who were bidding or had won such fakes, however ebay has made all auctions private. (This seller made his Thai auctions private after I started warning the bidders of the Thai versions, before ebay did it for all auctions.)

One of the discussions at the OMSA convention was about doing something about fakers. One action would be for OMSA to contact ebay to make it more possible to report fakes. Now it is difficult at best for an individual, and thus it is even easier to sell fakes now that direct informing other potential buyers has been removed.

Kevin in Deva. :beer:

Edited by IrishGunner

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Hi Kevin,

Yes, I have seen this guy's auctions as well and you can see several items are "questionable" at best. He isn't the only one and another big crook is in Germany as alluded to earlier in this thread. That guy also shows original pieces and then sends a different piece or sometimes a fake altogether; so it is buyer beware. Bottom line: know who you are dealing with and pay in a manner that you can get your money refunded if necessary.

It really does no long-term good to notify potential bidders/buyers on ebay, as some don't bother to research anything for themselves and often turn right around and notify the seller that "YOU" just emailed them telling them the item was no good (lets say-not as described). The seller black lists you and reports you to ebay for interfering with their auction (of which ebay and paypal get a percentage of on the sale), then under ebay's rules, you get suspended or possibly banned altogether and if that's not enough, the seller can try to take you to court for damages.

There are other cases where some unscrupulous people who are interested in the auction will tell the "competition" anything to get them to lose interest, or even convince the seller what they have is not genuine either. I actually seen this happen on a Thai Victory Medal auction once! Luckily the seller, which was affiliated with a Thai museum, didn't fall for it. And then, there is the old case where I almost had an original German RK for less than $50. when the seller thought it was a simple EK2, then another buyer ... well, we won't go there. :(

Believe me, I've dealt with ebay over the years in just about every aspect of what could go wrong with a sale and they will try to help you in those specific situations, but rarely do they take drastic action against a seller, as they are the one providing the direct income. I once had a Turkish seller offer me a 2nd chance offer on a really nice Turkish Star; then someone must have emailed him offering him more money as he took my money, then asked for an additional $100. after telling me the item would be mailed. I got ebay involved and they suspended him from selling for 6 months to a year, not sure exactly how long as thier policy is not to discuss or divulge "punishment". They just want you happy so you keep coming back!

Bottom line, making money, not good intentions is what ebay is interested in and, ask yourself; Do we really want the ebay police getting more deeply involved in our hobby? They have already started putting conditions on sellers that sell old coins and militaria as far as insurance and postal tracking requirements, which add to buyer's overall costs, but do add to the safety of the transaction; I would not want them to simply say one day that because of the nature of the collecting field and the "market" for fakery in this area, that these items will no longer be allowed.

Anyway, good to see OMSA at least looking at the issue! :beer:

Tim

Edited by Tim B

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Hello Tim, Kev and all,

Thanks for the 'heads up'.

All ethical arguments about selling of such items and ebay rules aside it does indeed raise the topic of 'buyer beware' and if in doubt buy the book or obtain the knowledge.

That, in itself, is a vexing issue for victory medal collectors because the last specific reference book by Mr Laslo is now 17 years old, and the knowledge is fragmented at best. Both editions of Mr Laslo's works are good reference material but in a number of areas time has moved on and more information has come to light since that time.

I think one of the best ways to obtain the knowledge is to at least handle the pieces, both real and reproductions, and to have an eye for detail. That way at least you can determine what is a real one and what is a repro or a fake. High resolution digital photos and forums like this help for sure in getting the information out there. Half the challenge of having items for reference is to actually be able to pick the piece up, study it, and then document the changes between the real item and the repro.

The promulgation of that knowledge on forums is a perennial problem as well because it involves the tricky question of 'Do we post the information and thereby educate the fakers, so that they can then improve their products, or do we keep the information to ourselves and hope that buyers are wary of possible fakes'? This is not something that I could offer any new insight into.

I think that this cycle is bound to be repeated wherever there is something that is deemed collectible and therefore of value.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Well stated Rob!

