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Original vs. Reproduction WWII Stars


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The poor quality of the pearls in the crown and the dimpled appearance of the back with blobs at end of each point I would suggest a caste copy.

John

Hi everyone!! :D

How can you tell the difference between an original WWII Star, and a copy/fake/reproduction?

Thanks!

Jason

Here is my Burma Star......

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The poor quality of the pearls in the crown and the dimpled appearance of the back with blobs at end of each point I would suggest a caste copy.

This one sold to me as an original, by a reputable dealer. The medal appears to have been dropped and banged around as there are several dings and the ends have been dented, hence the "blobs" at the end of the points. The back is scratched up giving it the rough appearance to the reverse.

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I would expect better quality than the ones posted even though it is difficult to state that they are not originals. Here are mine for comparison together with a close-up of the Aircrew Europe Star deemed original on the British Medals Forum.

regards

Alex K

Edited by Alex K
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There are various points of difference between known fakes & originals, variations in the pearls in the crown, positioning of lettering etc. There isn't really a general answer to how to spot fake Stars, you have to address each Type of Star individually, comparing say an Air Crew Europe Star with photos & descriptons of known original & known fake. Condition & appearance of the metal isn't a reliable way of telling good from bad, a dealer in London once showed me a box of brand spanking knew fake ACE Stars & then fiddled one of them & a buffer wheel for a matter of seconds & changed its appearance to "genuine".

Suspension rings - at various times I've read peoples opinions on when the construction of the rings changed, copper coloured brazing, silver solder, left "open", copper coloured because produced at the Calcutta Mint, left open because authorities have bought up modern repros / fakes to dispense as reissues. I can't remember much about this subject but others (Ed?) will know.

Check out various websites that deal with fakes, tho' I'd be a bit wary of the ebay one on principal. I print these out & tuck them away in folders for my own reference.

Here are a few that a search on "fake air crew europe star" turn up:

http://www.northeastmedals.co.uk/britishgu...tarcopyfake.htm

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/hartleyi/acediscussion.htm

http://www.lancs.ac.uk/staff/hartleyi/bobclasp.htm

http://reviews.ebay.com/BRITISH-WW2-STARS-...000000001508514

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I saw a series of fake Africa stars last weekend. They were all uniformly shiny and brighter than one would expect-and the stars were thinner and lighter than the originals.

Fake ACEs were around in the mid 1970s and people had fiddled with the bars on stars in the 1960s.

Here is a "good copy" ACE star from a British manufacturer made in the early 1990s:

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I have never been able to gain access to the Calcutta Mint records (they are quite uncooperative, but they are a working office and not an archive), but I do know that the full range of WWII stars and medals were struck at the mint. As late as the 1980s, they were still stocked in the medal office in New Delhi. The easiest way to tell them from British (or, for that matter, Pakistani) awards is that most of the medals to Indians were named. I have never been one for microscopic issues of numismatic detail. Some Western collectors, however, have noted design differences in these Calcutta-made medals (though they seem blissfully unaware of the naming) and some have dismissed them as fakes (as they have with the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars made and named in Calcutta). For those of us who avidly collect them, this is fine, as it keeps prices down (though some dealers have taken up the "duty" of destroying these "fakes" = historical homicide).

Some Indian "fake" stars have been noted, but they are more in the way of tailor's copies, intended for wearing by veterans who mislaid their originally issued pieces, rather than to delude collectors. Given the fact that until very recently authentic medals have been common and low in price, there hasn't been much call for fakes. This may be changing.

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I have never been able to gain access to the Calcutta Mint records (they are quite uncooperative, but they are a working office and not an archive), but I do know that the full range of WWII stars and medals were struck at the mint. As late as the 1980s, they were still stocked in the medal office in New Delhi. The easiest way to tell them from British (or, for that matter, Pakistani) awards is that most of the medals to Indians were named. I have never been one for microscopic issues of numismatic detail. Some Western collectors, however, have noted design differences in these Calcutta-made medals (though they seem blissfully unaware of the naming) and some have dismissed them as fakes (as they have with the 1914 and 1914-15 Stars made and named in Calcutta). For those of us who avidly collect them, this is fine, as it keeps prices down (though some dealers have taken up the "duty" of destroying these "fakes" = historical homicide).

Some Indian "fake" stars have been noted, but they are more in the way of tailor's copies, intended for wearing by veterans who mislaid their originally issued pieces, rather than to delude collectors. Given the fact that until very recently authentic medals have been common and low in price, there hasn't been much call for fakes. This may be changing.

The Aircrew Europe Star was traditionally the only one worth faking due to it's comparative rarity, hence the plethora of fakes around. However as you state, times change and as other stars become "Scarcer" the **sholes who fake this stuff now see another quick Buck, Collecting non-German stuff used to be easy.

Alex

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All of the Stars have been faked for some years, but the ACE has always been the classic fake amongst them. Fortunately the majority are easy to spot due to no attempt having been made to get the size, metal, & finish right.

As time goes on though, we will all pick up little bits of rumour & information here & there, "the ones with the massive "open" suspension rings were produced by such & such"," the ones with the brush finish backs were produced by somebody else but only for a year".

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone know if there is any variation in the thickness of Stars? I have 2 Burma, 1 Italy, & 1 Africa Star that are the exact same thickness, but I have another Italy Star that is about 3/4 the thickness of all of the others. The other thing about the odd Italy Star is the loop at the top of the medal, where the ribbon ring is attached, is much smaller than the others (all of which have the same size loops). What does anyone think? Otherwise, the features between the 2 Italy Stars are exactly the same.

Thanks!

Jason

Edited by jshorter
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Hi JS,

Take a look at this link Leigh posted:

http://reviews.ebay.com/BRITISH-WW2-STARS-...000000001508514

Here is part of the article:

6. Originals have an uniform thickness and the example noted above as being from the Calcutta mint that has a raised central dome is of uniform thickness too. The raised dome is the only difference and the arms etc of the star are uniform like any other star. One Pacific star was encountered which was quite thin overall and of coarse, was a downright Fake.

Regards Eddie

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks very much Alex.

I thought it looked "good" compared with yours (and using the links posted earlier in the thread) but I'm new to all this, and thought there might be something I'd missed.

Cheers,

Jon

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Thanks very much Alex.

I thought it looked "good" compared with yours (and using the links posted earlier in the thread) but I'm new to all this, and thought there might be something I'd missed.

Cheers,

Jon

No you've missed nothing, quite a nice example really.

regards

Alex

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