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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
Graf

FAKE BULGARIAN ORDERS ON THE MARKET

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9 hours ago, nickstrenk said:

I hope,collegues from Bulgaria will advise.Is it original or fake?Probably unawarded?

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These medals sell for cheap and are quite easy to find, why would anyone bother faking them?

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Graf;

I quite agree with you. It is also very generous of you and the other collectors to help others avoid the early errors of collecting. I raised the point regarding the second class star, that forging hallmarks is a criminal offence and to conceal the fact that they are obviously fake, equates to deception. However, we are kidding ourselves if we think such unscrupulous sellers will ever conform to what we would consider, good practice. 

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6 hours ago, Binky said:

... I raised the point regarding the second class star, that forging hallmarks is a criminal offence and to conceal the fact that they are obviously fake, equates to deception. 

Good luck proving that seller made forgery himself. 

It's also almost impossible to convict someone of selling fakes, you would need an expert opinion, which will be time consuming and expensive.

Even if you succeed, sellers can also play ignorance and say they believed they were selling real thing.

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Hi Binky,

 

I had the identical reply from the seller You have very good points and New World is right it is impossible to chase those guys

i know Dealers on internet who sell copies and they claim that they are Original and that they are not accepting any expert opinion from other Dealers .let alone to try to fight with those sellers on Ebay.

I looked the options to report the item s The Stars --- there are not any rules for fakes and copies.

The Ebay does not care about the fakes unless a big company threatens them to sue for forgery

That is why Ebay is a Golden mine for fakers and sellers of fakes -The only Rule is Bayer Be Ware

This guy is very Smart he khows the rules on Ebay very well -He Did not mentioned anywhere that the Stars are Original, Ho detailed description -only pictures to evaluate some very , and No Returns.

Al these are in his favour if there will be a compliant or a claim   ,,,and also is a strong proof that he knows what he is selling

 

At least, I hope the member of the Club are warned and they have to make their own decision.

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Soldier Bravery Cross without swords to make it look like medical version.

You can clearly see that swords were cut.

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19 hours ago, new world said:

Good luck proving that seller made forgery himself. 

It's also almost impossible to convict someone of selling fakes, you would need an expert opinion, which will be time consuming and expensive.

Even if you succeed, sellers can also play ignorance and say they believed they were selling real thing.

Of course there would be no chance, nor is eBay interested in preventing forged items being sold, providing they get their commission. As long as the buyer is happy, the seller will no doubt try their luck again in a week or two, probably using another account.

My point about forged hallmarks was merely that, if the seller was genuinely ignorant about what they are selling, raising the potential seriousness might make them think twice and alter the description. But we're obviously discussing an unscrupulous seller, so it won't have any effect at all.

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This guy on Ebay is real crook

He is selling items from Bulgaria and Hungry. he is also suspect of  fake bidding to pump up the prices of the two Fake Military Order Stars

I am not sure whether he is using somebody account

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Here's another bad star.

It's possible this is not 100% fake, some parts could be original with repairs, modifications and additions, but overall package is quite horrible.

 

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Interesting reverse inscription on this one .   In the mid-1970's?, I believe, a Grand Cross star with war decoration and similar reverse inscription appeared in either a Forman or Klenau catalog.  It may have had an older type reverse button but do not remember if there was a mystery number on the pin.  Does anyone else know about or recall that star?  I will try and find the catalog which had an image of the inscription.

Edited by 922F
spelck

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Yes, I agree with your views regarding engraving on this star reverse due to the uneven spacing and imperfect size of the letters.  Question arises whether the faker is copying an extant example last known decades ago.  

Motivation, yes to raise hopes, interest and price!   The Hungarian St. Stephan star with dedication to King Zog engraved on reverse recently auctioned could be an impetus. 

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They also made a mistake with the engraving - called the grade of the award Commander (Komdr Stern), while this is 2nd class (Grand Officer). The true recipient would knew for sure the grade of the order he was awarded and would have given proper instructions to the engraver.

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I agree with all of the above. The inscription being in German is also clearly intended to suggest that it was awarded to a senior German or Austro-Hungarian officer, while the chipped cross point is yet another 'refinement'.  

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This is a great thread.  For somebody who is just starting to get serious about Bulgarian awards, I also find it a bit scary especially when you see these Frankenstein fakes that were made from various parts of cheaper vintage medals.   

It makes me wonder "Will there come a day when it is virtually impossible to tell if a medal is fake?"  Probably.  Perhaps, for now, the best thing to do is just stay away from ebay.  It is the ideal dumping ground for fake medals.

Please keep up the good work, guys.  The best way to beat the fakers is to inform the public.  We need to know what to look for as well as the names of sellers who are repeat-offenders. 

Even for those of us (like me) who are not experts, if we see a suspicious medal, we should save photos of it.  If the seller is intentionally selling fakes, there Is a good chance that he or she will be selling another suspicious medal that looks identical to it in the not-so-distant future.  You can then compare the photos.  (Some of these sellers have made their cast forms from medals that had imperfections.  So if you see the same imperfection(s) appearing over and over again in different medals, you will know it is a fake.)

IMO, the most important thing to look for is imperfections--especially casting mistakes.  For example, if you look at the Bravery Medal (ID 106) that New World posted, you see pits and other imperfections on the back side.  On the front side of this same medal, there is one arm in particular that has a jagged gold frame.  A real medal should be of much better quality because most of those early 20th century jewelers took a lot of pride in their work.  If they had a casting that was short of being perfect, they threw it back in the melting pot and recast it.