Collecting German items for several years, you can see that even some of the old fakes from the 70's are still fooling new collectors today, but some of the fakes are getting so good now, that unless you really study the die flaws of both original as well as fake items, you're only asking to get burned.

Reference books, forums such as this, and the ability to handle items is paramount in areas where fakes are as large a market as originals; true wherever money is to be made. I personally prefer the forums more than books now, as you can post good detailed PICS online and ask other collectors out there what they think; let's face it, nobody knows or can know everything about everything and authors are no exception. Reference books, such as Laslo's book on Victory Medals, are often the sole reference or best reference on a subject and as Rob stated, eventually become outdated or incomplete. That disadvantages the collector as they lose a certain amount of updated information.

Don't get me wrong, books are great and in the area of German items (as an example), some of the more recent references coming out are exceptional with detailed information and pictures of various manufacturer's pieces, as well as fakes on the market and what to look for. Still, mistakes happen and information is still coming out that will one day make the book incomplete or inaccurate. Besides, the publishing costs these days make most, good reference books easily over the $100.00 mark. Multiply that by several books and you have to ask yourself if it's worth the value. Of course, saving yourself from buying that one fake that would have cost +$1000. will of course justify the expense! ;)

As technology advances in areas of digital photography, internet, and more information coming out from various collectors worldwide, the knowledge base is increasing and the available reference material out there is much more than say, 15-20 years ago. With that, those that make money by manufacturing reproductions and selling them as originals also gain from those advancements, but you can't stop it. Those people buy the books, join the forums and often mingle in our midst's disguised as ordinary collectors. I know more than one forum where these guys hang out and learn how to tell good from bad and the concensus is to leave them on knowing who they are, or chance kicking them off and then they come back under a different name. So, they out there and you're not going to get rid of them. All you can do is keep informed, help out those that ask questions and keep up on the bad guys and their wares.

Hey, the good news is that these other areas are not as bad as the WWII German items, but you still need to know what you're looking at. I just wish more people would post their items and get into the discussions and asking questions. We all learn more that way. :beer:

Tim

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Here's one for ya Rob (and others of course!) :P

I had to wait till the auctions ended today as I don't want to interfere with active auctions but, I have to ask if there is something I am missing on these:

The guy listed several VIC's, supposedly from another collector, and some were unquestionably authentic while others were, IMO, not. All the pieces sold and some for ridiculous prices.

Here's the Romanian piece and IMO, is not an original Type 1. The reverse looks great, minus the KRISTESKU mark but, the front is rather crude compared to originals.

Thoughts?

Tim

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Here's one for ya Rob (and others of course!) :P

I had to wait till the auctions ended today as I don't want to interfere with active auctions but, I have to ask if there is something I am missing on these:

The guy listed several VIC's, supposedly from another collector, and some were unquestionably authentic while others were, IMO, not. All the pieces sold and some for ridiculous prices.

Here's the Romanian piece and IMO, is not an original Type 1. The reverse looks great, minus the KRISTESKU mark but, the front is rather crude compared to originals.

Thoughts?

Tim

Hello Tim,

Both this Romanian piece and the following Portugal piece are outright fakes. Some more generous collectors would probably describe them as modern reproductions, which they are as well, but in this case they are marketed and sold as the original piece. Both of these examples, as well as most of the vic series are the result of a well known (in some circles) US person who has been producing fakes of many medals; not just the vic series.

The give-away on this piece is the crudeness of the obverse strike as you identified, and the raised KRISTESKU mark on the reverse. There are other specific errors in both this and the Portugal strike but I shall not list them here as it will only aid the fakers if they are present amongst us!

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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And the Portugal VIC. Again, not original IMO.

Tim

Hello Tim,

As indicated above this item is a fake and is one to avoid.

