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Gensui

judging authenticity of ribbons

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Gents,

Talking about authenticity of any items is always an important topic for me to discuss, especially before starting to spend several hundreds or thousands of Dollar/Euro/PoundYen for a supposed “origin, unworn item”.

I’m just wondering if there are any investigations here about the authenticity of ribbons on Japanese medals? For example, how to detect any ribbons on medals, which are replaced with modern ones.

As you may know, there are some common possibilities, how to check the authenticity.

There are some wonderful threats about this topic in the German SDA forum for German items. And I am just curious, if these conclusions can be adapted to the ribbons of the Japanese medals. (Note, that the pictures and information are from following link http://h1797427.stra...r-alt-oder-neu/) )

Option 1: Checking luminescence with a black-light lamp

Attached picture shows an authentic, non-luminous ribbon (left side) and a modern copy (right side).

Of course, it only make sence, if the ribbon contains some white parts...

Option 2: Counting the stitches / strings

This is an arduous research work, but might be worth it to do. As you can see on attached picture, there are two ribbons. The warp threads differ here (see white dots). While the left was detected as an authentic one, the middle one is a new produced piece. In addition to this, we have

Option 3: Haptic

Are there any possibilities to “feel” the difference of an authentic ribbon? E.g., new ribbons are made of rigid material, etc.?

There might be a fourth and FINAL option, which should be avoided and only seen with a bit of mind jogging:

Option 4: Burning test

While old (cotton-made) ribbons started to burn, new (synthetic-made) ribbons are glowing.

Of course, nobody should burn the whole ribbon, but maybe a single stitch to check it.

Looking for to your reply and br,

Chris

Edited by Gensui

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Option 4: Burning test

This is my favorite Chris! :lol:

To tell you the truth I've never used black light lamp...

Never counted stitches either ...

Guess I've never really cared much about ribbon authenticity ... :)

Seriously though..

Modern ribbons have

1) slightly different attachment gear

2) slightly different silk colors (generally less intense colors)

3) slightly different texture (they give you more "chemical" like feeling and they are less rigid, than older ones)

Regards,

Nick

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Thanks for your comments, Nick!

This is my favorite Chris! :lol:

Well, of course above mentioned thoughts refers to ribbons on Imperial German medals (here: Iron Cross 2nd class). I was just wondering if these “options” are holding truth for Japanese ribbons as well.

If somebody would burn down the whole ribbon, no need for judging if authentic or not :D

1) slightly different attachment gear

I’m not sure, if I get this point. Can you explain “attachment gear”?

2) slightly different silk colors (generally less intense colors)

3) slightly different texture (they give you more "chemical" like feeling and they are less rigid, than older ones)

Of course, this seems to be an obvious point. You know, I don’t have a penchant for paranoia (although – need to ask my friends) and don’t see ghosts. But I promise you: give me one modern ribbon, and I will make it less intense in colours and get rid of the “chemical feeling”.

And even the luminescence can be avoided by the right treatment…

Another thing, which just pop-up my mind might be the hook and the eye. I guess, there are differences as well? Probably caused by different makers/mint?

BR, Chris

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I’m not sure, if I get this point. Can you explain “attachment gear”?

Of course, this seems to be an obvious point. You know, I don’t have a penchant for paranoia (although – need to ask my friends) and don’t see ghosts. But I promise you: give me one modern ribbon, and I will make it less intense in colours and get rid of the “chemical feeling”.

And even the luminescence can be avoided by the right treatment…

Another thing, which just pop-up my mind might be the hook and the eye. I guess, there are differences as well? Probably caused by different makers/mint?

BR, Chris

I believe this is what Nick means by attachment gear - the hook and catch/eye - and yes, you do see some variation in these across the same kind of medal - which I would expect, and can likely be attributed to different makers/suppliers of the parts. But in certain instances - as one example that I have observed - the Imperial Constitution medal - that to the best of my knowledge used wire hooks and eyes sewn directly to the ribbon as originals, vs. the type that are pressed through and crimped to a tiny back-plate - the more "modern" type - so does this possibly indicate a replacement ribbon, or were they indeed made TWO different ways? I kind of doubt this, but it is possible. And if those ribbons ARE replacements, they could still be very old - but I can see how it'd be easier to modernize the attachment hardware rather than re-sew the old ones!

Which means we should distinguish among modern, aftermarket replacement of ribbons - and you see lots of these on Yahoo! Japan - vs. those ribbons replaced by the medal recipient due to damage or wear, that are quite possibly very old, but not technically original, and so on - which brings us right back to Chris's original questions!

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I’m not sure, if I get this point. Can you explain “attachment gear”?

"Attachment gear" = "hook and the eye" :)

But I promise you: give me one modern ribbon, and I will make it less intense in colours and get rid of the “chemical feeling”.And even the luminescence can be avoided by the right treatment…

You are quite resourceful guy!

I don't blame you....

Especially after all these years that you spent with German militaria ... :lol:

But please don't forget - you should make modern ribbon colors look more intense (not less!) ;)

I'll show you what I mean by the way of example - medal of honor on yellow ribbon.

Will create a new thread devoted to this medal in a couple of days.

Best,

Nick

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"Attachment gear" = "hook and the eye" :)

As long as they are not missing will be a good indication...

You are quite resourceful guy!

I don't blame you....

Especially after all these years that you spent with German militaria ... :lol:

Why not taking experience from one field to another? :D

But please don't forget - you should make modern ribbon colors look more intense (not less!) ;)

Nope! If I would fake ribbons, a more intense coloured ribbon would be too suspicisous!

I'll show you what I mean by the way of example - medal of honor on yellow ribbon.

Will create a new thread devoted to this medal in a couple of days.

Looking for to read this! :jumping:

BR, Chris

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Well, here some basic facts about early and later ribbons for japanese orders and medals.

First, let`s examine ribbons of the first japanese order - order of the Rising Sun.

As with 1874 War Medal earlier ribbons for Rising Sun Order didn`t have "standart" "go along" attachement gear (hook and catch/eye).

Let`s examine this 8th class piece that was issued in 1889.

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Please also note that earlie ribbons were made from non moiré watered silk ;)

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Now lets examine the back side of the ribbon.

Interesting that the hook is too short (this form of hook is pretty standart for earlie pieces - I wonder if it was added to the ribbon by government or was bought by the cavalier. I think the latter if more likely) and cavalier was forced to add an improvised extender...

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Another 8th class (pretty salty one) that has same type of gear, but the sewing is terrible ...

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And another 8th class, but with familiar "firm made" attachement gear.

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Early ribbons for Rising Sun orders have interesting color variation - sometimes red stripes looks more like wine red (beet ;)) than actually red stripes. Here comes a good example of such ribbon with interesting improvised attachment gear.

Edited by JapanX

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Another nice example of beet color - 4th class with later added rosette.

Edited by JapanX

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Now same colored ribbon, but with "firm made" attachement gear (same early type of "firm made" gear that has specimen in post

# 17)

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Later attachment have slightly different form of hook and catch.

Ribbons that came from (approximately) 1895-1920 period of time usually have rich raspberry pink red stripes.

Here we have a couple of examples of such ribbons.

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