Saturday, 7 February 2009

Soviet Medals and Orders Collecting

Before starting to collect Soviet era medals and orders there are a few rules that you need to follow to protect yourself from buying fake items or being caught out from not adhering to laws of other countries.

One of the most important rules regarding collecting Soviet era medals and awards is the fact that it is illegal to purchase Soviet medals and awards in Russia and take them out of the country. Russian law states that it is illegal to remove any item of cultural value over the age of fifty years from the country. Any person caught trying to smuggle cultural items out of Russia no matter the value can be detained in prison.

The second rule is to scrutinise any medal or order that you wish to purchase before doing so. A considerable number of Soviet awards on the market are fakes.

You may think that the dealer selling the item is legitimate but you would be surprised at how many people try to make new fake medals look older by using aging techniques. Even the cheapest original medals available have seen many fake versions flood the market in recent years.

Below are a few guidelines on ensuring you do not get sold a fake item.
  • Consult knowledgeable people in the Soviet medal field by joining online forums.
  • Find out realistic prices from reputable sources before parting with your money.
  • Study any originals you come across carefully to learn just how they feel and look.
  • Learn some tricks of the trade on how to spot fake items such as looking at the hinge, reviewing numbers on the back (they are usually stamped) and looking at the age of the enamel (older enamel tends to be of better quality).
  • Finally everyone can tell a good yarn, be sceptical about stories you here on the item in question.

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