While there was a further unofficial strike produced by the firm of Casa Buttuller in the 1940s, in addition to the unofficial type 1 and 2 already listed in Mr Laslo's reference, it does not look like this piece at all. This later Buttuller stirke was very fine and precise and has been seen with both a thick wire and ball suspender.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hi Rob,

Yes, I considered both to be fakes as well. I just wondered if some new information concerning "other strikes" might be the case. As you pointed out earlier in the thread, the Laslo reference is good but dated and there is more information available today.

I was shocked when I seen his official Czech VIC sell for $365.00!!!! :o

I guess I should sell my three but, figure I wouldn't see $80./piece if I listed them.

On the other hand, he had a nice French "Charles" sell for under $70. Go figure!

Tim

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Hi Rob,

I was shocked when I seen his official Czech VIC sell for $365.00!!!! :o

I guess I should sell my three but, figure I wouldn't see $80./piece if I listed them.

On the other hand, he had a nice French "Charles" sell for under $70. Go figure!

Tim

Hey Tim,

I would agree that the prices paid for specific vic pieces by collectors on the online auction scene is not always consistent. In most cases the buyers are probably not overly aware of the scarcity of the individual pieces, by different country and a wide disparity in prices realised happens all too often.

As for the $365 price for a czech official I would suggest that this is a fair price for the official type 1 because it is far and away much more scarce than the commonly seen official type 2. The official type 1 are rarely seen in the market and so command a premium.

All in all I would say another case of buyer beware !! :D

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hello Tim,

Both this Romanian piece and the following Portugal piece are outright fakes. Some more generous collectors would probably describe them as modern reproductions, which they are as well, but in this case they are marketed and sold as the original piece. Both of these examples, as well as most of the vic series are the result of a well known (in some circles) US person who has been producing fakes of many medals; not just the vic series.

The give-away on this piece is the crudeness of the obverse strike as you identified, and the raised KRISTESKU mark on the reverse. There are other specific errors in both this and the Portugal strike but I shall not list them here as it will only aid the fakers if they are present amongst us!

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Rob

To All

First – The bidders were mainly new collectors, with bids on ebay as low as 9, 77, and 180. The one with 180 bids paid the outrageous price on the bogus Romania & Portuguese medal. One bidder, who has 3475 bids on ebay, did bid $256.55. This I do not understand, unless of course he had won and then changed his mind, there is the "second offer thing on ebay", if you get my point.

Second – The seller "did" list some correctly. But check out the item description on each medal sold by this seller on this group. He did a copy and paste on his whole full page Ad. But in the "item description", in some medals a key word or two is missing, like in the case of the Portuguese and Romanian, which tell me a lot.

Third – The two Questions I asked myself, would not the 50 year collector have told him which ones were good, and which ones were not? And why, did not, the 50 year collector auction them himself?

Forth - The Romanian and the Portuguese medals may have been driven but the lack of the availability of Laslo's book.

Fifth - I hate to touch on Laslo's book, but he put so much time into his writing and not enough time in his photographs. How many times have we heard that old saying "A picture is worth a thousand words". A new collector even with Laslo's book may not see the fine lines between official, reissue, unofficial and in some cases "Repros"

Last - I can where new collectors trusting a seller with over 5700 sales, selling a 50 year collector's collection might go wrong.

At least this time it was not "Estate Sale", chuckle, chuckle.

JM (Johnnymac)

Edited by johnnymac

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Hi Rob,

No, the Czech piece was an official type 2 with O'Spaniel on it, not the type 1. $365.00 is insane for that and it was in average condition. I figure approxiamtely $70.-80. would have been more like it.

Tim

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He had a nice Greek piece sell for $232. which I thought was high, but I have seen these go anywhere from $150. to over $200. depending on bidders and who just has to have it. It did look nice in the PIC's.

Interestingly, he sold a Polish fake for the same amount. :speechless: I am still dumbfounded why people are buying these unless it's just to have a novelty item that fills the collection; still... :whistle:

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Johnny,

I think we are probably thinking along the same lines on the seller here. The seller carefully chose his wording in the write-ups in order to separate himself from the items; calling out that he thought everything was original as it came from an advanced collector, etc, etc. Makes me suspicious immediately, and especially when you see so many fakes thrown in. Add to that, the finish on a couple of these, namely the Romanian and Portugese pieces, looks artificial and deliberately added to age the pieces. Again, only my opinion here.

