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I have been collecting militaria since i was 13; my entire family are from the military; mostly senior N.C.O.s. My family, such as my daughter & mother love most of what i have & somtimes get involved; my daughter has even looked around this website & caused much torment with her cheeky comments (my own fault for leaving my notebook lying around with all my many passwords & security codes in it!!!! Nothing 'serious 'though, just my internet codes etc..). As much as I love this hobby, when i see what some of you guys have i feel as though i will never be able to have a 'fulfilling' collection. In a few hundred years time, historians will be thanking folk like us for 'preserving' important aspects of human existence; but most of what i have are generally 'common' items. My only rarities are a cased Czech Red Banner of Labor; a soviet Labor Glory 2nd Class; a Hungarian Red Banner & a Hungarian Red Star; even my soviet Heroes are relativly common & easy to get hold of; my ones do not even have documents. Although scarce, they are still in the collections of hundreds of others, in better condition &,more importantly, reasearched!!!! Things such as the Suche Bataar Orders & the Afghan Red Banner will never grace my life, & i feel quite like i have already lost!!!!

Do any of you chaps feel this way somtimes? My only chance of ever having the likes of the Nakhimovs or the Kutezovs would be only if they were copies; which, as long as they are the good quality ones, are okay as space filling representatives, but they just do not really 'feel' right & are usually put in a box away from my genuine items. Somtimes i feel angry with copies for being what they are. I cannot allow them near my genuine treasures!!!!

As i am on permanent disability benefits, i am usually only able to afford the common items. To get my hands on a genuine Suche Bataar would be like going to heaven & bathing in a fine malt whisky- but it will never happen!!!!!!

Some of you must get this way at times; like no matter how hard you try to get a thing that serves to preserve an important era, (a Mongolian 1st type Hero would serve to preserve an important aspect of that countrys history ,culture etc....)you just fail!!!!! I cannot find a single thing around me that will help the future historians that only i have!!!! Every thing that i have is already 'preserved' by a million others!!!!

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We all know the feeling, I think. We often need to remind ourselves that phaleristics isn't a competitive sport. This forum can give us a vicarious 'fix' when personal acquisitions (or budget) wane.

The most important point, however, is that when we collect items that are numbered (or named), every piece we have is unique, every piece (no matter how 'common') represents and reflects the services of an individual who may be otherwise totally forgotten, totally lost to history, except for that numismatically common item we hold in our hand, even that 'pedestrian' Red Star. It almost makes you choke up. When the research is done (or becomes possible), even the most common stuff takes on such a patina of history that it becomes exciting and satisfying. As prices rise, research and history becomes our refuge.

Now, if some bio-mechanical implant comes along for language acquisition in Russian, in Mongolian, in Hungarian, in Dari, in . . . .

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Don't beat yourself up over it my friend. Though, my collection is primarilly of common finds, I have acquired some rather interesting pieces in the darndest of places. Sure, there are items that others have that are well beyond my means, but I revel in the fact that they are displayed on Forums like these for us all to enjoy. My advice? Don't give up and don't get disheartened for I have always found the most interesting pieces when I wasn't expecting it and for short money. Keep the collecting torch ablaze and keep you chin held high and you'll come out a winner!



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I agree with the above responses and would suggest for instance to consider finetuning your collecting area of interest to either a more uncommen area (e.g. Albanian for example) where you don't have "thousands" of others chasing the same items OR to an area within your existing collecting interest which is more sharply defined (e.g. instead of collecting Soviet awards, collect documented Soviet awards related to battle for Berlin) so you can focus your spend.

The point about research that Ed makes is also an important one - instead of expanding collection and trying to chase a once in a lifetime great deal, why not focus on getting research for the awards that you do have? E.g. the hero star you own... hundres may own one but I can assure you there's thousands (incl. myself) that would LOVE to own one.

Finally, there'll always be somebody with more money or who started collecting sooner (when the prices were lower). Better to not get frustrated about that or you'll never be happy. Besides, you've got a Hero Star! :jumping:

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I dont know what you mean? You have listed off some really nice things. What I would not give for a Hero Star :love:

Just keep in mind that even the most common of awards has a story and significance. Someone actually dedicated a portion of their life to get that particular Red Banner of Labor that is now in your care. Even if it was awarded as a long service decoration, the medal serves as a testament to the recipients hard work and devotion to duty and country. :beer:

Why not take some time and get the Hero researched? It will be exciting to see what comes back.

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Ed's said it perfectly-- when every researchable item is literally unique and personal... it doesn''t get any better than that.

I'm not here after 40+ years as a trophy hunter, or (God forbid! shudder) an "investor," but to collect what I can afford as a mere mortal (after cat food, of course, for His Nibs) and

what interests ME.

No zomboid Must Have One Of Every Imaginable Variation. No Completesetititis. No mine-is-bigger complexes.

If you can find things which interest you, that's all it takes to reach Lifelong Collecting Happiness. :cheers:

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I know for sure I will never have complete collection. That's the fact I have to live with.

The truth is that I already missed out on some heavy items. Five years ago 1st class Kutuzov was expensive at $6,000-7,000, but I could afford it. It was somehow affordable 3 years ago at $15,000. Today, at $60,000-80,000 or whatever the price is if you can find one, - it is totally out of reach for me.

Even if I had that kind of money to drop on Kutuzov, I would not do so for simple fact that there are better uses of capital than to buy some badge.

I agree with what some posters said here - find what interests you and what you can comfortably afford financially. There are still relatively low priced items out there - you can collect Liberation medals, variations of OPW, or Iron Crosses. As long as you enjoy the process.


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I think we have all gone through this stage in our collecting. We can not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of wanting what we can not have as this will spoil any enjoyment we might get from this hobby. I consider myself a bottom feeder of sorts when it comes to what I can afford. Sure I would love to own a Victoria Cross or the Blue Max (I think there's some on eBay at this every moment) :lol: but we have to find happiness in what our finances will allow.

Bottom line is that if you are collecting at any level it is obvious that you have expendable cash. There are a lot of people who can not afford their rent and at the same time food for their table. Not to get preachy but we are all a part of an elete group of individuals who have the time and resources (no matter how modest) to engage in a hobby.

And what a hobby!!!

Embrace it and enjoy the rush.

Cheers :cheers:


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