David

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Original awards were NOT 'casted'. They were minted (press-stamped) and because of this, their reverse and especially edges are very smooth and straight - something which is a huge give-away for fake decorations (which are usually casted) whose reverses are covered with little holes (due to the trapped air while casting) and the edges are more rounded due to hand-sanding the imperfections of the cast. This is visible on the above images too.

Even so, I've seen some obviously faked stars for sale, which do have a smooth texture on the reverse. This makes me conclude that either (1) they used original parts/bases OR (2) that professional machines and/or dies were used for the production itself (which is really bad if true).

 

Edited by ilieff

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Hi guys.

I i is nice to "hear' that you like the thread.

I started it because I noticed that till then there had been no much information about fakes of Bulgarian Orders and decorations, Most of the collectors had to make their own judgement regarding the decorations that were for sale or an offer on the market.

No body knows when the Bulgarian fakes came for the first time on the market,neither is known whether fakes have been made only in Bulgaria. Although that at one or another stage the fakes were discussed somewhere in the forums.

It looks like that there is a new wave of Bulgarian fakes on the market The Ebay is not the only place for their distribution, although it is the easiest The problem is that many Military Dealers and Auction Houses, knowingly or not knowingly, also contribute to the sale of the fakes.

All those facts have to make us very alert about any suspicious Bulgarian Decorations that appear on the market.

 

The big question is how to separate the fakes from some pieces that are once off made or were made by order privately by the awarded persons or their families.

My advice to the new collectors is to start with well known low levels decorations and once they have "hands on' experience to progress to the next level. Buy and invest in good books look the market and compare before commit yourself to buy an expensive item. Do not get fool by cheap deals an/or vague information and/or explains regarding the item an offer.

Some of us are more informed then others, because they invested money and time to get some level of knowledge and also they had some bad experiences in the past with fakes

Regarding the ways the fakes are created we can speculate quite a long time

Some fakes , like Ilieff  pointed out, are made with original parts to which  new modern parts were adapted.

It is known that a significant number of left over original parts were found and used for those kind of fakes.

The other purpose of those kind of fakes is to upgrade, for example Commander Class to a 1st Class Cross.

Also fake are created by butchering good Originals to match other Originals in order to create Sets of 1st and 2nd Class Awards or to create a rare Model like in the case of the Bravery Order 4th Class for Doctors and Clergy man.

Those types of fakes are difficult to recognise  just looking at the pictures. One has to hold them and investigate them using different simple methods - magnification, measuring, weighting and "needle test"

 

The other fakes were made with new parts only and they, at least for the moment, are much easier to spot

Whether the fakers use professional tools we only can guess. One is for sure they are getting better, because the demand is there on the market

 

 

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Good points from Graf on avoiding fakes.

It's also very important to know who you are buying from. It helps to know the reputation and knowledge of the dealer/seller before making purchase.

As said above, if it seems to good to be true... Don't get me wrong, I've got some incredible bargains on few occasions, you can sometimes find them. However in a some cases it turned to be not what I expected. Luckily I was able to recover my payments.

So, be on the alert and don't be shy to ask for the opinion on this forum!

 

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Hello Gentlemen

On post 133 might be a genuine inscription.  The Germans referred to 2nd class (star) sets  "star to the commander".  This was engraved obviously by a German speaking country and the jeweler didn't know the proper wording I suspect & the owner might have caught the mistake after the work was completed and was OK with it..  The crossed swords (engraved) are neatly placed just don't think a forger would give himself extra work.  With fakes exploding in the Bulgarian market can understand almost all being suspect....

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The engraving is very suspect and my gut feeling is that it was added recently.

If the rest of the award was fine I would consider inscription genuine, but giving the number of alterations on this star I have my doubts...

 

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It seems what you have discovered is a skilled and thoughtful forger. This thread is most informative for any stage of collecting.  Let us hope he or she is not :o faking those Bulgarian/Turkish War bars that is seen from time to time. Good collecting.

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It looks like what was a good Star or a part of it was altered plus engraving was added to look more real and also to add more value to the Star --similar to the engraved German Iron Crosses.

I collect Iron Crosses as well, however personally  I will be very reluctant to buy an engraved one unless I am 100% sure it is done at around the time of awarding

Nevertheless, every collector has to make their mind whether he/she wants to have such a piece in their collection

 

 

This thread is to alert the fellow collectors, however the choice is their

 

Graf

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Alert Two Fakes on Ebay

First is 1st Class Star of the Order of Military Merit with War Decoration

Very well known Fake with soft enamel plus the letters are very thin and superficial -already are 'fading away'

You can see the defects in the enamel as well

I also suspect that the last picture of the reverse is borrowed from somewhere else

 

Second is  2nd Class Star of the same Order

It is a shocker - especially the reverse The Fakers even included French hallmarks and maker marks - all wrong

The seller is from Hungary He claims that they come from his personal collection. No detailed description of the items

No returns Warning signs that he is aware of the nature of the Stars looked his history -not a single Order sold or bought before this sale ???!!!

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1st class star sold for $1,300

2nd class - for $900

Edited by new world

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Very Bad news

 

The fakers get away with a nice payments due to ignorance of Ebay and Ebay users

i alerted Ebay -the response - only the Standard Thank you We will look into the issue.

I looked into the other other of the seller  very strange - some of them have shipping address in Bulgaria

I hope this is one off problem he sells only very cheap coins. We will see

 

Buyer Be Aware Rule

 

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eBay is not going to do anything.

Let's hope we alert as many collectors as we can here, that's the best we can do.

 

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Here's another candidate for discussion. Sold on eBay couple years ago.

What do you think?

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Edited by new world

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