I assume, you are thinking along the lines that the seller and owner are in fact the same person. I know I do and agree that the "advanced collector" would have just as easily listed these himself and known full well of the authenticity of each piece. Perhaps he doesn't do ebay, or just wanted to distance himself and his name from these???

I don't put much into ebay's individual's total numbering system, as people have multiple accounts and have closed and reopened accounts under new names. I often wonder how many proxy bidders or "friends" come in to bid the price up. I also see A LOT of bidders price auction items up with no intention to ever buy anything, just to have fun making others pay through the nose. Time will tell if any of these get relisted or second chance offers go out, but there were common bidders to several of these items. I always suspect bidders with low numbers bidding high prices and especially if they have (0) by their names.

Laslo's book is, as you pointed out, not perfect. However, it is still the best reference out there IMO, and anyone having access to it, or serious enough in collecting these medals should have enough resources available to tell real from fake. Gathering good photos of original medals is the best method and using a good reference with photos should prevent making these kinds of mistakes. So, I don't have much simpathy for these people.

If the buyers were legit, it will be another example of needing to do your homework first and buy the piece and not the seller's "story".

Regards,

Tim

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Interestingly, he sold a Polish fake for the same amount. :speechless: I am still dumbfounded why people are buying these unless it's just to have a novelty item that fills the collection; still... :whistle:

Hey Tim,

I have a copy of all three of the Polish fake examples; only to illustrate and educate myself and other collectors. Having the knowledge is one thing and having the examples to scrutinise and then become aware of the detail is another.

Regards,

Rob

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Johnny,

I think we are probably thinking along the same lines on the seller here. The seller carefully chose his wording in the write-ups in order to separate himself from the items; calling out that he thought everything was original as it came from an advanced collector, etc, etc. Makes me suspicious immediately, and especially when you see so many fakes thrown in. Add to that, the finish on a couple of these, namely the Romanian and Portugese pieces, looks artificial and deliberately added to age the pieces. Again, only my opinion here.

I assume, you are thinking along the lines that the seller and owner are in fact the same person. I know I do and agree that the "advanced collector" would have just as easily listed these himself and known full well of the authenticity of each piece. Perhaps he doesn't do ebay, or just wanted to distance himself and his name from these???

I don't put much into ebay's individual's total numbering system, as people have multiple accounts and have closed and reopened accounts under new names. I often wonder how many proxy bidders or "friends" come in to bid the price up. I also see A LOT of bidders price auction items up with no intention to ever buy anything, just to have fun making others pay through the nose. Time will tell if any of these get relisted or second chance offers go out, but there were common bidders to several of these items. I always suspect bidders with low numbers bidding high prices and especially if they have (0) by their names.

Laslo's book is, as you pointed out, not perfect. However, it is still the best reference out there IMO, and anyone having access to it, or serious enough in collecting these medals should have enough resources available to tell real from fake. Gathering good photos of original medals is the best method and using a good reference with photos should prevent making these kinds of mistakes. So, I don't have much simpathy for these people.

If the buyers were legit, it will be another example of needing to do your homework first and buy the piece and not the seller's "story".

Regards,

Tim

Tim

I do agree with all that you say. When I bid on an item I always ask for a better photo, if the item is not shown properly, but in this case it was as plain as day. Last, I will add the seller did give them a way out with his great photos. But on the other hand, might it have been his way out “Hey, I sent you what I posted”!

Regards (JM)

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Hey Tim,

I have a copy of all three of the Polish fake examples; only to illustrate and educate myself and other collectors. Having the knowledge is one thing and having the examples to scrutinise and then become aware of the detail is another.

Regards,

Rob

Hi Rob,

I can understand someone like you having one or one of each variety in your collection, as your passion is the Victory Medal series. Fakes, unnofficial versions, uniface pieces all make up the collection for someone that is really into them. I have my hands in so many areas, I'm happy just getting good examples of the official versions and perhaps a couple of the unnoficial ones.

