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New collector. Help me masters

Article about: Hi guys, I am Guilherme from Portugal and I have always loved everything related with WWII. I inherited the passion of collecting from my grandfather who had a huge coins/watches collection

  1. #1

    Default New collector. Help me masters

    Hi guys,

    I am Guilherme from Portugal and I have always loved everything related with WWII. I inherited the passion of collecting from my grandfather who had a huge coins/watches collection (non-specifically related to WWII) so, a few months ago, I decided it was time to 'fly solo' and start my own collection. What I love most about it is the chance to hold a part of our history and the chance to further investigate about it.

    Right now I am dedicating my attention and starting my collection with:
    • photos
    • documents/papers
    • flags (saving some money for my first one, maybe a party banner or a street banner)
    • medals (carefully choosing my first one)
    • maps

    I am not a connaisseur but I am ready to work hard to become one. So this brings me to my first question:

    Based on my current interests, what is the best literature out there to learn more about such items and learn the skills to identify fakes/repros and stay the hell away from them?

    Regarding my current collection, I have only bought things from two places 'Das' (95% of my stuff) and German militaria - iron cross, waffen ss, luftwaffe, paratrooper Military Antiques Stockholm (only a bundle with some maps that were really cheap). This brings me to my second and third question:

    Any Portuguese collector out there? If so, can you recommend me some dealers in Portugal?

    Being from Europe, what are the best online dealers? I am really pleased with Das Reich, but I want to know more so I can eventually find new things.

    Coming to the end of my first post I was wondering if you could recommend me some more literature about how to display, protect and preserve these rare items, especially regarding papers.

    If you have any other advises for a new collector, please shoot straight, as I am totally new to this and I am eager to learn.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Welcome to the forum Guilherme!

    Firstly, I believe that we do have other members from Portugal here - in time, I am sure you will find them.

    Regarding your collecting, spend lots of time on here - it is a substantial database of valuable information on original Third Reich period artifacts, and a great place to share your hobby with like-minded people. Plenty of information is available on the forum, and plenty of helpful members will be only too glad to assist you with your questions. Try to choose an area that you will concentrate on, or at least somewhere to start. It can be very confusing initially, with all these shiny badges, interesting pieces and striking uniforms/insignia available - take your time and do not rush into any purchases. Before you do buy anything, post images (always ask for good, clear close ups) on here and ask for opinions in the relevant forum. I am certain that you will be pleasantly surprised by how helpful and knowledgeable people on WRF are. There are many threads concerning advice - reference books are a great aid too, so browse away.

    Glad to have you with us - good luck!



    p.s. Regarding the safe storage of paper items, take a look within the Photos - Paper Items forum - there are some very useful tips.
    Currently working on several KZ related projects, including items for the USHMM, Gro-Rosen Museum and various private concerns and studies. Available as a guide to KZ sites, contact for details.

    "maka akaŋl oyate maŋi pi ki le, tuweŋi wypeya oki hi sni"

  3. #3

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Hi Guilherme and welcome to the forum.

    Well, you certainly asked a broad spectrum of questions for your first post!

    The best advice is to read the forums and use the search button. Most of the information you want is covered here on the forum from restoration and preservation to the best books and where to buy from and more importantly where not to buy from.

    Most sub forums have thread which deal with literature in their respective areas. Hit that search button at top right!

    I suggest you have a think and decide in which direction your collecting interests lie. The hobby is far too diverse to be able to satisfy your question in one post. Even medals is a very very huge subject, what nationality, what conflict, bravery, long service, qualification or campaign?
    Think about which items you want to collect and what will give you the most enjoyment. Trust me, you can't collect everything or know everything about everything.

    There are collectors here from Portugal and I'm sure they will let themselves be known in time.

    I can provide you with a list of recommended dealers by private message if you want or you can check out our forum sponsors. They're sponsors for a reason and are among the most reputable dealers out there. If they weren't, they wouldn't be sponsors.

    Any questions, just ask. The members here are good people and will help you out if they can.

