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Blog Comments posted by TacHel

  1. The American military is frequently called out by Europeans for having too many medals. On the other hand, I always found it ironic that soldiers in monarchies have few medals to mark the milestones in their personal careers, but there are plenty allow to mark royal milestones.

    A very valid point!! Outside of the USA and Russia, very few military forces award medals for efficiency.

  2. Frank, I've been in somewhat the same boat with my PMR collection... except for one or two (maybe 3 or 4) individuals, most folks just aren't that interested. I thought that an unrecognized country that still uses the hammer and sickle, is a Cossack host, has the sheer might of the Russian 14th (and all that firepower salvaged from Eastern Europe) behind it and produces great cognac would, at least, motivate people to take a look.

    Woa woa woa... Wait a minute! Hold the phone! Back up a bit!

    Did you say "cognac"?

  3. All valid points...
    Had I not taken it upon myself to research the subject in great depth, the very few, horribly limited and incomplete Russian language only books written in the past 20 years would've limited me to a mere 50 or so pieces. To date, I've positively identified well over 500 "official" awards including their insitution orders/decrees. This lack of relevant "published" data has allowed dealers to peddle their baubles with great ease claiming ignorance. I can see where this would've pushed many to keep well away.

    And yes, makers of fakes really learned their lessons well with Soviet pieces, excellent copies of high end Russian ODMs were all over the market within months of the appearance of the real things (Order of Courage, Medal of Suvorov, etc). I regularly shop on Russian auction sites, for every official award, there's easily 15 to 20 "garbage" pieces. The darn thing is the bogus items are often much nicer looking and of much better quality than the official awards.

    The "themed" collections of most Russian collectors only makes matters worse... They don't care if a piece is official or not, as long as it falls within the parameters of the main theme of their collection.

  4. Dan, you make a valid point when you mention the original items that made it unto the Western market, the lack of hard data made it a veritable free for all! I myself purchased over a dozen unofficial medals before forcing myself to dig deeper prior to investing too much. Umalatovas, communist party, awards comittee, veterans of Afghanistan, airborne veterans, the list is long! I can see people being put off by all of the bogus stuff more often than not being advertised as official state awards by dealers that had no clue.

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