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investing in U-Boat Militaria: wise or otherwise?

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A novice to militaria myself from the get-go I was coaxed by some of my friends to invest in it. This due to all the uncertainty having to do with the 2008 crisis, low interest and all. Incited, I took the bold step and, as of 2018, I officially started collecting militaria, truly hoping that this would  deliver me more interest than banks could ever promise. Decided to specialize in U-Boat history, here I am. But could you please be a honest judge on whether I did well on purchasing these pieces (photo attached)? First and foremost, are they real? I want them to be real, but I value your judgement higher than my wish. I bought them from two different sellers and all three pieces struck me authentic on sheer sight. I hope I do own original cap badges for U 382,  U 255 and U 407. But am I right? Don't hesitate to publish the most trivial of detail.



Edited by Duikboot
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Indeed.... although some stuff is surer than others.... with a decently priced Helmet or cased EK1 you probably cannot go too far wrong... but with "board made", if ever you want to sell, you need to find another "believer".... 95% of collectors will look, find it interesting, but then question if it was "board made" in 1943 or in 2003....

Such items are super if you know the origin, or are convinced they are real... but not a good investment IMHO... and noone can really say if they are good or not because they are all unique, even if it is the same badge

All the best


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Then mere authenticity remains the only way to at least break even, right? But I do have a "Real Mccoy" provenance going for both these W. Churchill and U-255 badges. With U-407, however, I may have taken a tiny gamble since it might prove somewhat difficult to show that it is real. But there's a U-407 photograph confirming its geometric shape:


I shy away from  "board made" fake badges, but how can you really tell?

thanks for your advice, people.

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These tradition badges are flooding the markets.  As many of these were made rather crudely, and with resources out there showing designs of these, anyone with a smattering of metal and art can create a piece like this and state the "provenance".   They are probably the easiest item for someone to create and pass off as "original".   Many in the collecting world know this and will always with skepticism treat these as post war created replicas.  You might never get your money back.  

If you are happy with the item, then that is what is important.  Don't invest because you think it will appreciate in value; collect for the love of the item and it's history.

I love Unterseeboot collecting, there are other items that you can acquire like Mützenband from the various Uboats.  I for one have found this extremely satisfying and really is not too expensive relatively speaking.  The construction of the tallies makes it incredibly hard to duplicate, with a little training, you can spot the forgeries from the real deal.


Best Regards,


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  • 1 month later...

JustinG and Chris, thanks the both of you for your welcome advice. Hmm, I think I've come to a point where I got hooked to collecting instead. Instead of trying to make money out of these insignia that is. Likely I just made collecting U-Boat cap badges my official hobby. My latest acquisition (U-305):



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  • 2 weeks later...

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