    Enjoy your time here.
    Best Regards,

    Looking for LDO marked EK2s and items relating to U-406.....

  4. #4

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    The member you will want to look up is NunoGTI. Nice guy!

    Welcome to the forum!
    Looking for WWII U.S. dog tags

  5. #5

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Hello and welcome Guilherme.

    You are surely in the right place. I can't recommend any literature on your fields of collecting but i am sure many others can. I can however give some advice on buying items. I am more than sure others will give some of their advice as well.

    ALWAYS post items you want to buy here on forum before buying! Lots of fake items out there.

    If you are dealing with other collectors or private sellers, it can be a good idea sometimes to make sure they have the items the want to sell. Some people use other peoples pictures to trick you into paying for an item they do not have. Meaning you will never get it. Personally i trade in a quite small circle of dealers and collectors.

    !!!Avoid Pawel Novak at all times!!! We have a thread here on forum dedicated to this guy and his scams.

    I hope you will enjoy our forum here. If you like it you should consider becoming a WRF Club member. 25$ for a year. Then your user name will have the same "Panzer Pink" color as mine LOL

    Regards, Lars (Danish guy living in mother Russia)

  6. #6

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Welcome mate! Enjoy your stay here! In this forum you will find anything you want... Tons of knowledge from the members in here!
    You will find lists of recomended dealers in both Europe and USA in the related threads!

    I, personaly, prefer sellers from US because of the difference in the currency that makes anything look cheaper!

    Plus you will find perfect items (and guaranteed original) in the Classifieds section in this forum. Sellers are the forum's members and each item is inspected by the members of this forum so no surprises there!

    I like collections that show a character and focus in a single field such as Third Reich flags or medals etc etc (i've seen perfect collections that consist of Iron Crosses mainly, others with armbands etc etc). In my collection there is a bit of everything related the Third Reich as in my opinion if you collect something from an era you must collect anything related... This is just my personal opinion! You have the knife and the cake so you make the call on how to start and continue!

    ...and don't forget the two golden rules that will save you big time money :



    Best of luck mate!!!


  7. #7

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    I'd say your best bet would be to collect medals, as they are very similar to coins, and with what you have learnt from your grandfather's collecting, would be a bonus and advantage in this field.


    Gary J.

  8. #8

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Hello Guilherme, Welcome to the fascinating and sometimes maddening hobby of WWII Militaria Collecting! As everyone above has said, for a beginner collector, rather than immediately jump in and start spending large amounts of money on books, you may want to use the data bases you can find Here for Free, until you get more firmly established and going. Books, while excellent reference materials, in this hobby as well as in others, can be quite costly and are generally very specifically focused on one particular area at a time, where as Here, you will be able to find most anything that interests you with a quick search!
    You mentioned that you were searching for a good Flag such as a street banner? I would tell you this-most beginning collectors are impressed by and find the large banners almost irresistible, but always keep in mind how you can Display such things! For example, a 10 foot long Battle Flag is impressive Indeed and certainly hard to find and valuable, but almost no one who owns them has any place to Display them! They are simply too large and take up far too much room to show! I just sold an Extremely rare and ridiculously costly flag to a overseas buyer-a flag that I would dearly loved to have kept, but it was nearly 10 feet long, and so I had no way to ever Look at it! A good size for a collector's flag are more in the 5 or 6 foot long sizes and look great when hung next to a grouping or uniform or what have you!
    As far as medals and badges, Absolutely post Good close up photos Here of any that interest you that you may be thinking of purchasing-but always Before buying! It's terribly disheartening when a collector puts up a photo and says "I just purchased this for $800 -is it real?" and then has to be told that no, it isn't! If you give this Forum a chance, we Absolutely can help you avoid the pitfalls and dishonest dealers out there and with no time at all, you'll have begun a collection that you Know is 100% genuine and good and is one that you can be Proud of! We are here 24/7 for any questions you might have-both complicated and simple! I know that I sure wish that something like here existed when I first began collecting eons ago! It would have saved a ton of frustration, disappointments and money-not to mention countless amounts of wasted time!

