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Here are two badges. The one on the left is typical in finish and features for a GWL. The one on the right is essentially identical with respect to weight (44.85 vs 44.82) and measured dimensions. The only obvious differences are the finish, lack of obvious "fingerprint", and a slightly more round catch on the latter. Thoughts on the originality of the one on the right, anyone?

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The badge on the right raises only 2 conserns for me:

1) the finish; Both on the eagle and on the wreath

2) the pin catch; while it follows the correct style, it is not quite right.

I only have 1 GWL flight badge (pilot) but the one on the left matches it in every way, including the catch. I would only expect to see variation in the rivets and maker-mark (i.e. the intensity of the break in the ring)

If I were looking for a GWL pilot, the one on the right would not be for me. I would only consider, in this case, the text-book one. These are only my opinions.

To further analyse the example on the right, you should also check dimensions in case it's a good casting using an original as a mold. It could well be an original that may have been corroded, then cleaned up and re-finished.

Rich

Edited by Richard Gordon
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Measured with the calipers:

Wreath height: 52.7

Wreath width: 42.7

Wing span: 63.5

Swas diagonal: 16.6

Hinge width: 6.2

Length from hinge to catch: 47.5

These measurements are all well within published specs for a GWL. I've attached a few more close-ups as well. There is after all a hint of the "fingerprint" bounded by the red arrows. It's very faint and I didn't see it until I put the badge through various angles in artificial light. I don't see any evidence that the rivets have been tampered with, and no evidence of cross contamination on either the eagle or wreath from a potential refinish.

I lean toward this being one of two things: A late war badge with short cuts taken in the finishing process, or the best fake ever seen. Obviously, I hope it's the former, but I welcome all opinions on this one.

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