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Getting on board the bandwagon


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After joining this forum i've taken great pleasure reading the posts and sticky's in the Soviet and Imperial Russian areas and prior had no idea that the numbered awards can be researched. I've always enjoyed the research aspect of ODM collection hence my love of collecting medals to the CEF men from my home town. As my family has some connection to service in the imperial russian army (my great grandfather served in ww1) i figured its just an added reason to look into collecting russian and soviet odm.

I've spoken with a dealer i've bought several CEF items from in the past and he's put aside several pieces for me for a very nice price (i'm sure he could have gotten much more on Ebay but i'm a good customer and his primary focus is British/Canadian awards. If any award doesn't meet par i can also return so i'm confident in the product being sold.

I'm getting:

MEDAL FOR COMBAT SERVICE. 370,000 range

2 x MEDAL FOR VALOUR. one in 418,000 range the other in 770,000 range

2 x ORDER OF GLORY, 3RD. CLASS. one in 240,000 and the other i can't remember

ORDER OF THE RED BANNER. 380,000 range With makers marks, in silver.

ORDER OF THE RED STAR. 1,600,000 range . In silver, screw back.

ST.GEORGES CROSS 4th Class,Numbered.in silver (can't remember the number)

CHINESE CAMPAIGN MEDAL FOR THE BOXER REBELLION OF 1900-01

all awards only cost about $400 so i would like to spend some money on hiring a researcher and getting the recipient service files. Can anyone recommend a good researcher who can get copies of service files and do translations? According to the ranges i think the majority of awards are mid 1943 with red banner dating to around 1954 correct? I have afew books in my collection which cover soviet/russian odm but not really how to tell a bad medal from a good one any sggestions. Look forward to hearing your comments

Cheers

Chris

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Welcome! And beware!!

If it is all of these for $400 and they are good, I think we'd all like to meet this dealer. But sometimes when a deal is too good to be true, it is. I'd stay with known and reliable dealers, though that list is now very very short. Be very careful with dealers who don't know what they are doing.

Get first the McDaniel and Schmitt book. While it is dated and, in some ways, surpassed (in Russian) it still stands as the central reference in English. For the English-speaking collector, it should be purchase #1. If you can read Russian, I am sure others will have better advice. Though the http://www.mondvor.narod.ru/ is still good and of use if you can tolerate the muddled but laughable online translations (I use the PROMPT add-on).

Send PM for research advice, although for undocumented items the list of people doing that work is very short and very slow.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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Good prices these days for such an instant collection. :cheers:

MMM 37X,XXX around July 1943

VM 418XXX around August 1943

VM 770XXX in the autumn of 1943

OG3 is probably summer of 1944, but could be from 1945, since those number ranges are more dispersed by units issuing them out of separate boxes (heavy action used up more, so later numbers handed out sooner than lower numbers to a unit NOT handing them out much)

ORB 38XXXX would fall into 1952-53 depending on exactly where in that range it is

ORB 16XXXXX from summer of 1945

Unfortunately I suspect we are passing the last days of getting research. The sole FUNCTIONING source left cannot work from just the serial numbers-- he needs the recipient's name from Orders Books. The fellow who DOES--theoretically--seem to be able to work from numbers is no longer reliable, in the sense that more is NOT getting found thaan is. I suspect that the poor guy is simply far overworked and not keeping accurate track of too many requests.

If and when: Glories are ALWAYS worth doing. That Red Banner will turn out to be a 20 years long service award for an officer, so at least there was a career there that is in the files. The Red Star is almost certainly for some combat action-- could be from the Japanese front, or just a slow European theater award. The Valors are also early enough to be worthwhile doing.

I just would not hold out much hope at all for undocumented awards now. Five years ago... but not now.

Also, as a new Soviet collector, be VERY aware that a TIDAL WAVE of rubbish is now refloating back out onto the market from "retro-fitted" awards, badly botched forged award Books, altered serial numbers, and the like-- First Generation Frankensteins from the mid 1990s.

Given prices today, EXTREME caution is required. Be prepared for bad news as often as good, and whenever possible post scans BEFORE buying rather than after.

Copy/paste and print out the dated serial numbers thread that is pinned here

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=7861

and take that with you in your collecting travels. It'll give you an on the spot assist in deciding when awards were made. :cheers:

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Ed and Rick

Thanks so much for your comments. I knew going into this that it's an area littered with with forgeries and fakes (as is British/Canadian medals these days) and have decided to go through a very reputable dealer (in British medals anyways) who i feel can be trusted. He has a huge selection of soviet awards he picked up in the previous decade and some other very nice goodies that i plan on picking up later but decided to focus on the earlier awards in my first purchase.