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #9

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Quote by TIGER88 View Post
    Thank you for the tips Carl. I am already really impressed by the forum, as people are truly friendly and helpful. I agree that it is very confusing at the beginning. There are so many awesome pieces of history, from so many backgrounds, that one wants to focus on all! But I agree, I will have to start 'small' and focus on a couple of things only.

    Later I will post some images of a couple of things I got from a friend who had some extra photos and maps. The main issue is that he doesn't know much about them (or remembers) and he has questions about authenticity (although he bought them as real from the Military Antiques Stockholm).

    Quote by Adrian View Post
    Hi! I have got a new friend, the SEARCH BUTTON! That was a great piece of advice, as I found out that with the right key words, the sky is the limit.

    I agree that one can't know everything about everything, so I am now in the process of carefully decide which way should my collection start.

    I will be more than happy to meet some of my fellow Portuguese collectors, so if you are reading this, just drop a reply. I don't know many, well 2 is what I know and one of them just started recently. So it would be great to know more Portuguese collectors.

    I will check out the sponsors, but could you send me that list by private message? That way I would have a lot of options.

    Once again, thank you!

    Quote by ObKrieger View Post
    Thanks for that tip! I will drop him a PM.

    Quote by Datrus View Post
    Hello Lars, I just saw your digging thread and it's just AWESOME. Thumbs up for that!

    Thanks for the advice about buying items. From now on I will always seek for the advice from my fellow collectors. I have read about the Pawel Novak scam, unfortunately I've realized how many Pawels there are out there. But one thing that I've learn from my grandfather is: keep your circle of dealers and collectors small and if it's too good to be true it probably is.

    I will def take a look at the WRF Club, thanks for that tip also.

    Quote by LizardKing View Post
    Hi mate, I've just realized that I have learned more in 24h on this forum than in 2 months or 3 looking up the internet.

    One thing that I have seen is that US dealers have better prices, or at least they look like cheaper than EU dealers. Problem is the risk of seeing your things stuck in customs. I will have to investigate more about Portuguese/EU customs policy regarding buying from the US.

    I find everything related to WWII amazing, so I am having troubles to start with a small fragment of it. But I think that will be the best way to start, focusing on some specific categories and go from there.

    Loved the two golden rules! Thanks mate!

    Quote by Gary J View Post
    I really like the way one can display the medals, the shape and what they did represent. Now that you have highlighted the similarities with coins maybe that was the trigger. I have a ton of experience with coins, I hope it can be of value when dealing with medals. Thanks!

    Quote by Wagriff View Post
    Hi, thanks! It sure is fascinating but at the beginning quite confusing, won't lie on that. But for me, that's what it makes even more fascinating! I love the challenge and I love to learn, especially when it's about a period of time that is by far my favorite in history.

    You read my mind on the quest for a good flag. It absolutely impresses me. Fortunately, well had to undergo some long negotiations I have a large on going man cave that I will use exclusively for my collection. So lucky for me I will have the room to have a nice and impressive flag. I was thinking about having the flag next to some maps/documents.

    As far as medals and badges I feel that there are tons of fakes. Even for a beginner it is pretty obvious that one of the biggest dangers in our field is the amount of fakes. I will surely ask every time before I buy something. This will keep me from wasting money on fakes.

    So far the things I bought (not much) are 100% genuine. As I said earlier, I have a friend that gave me a nice photo and some maps. He managed to buy quite a few of them, so he gave me some since he didn't have room to display them. But he told me he wasn't sure they were genuine and what did those refer to. So I will post them later on the right sub-forum and ask for advice.

    One thing that has impressed me about the forum is how friendly people are and that it seems that there is always anyone on call, 24/7. That's just amazing.

    So thank you all guys, I feel that I have found the perfect place to learn and grow as a WWII Militaria Collector!


  10. #10

    Default Re: New collector. Help me masters

    Welcome aboard Guillherme !

    Great advice from the guys!

    It is a minefield out there so collect cautiously and ask questions

    I look forward to chatting with you over time

    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

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