What I can't understand though, is someone spending +$200. for a fake "anything". A few years back these Polish fakes were coming out and if selling at all, they sold for dirt cheap as everyone knew they were not legit. Now, you can't touch one for under $50. and yesterday was just ridiculous.

I guess my concern is that the more they sell and the higher they go for, eventually, the medal will gain credence and people will get the idea they are in fact authentic. If the bidders yesterday were any indication, you can see what a good BS story along with a seemingly knowledgeable source can do to the hobby and future collectors. This issue concerns me much more than artifically setting a high price point for something that isn't really rare; say the Japanese Victory Medal for example. In this case, the guy sold his Japanese piece for $113. if I remember correctly. That is about average for Japanese VIC's, though I don't understand why as we see so many available, usually in mint condition and often with the wooden case.

JM,

Yes, exactly and I am seeing this trend with seller descriptions more and more. I recently returned a French Wound Medal that was not the one shown/described in the auction and the seller was a real jerk about it when I told him the medal sent was a modern piece of junk and btw...what happened to the one shown in the auction??? :mad: Oh well, got my money back and left him appropriate feedback.

Regards guys! :beer:

Tim

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Hi Rob,

I can understand someone like you having one or one of each variety in your collection, as your passion is the Victory Medal series. Fakes, unnofficial versions, uniface pieces all make up the collection for someone that is really into them. I have my hands in so many areas, I'm happy just getting good examples of the official versions and perhaps a couple of the unnoficial ones.

What I can't understand though, is someone spending +$200. for a fake "anything". A few years back these Polish fakes were coming out and if selling at all, they sold for dirt cheap as everyone knew they were not legit. Now, you can't touch one for under $50. and yesterday was just ridiculous.

Regards guys! :beer:

Tim

Hey Tim,

Totally agree. I had been aware that such Polish examples were outright fakes and paid little to nothing for my examples. That was, as you have suggested, quite a few years ago and now these fantasy pieces are indeed steadily creeping up in price.

While the adage of ' a fool and his money are easily parted' may be apt in a lot of cases it will come down to a lack of knowledge and information to make an informed opinion. That is something that will be vexing for any collector least of all those of us who collect the vic series that is rapidly approaching the 100 year mark.

Regards,

Rob

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She is back!

I recently found on Ebay, the "famous" Polish Vic.

Item Ebay nº 360391504683

"WW I POLISH VICTORY MEDAL WITH LARGE EAGLE SIGNED RARE"

:speechless1: US$ 375

Lambert

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Yes, I just don't understand the mentality here. :speechless:

I've seen past listings that:

- clearly identify the item as current manufacture and an unofficial strike

- identify the item as a modern restrike (i/e: there was an original strike) but a great space filler

- identify the item as a modern strike of a recently approved award

- period original

- Rare period original

I guess if the price gets bumped up to astronomical amounts, the seller is hoping someone will actually believe "it must be real"?

Ridiculous

Tim

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Yes, Tim

is insane, you can find some pretty stupid to believe.

Unfortunately, a "collector" inexperienced, and an easy prey for these sellers.

Lambert

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Beware medals of Israel!

The falsification of Brazilian Vic on ebay

Copy made in England. U $ 499.00

Of course, the seller does not inform, that this is not a copy.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAZIL-ALLIED-VICTORY-1914-1918-MEDAL-WW1-WWI-BRAZILIAN-GRANDE-GUERRA-MEDALHA-/260850766063?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cbbead0ef#ht_500wt_1287

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These chocolate brown looking Inter-Allied Victory Medals were originally made as modern reproductions

and sold as such by the original seller about 3-4 years ago, they were coming out of the Birmingham U.K. area.

All models of the Inter-Allied Victory Medal were covered including the rare ones, all came with the modern British

reproduction I A Victory medal ribbon.

Kevin in Deva. :cheers:

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