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Ritterkreuz soldering

Article about: Hello everyone. Iíll admit to being out of depth on this one, so I would value your opinions. I have been given a Knights Cross to try and authenticate for a friend, but having never handled

  1. #1
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    Default Ritterkreuz soldering

    Hello everyone. Iíll admit to being out of depth on this one, so I would value your opinions. I have been given a Knights Cross to try and authenticate for a friend, but having never handled a real one before Iím struggling. Iíve used the advice from Gordon Wiiliamsonís book and all looks ok to my untrained eye but this is where I would really appreciate some help.

    My main concern is the soldering. Iíve read that all Knights Crosses were silver soldered and then lacquered, meaning the edges should be well finished and smooth. Iím not so sure that this example stands up to that test. The pictures Iíve posted should hopefully give some indication as to what I mean (natural daylight is at a premium at the moment so Iíve had to use some artificial light in the pics Iím afraid).

    All other details on the cross seem ok according to Gordon Wiiliamsonís book. Itís 32 grams in weight, finished evenly, magnetic centre, silver stamped 800 and (I think) comes with the correct suspension loop.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  3. #2

    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    im not much of an expert on these but it does look okay to me its got gaps around the edge where it was sealed (so its 3 peice) the dates don't seem too bad but wait for an expert to tell you for share

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    Quote by talltom View Post
    im not much of an expert on these but it does look okay to me its got gaps around the edge where it was sealed (so its 3 peice) the dates don't seem too bad but wait for an expert to tell you for share
    Thanks for the quick reply. I was concerned that the gaps were a sign of poor workmanship where the solder should have been, so this is really useful information.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    I don't believe this is a real cross, based on the photos. For sure, the ribbon is not.

    Soldering varies tremendously on real RK's. Sometimes it is nearly invisible and sometimes it is very obvious (although usually it is at least "even" and smoothed out). Juncker crosses, especially the early ones, sometimes have terrible solder jobs, with gaps between the obverse and reverse frames. I have looked at one early Juncker where you could actually see light when you held the cross at an angle. Although it has been said that the solder used was made from real silver, that is not always true at all. Remember that when a cross left the factory, it was usually nicely frosted (which covered all sorts of defects) and, sometimes, lacquered. These finishes almost never lasted very long in real wear (especially combat situations).

  6. #5

    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    Quote by Harrier View Post
    I don't believe this is a real cross, based on the photos.
    I would agree. I don't think it is even silver? These suspension loop is bad too.

    Cheers, Ade.
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    Hello and welcome to the forum.
    This one is a fake Ritterkreuz. It has what is known as a 'dipping ring'. You see where the suspension ring dips into the top edge of the frame? This isn't found on original crosses. Coupled with the fact the quality is poor, the crispness of the strike is soft, the ribbon is not a period made piece, the ribbon loop isn't finished correctly, the '800' mark is poorly struck and you have all the things you don't want to see on an original piece.
    Member Harrier is knowledgeable on Ritterkreuz and will be able to offer you more finer details if he sees this thread.

    **Edit**

    Looks like he has already seen it!

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    Dipping ring fake (thanks to Adrian's knowledge and help with a similar piece, I recently learnt this!)

    Cheers,

    Carl
    Experienced guide and published author leading detailed study trips to the former KZ sites of Nazi Germany. Contact for further details.

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  9. #8

    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    As I mentioned on another thread, there are original, wartime made, RK's with the "dipping ring", but, so far at least, none are known to have been actual "award" crosses. Dietrich Maerz shows such a cross (the so-called "Sedlatzek cross") as an example in his book.

    I agree with the other comments made about this cross. Poor detail, fake ribbon, and probably not even real silver. It has the "grayish" appearance of some pieces which are said to originate in Eastern Europe. If there is silver in it, the content level is very low.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    ahh well live and let learn ill get there eventually

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Ritterkreuz soldering

    Many thanks to you all for the great information, I've certainly learned a lot from these posts. I think it's only when you have an example in your hands that you can start to appreciate where the telltale flaws are. Having never handled one before it's great to have all of this pointed out to me.

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