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Stabilization Force (SFOR) Medal = Copy?!?!


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Hi everyone!

I've just started collecting Dutch awards and have acquired a Commemorative Stabilization Force 2001 (SFOR) Medal. After showing it to another collector/dealer, I was informed that it was a copy! :mad:The person selling it said it was an original. I have included a photo of was I was told was an original along side mine. I can see some variations in them, but mine is very well made and not cast (stamped). Can anyone shed any light on this or throw their opinions in? If it is a copy, I am going to let the seller know, but I would like to know as much as I can first...

Thank you all in advance!

Kindest regards,

Jason

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Hi,

if I am not mistaken, there is a Dutch or Belgian company that makes copies of current European medals, not for the collectors market, but for sale to soldiers... I am not sure of the details, but they did make exampels of current French medals a few years ago... a bit cheaper and uglier than the "real" ones... but I think the average soldier does not care, as long as the price is right...

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Chris,

Thank you! I was wondering about that. Mine is too well made to be a "fake", but my thoughts were that it might be a Veteran's copy or replacement for a lost medal. I'm still not happy that it's not an original though! If it were you, would you bring it up with the seller?

Thank you,

Jason

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Chris,

Thank you! I was wondering about that. Mine is too well made to be a "fake", but my thoughts were that it might be a Veteran's copy or replacement for a lost medal. I'm still not happy that it's not an original though! If it were you, would you bring it up with the seller?

Thank you,

Jason

The question would be, is there an official maker?

I know with some of the more recent French awards there are 3 or 4 makers, the product ranging from awful to bloody awful.... and I think units and tailors can order from all or any of them.

Yours may be found on as many medal bars as the other one... just as you bought one online... there is probably a soldier getting one cheaper on ebay than at the tailor... and when the tailor runs out of old ones... he may order these... its a very tough call... I imagine it is "older version" and "ugly newer one".... as long as the company is legally making them...

The finish looks very much like some of the versions of te French "medaille Commemorative" or whatever it is called...

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Chris,

Thanks again for the info. When I first received mine, I thought it was really nicely made and not at all "ugly". I guess I will list it in my collection as an "unofficial copy" then. That's the one thing I hate about not having mint marks on a medal, or at least a known official manufacturer to compare to.

Jason

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Hi Jason,

This medal was instituted in 2001 and has been given by the tenthousands now. The firm producing this medal is Van Veluw from Zeist, the Netherlands. They produce a lot of Dutch medals, badges, pins etc.

They have an own website. I know that the scarser clasps are reproduced, but the medal is unconfirmed till now. An original medal is not expensive, so there is no real need to do this. The more scarses clasps are sometimes more valuable than the medal.

Van Veluw does not hallmark this medal. Hallmarking stopped around 1990 for the campaign medals.

I think the difference has something to do with the finish. Some are more shiny than others.

Perhaps van Veluw has an answer when you contact them.

Good luck,

Herman

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Van Wielik from The Hague ('s Gravenhage in Dutch) is just the firm mounting the medal in the so called Prussian style, introduced in ny country around 1913 for the military. Civilians have the normal style of hanging below the ribbon. This is the way all are awarded including to the military aswell. (I received mine in 2008 for ISAF Afghanistan the same way).

SFOR vets also received the NATO medal. In 2001 this was the 'former Yougoslavia' one.

Herman

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I don't know about copy/replacement/private purchase vs. original issue with regard to Dutch medals, but yours is much nicer than the "original" one. That one is cast and had the cheap finish I associate with lowest bidder US medal contracts, especially in the 1990s. If someone is offering higher quality replacements for the cheap stuff governments have been contracting for, I say good on 'em and I hope the collector community keeps this in mind when labelling things as "real" or "fake".

Chris mentioned French medals. I have several French National Defense Medals made by another contractor which are to me much nicer than the issue ones.

The US is even worse. The DoD has been buying cheaply made medals to award to servicemembers, and at the same time has been selling as excess material much nicer versions of many of the same medals acquired under contracts between WW2 and Vietnam. This includes Silver Stars, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. The number of Silver Stars sold seems far in excess of the number awarded since 2001, and the ones sold include many high-quality ones contracted in the 1940s from jewelers such as Bailey, Banks and Biddle.

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Hi Jason,

This medal was instituted in 2001 and has been given by the ten thousands now. The firm producing this medal is Van Veluw from Zeist, the Netherlands. They produce a lot of Dutch medals, badges, pins etc.

They have an own website. I know that the scarser clasps are reproduced, but the medal is unconfirmed till now. An original medal is not expensive, so there is no real need to do this. The more scarses clasps are sometimes more valuable than the medal.

Van Veluw does not hallmark this medal. Hallmarking stopped around 1990 for the campaign medals.

I think the difference has something to do with the finish. Some are more shiny than others.

Perhaps van Veluw has an answer when you contact them.

Good luck,

Herman

It seems that the actual medal isn't an issue any more, so let me now focus on the clasp. I've attached a close up of the actual "SFOR" clasp. What do you all think...?

Jason

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Chris mentioned French medals. I have several French National Defense Medals made by another contractor which are to me much nicer than the issue ones.

I agree, in fact, my own bar is made up of what I consider to be the nicest variations as opposed to the issue ones... but it depends on the maker...

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Here is an example... the one on the left i think is the most comman french awarded medal... the one on the right is a company who prefered using asterix Comics to get a facial design....

I dont like either of them... no high five for modern French Medal making... but I am really not a fan of the one on the right.... smooth brass, "Antiqued"....

But it is sold to soldiers, and worn....

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