After i post my first batch of goodies (it'll take about 2- 2.5 weeks for everything to get here) and review your comments i'll better know how to proceed in the future, and i promise after i place my second order (which will include mostly imperial items) i will post the name of the dealer. There will be plenty of valours and merit medals left as well as orders of great patriotic war red banners of labour and scarce campaign/post war medals i would say about 300 items left, he also has a decent selection of imperial medals to choose from.

Cheers

Chris

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I hope you've found a King Tut's Tomb :cheeky: of GOOD mid-90s stuff. Sounds like it. :cheers:

But I was taken unawares-- as were most of us, I suspect--that there WERE fakes, forgeries, and retro-fits (Beware Oh Beware the "early suspension" stuff) on the market INSTANTLY and mingled amongst all the good "cheap" stuff.

Of course, back then, "mainstream collectors" regarded us as rubbish pickers. Nothing was "worth" much and we were laughed at for wasting money on junk that would never have ANY "value."

So who'd have ever guessed? :catjava:

My only advantage was having had Russian in school in the hot Cold days (and me with Sutterlin at the other end of my eternal schooling :speechless1: ), so I could cherry pick paperwork and re-assemble split up groups. It was generally assumed that Western collectors would NOT be able to read Russian, and I think more documentation was tossed away as "unmarketable" than in any desire to shield the identities of those selling on deceased grampa's clutter for hard currency.

So if your source HAS any paperwork lying around, ask to see it. You may be horrified to discover he--like most First Generation sellers HAS an Orders book, tossed in a back drawer with each of three or four decorations on individual offer. :banger:

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  • 1 month later...

Well my order arrived and i must say i'm pleased as i think everything looks good execpt perhaps the 1901 boxer rebellion medal. My pics suck so i'll get some better ones done up They are

orb 323474

og3 243130 other one is erased

mmm 887507

ors 2014888

valour medal 613694, 768285

cross of st.George 4th class 564042

russian medal for boxer campaign looks like it may be plated bronze???

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Pics still not great the george cross looks like crap in the pics but is very nice in person the obverse pic makes it look as though it has pitting which it doesn't. Please comment on your thought for authenticity and Rick i'd greatly appreciate your thoughts on serial number dates.

Cheers

Chris

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russkiemedals015.jpg

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Red Banner's from 1949/50 for 20 years service. The Red Star is from May 1945. Glory 3rd from January 1945. Ist Valour from October 1943 and the second one from end of 43/early 44. MMM also end of 43/early 44.

In happier days, it would have been possible to research any of those. I'sd say chances of most interesting would go down from Glory 3rd, Red Star, Red Banner. :beer:

Looks like a typically faded Hessian General Decoration war ribbon on that 1900-01.

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Thanks Rick

What's your thoughts on authenticity. Was the price to good to be true IYHO. This dealer apparently splits some groups if they aren't mounted together so i have to try and get research fingers crossed some of these may belong to the same individual.

Cheers

Chris

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Thanks Rick

What's your thoughts on authenticity. Was the price to good to be true IYHO. This dealer apparently splits some groups if they aren't mounted together so i have to try and get research fingers crossed some of these may belong to the same individual.

Cheers

Chris

Chris,

It looks like you've found the motherlode :jumping:

All the Soviet awards are original without a doubt.

Marc

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Thanks so much Marc for your opinion they looked really well to my eyes as well and i've tried over the past month to read up on Soviet odm to begin my education. I've just sent out an email to a researcher who may be able to help so fingers crossed. I just spoke with the dealer and placed a second order this time for some other high bracket items at bargain basement prices. I purchased a silver star and good conduct medal named to the same guy (ww2 era), and order of red eagle 4th class with swords for less then $300cdn!!!!! I love this guy!!!!! oh and a soviet bravery medal in the 500000 range.

Cheers

Chris

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Hello censlenov,

You are certainly off to a fine start with your Soviet collection. I do hope that you will post your Red Eagle in the Imperial German section when you get it. These (with swords) are exceptionally tricky and one ?...with swords for less then $300cdn!!!!? has to be one of the bargains of the year.

Best wishes,

Wild Card

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