What the difference in the form of the same letters means is that individual letter stamps weren't used- it has to be one full text stamp, and they're actually separately-made letters; otherwise they'd be identical. And I do usually consider it a good thing myself, because it would represent more of an investment on the part of a faker to have a large stamp made, if it's large enough it'd probably be harder to stamp cleanly by hand, so not everyone could employ one, and one might expect to see more of the fakes then. However, part of why full text stamps seem 'safer' are the same things that identifies them: that they're usually very well made- the spacing of the letters is even, all on the same base line, etc. and the letters are nicely formed; but that doesn't appear to be the case here. It's the even, straight and clean nature of a text block- and the fact that both sides are identical in their spacing, etc.- that usually shows it's made using one stamp and not individual letter stamps.
It's not a fool-proof feature, certainly; fakers could have full-text stamps made, but for the moment it doesn't seem common. This disc might represent an exception though. As I say I recognize the lettering somewhat, but I can't recall if it's that I have indeed seen it elsewhere, or if I saw it on this dealer's site; I looked through his stock at least once before and kept several images of fakes (he seems to have a number of them), but they seem to be typical types for which I needed more examples, so I guess I didn't bother with this one.
The corrosion issue doesn't really bother me since, as I mentioned just recently when it was brought up, I could see surface tension preventing water from getting into the narrow depressions of stamping, thus not affecting it the way the flat exterior surfaces are. The issue with no corrosion in stamping stems from the idea that it's a pre-corroded disc, stamped afterwards (e.g. an original blank disc), but that usually results in loss of patina, causing a 'halo' around letters, and loss on the reverse, but I see neither of those here.
Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...
12-21-2013 02:40 PM
Wow! Thank you, Matt! This is a really great explanation; very helpful.
by Matt L
So in this case it would seem to be a single stamp as evidenced by the difference in the letters, but the fact that the text is "sloppy" is uncharacteristic of other single stamped examples?
That does make it hard to judge this one then, no? As a single stamp would be quite an investment on the part of the faker and more examples of the fake should turn up? Or is the general "sloppiness" of the text just something that would never be found on a legitimate disc? Of course, if that is the case one would wonder why it would fool anyone, especially a dealer (though if he has many other fakes I guess he could lack a keen eye)?
I'm just trying to better understand the nature of the way true discs were made so as to better identify an authentic one.
If you don't mind my asking, how did you come to be so knowledgeable about these discs? Are there good reference books available? I just ordered Collecting World War II German Military Identification Discs by Ulrich of England. Are you familiar with that one? I'm hoping to educate myself as much as possible.
And right- usually full text stamps are nicer; this one's not typical in my experience. I couldn't say there's never been a less-than-excellent full text stamp, since obviously I've not seen discs from every single unit in the Wehrmacht But so far I can't say I've seen one- for the most part, stamps on legitimate discs are fairly good; occasionally they're simple, but rarely are they on the poorer side- whereas fakes are often poor-quality.
It's not so easy to justifiably judge this one, true- but then statistically, given the number of fakes out there, one can be right most of the time by turning down anything that doesn't look really good LOL That's really why I recommend that not only should there be nothing suspicious, but there really should be positive features to SS discs, to be most sure of one being real.
Few people really know discs particuarly well, so they're fooled more easily than you might think; that's why I wouldn't say it's fair to judge a dealer by whether or not he has fakes for sale- he might have no idea at all. Nor could one's reputation for selling legitimate pieces really support a dubious disc- they really have to be judged themselves because it's so tough to authenticate them.
I've just collected and studied discs for a long time now- 10 or 12 years at least I think- and after a time one just gets an eye for them; plus I study unit composition, etc., which is important.
I'd cancel the order for that book if you can- I doubt it's any good; the author's first publication was one of the worse 'reference' works I've ever read LOL It had more incorrect 'facts' than real ones. And I doubt this one's any better. Really books just aren't much help- since virtually every unit had its own unique discs, just seeing a few dozen images won't help much. You have to study hundreds and hundreds or thousands LOL There are enough images around to give you an idea, and you just have to read lots of discussions to see what's what. For the most part, you'll be well-advised to ask about anything you ever think about buying and you'll gradually learn that way.
Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...
Thank you once again!
by Matt L
I have and will continue to read forum posts where "authentic" discs are posted so as to start to get an idea of how to spot one on my own, though I must say that you are probably right that it will take looking at thousands of them before I am able to do so with any degree of accuracy. I thought applying what you said to the "Show your SS Erkennugsmarken" thread a few threads down would be a good exercise, but I find that there are quite a few discs there that look far "sloppier" than this one that are supposedly legitimate (or at least that haven't been called out as fakes), so I still have a long way to go.
I had really hoped the disc would turn out authentic...but then I guess it's not good to get emotionally invested in a piece that I don't own and rather be happy that I don't own it :-)
It would appear that I will have to continue my hunt for an authentic disc with the same patience as my search for an authentic ring and try to learn as much as I can in the mean time.
Thanks again, Matt!
Actually, it's more important and about a zillion times easier to get to know fakes since they're the things one can spot consistencies in, while as I say virtually every unit had unique discs so getting to know real ones is far more difficult.
The Show your SS Erkennungsmarken is a decent thread- I'm not sure what you think I mean letters being sloppy, but if it's how the stamping is done, that's not it; I'm talking about the letters themselves- there are a very few less-than-wonderful forms there, but for the most part they're well-made. Stamping can be very sloppy, but that's not an issue. And there are fakes in there for sure- maybe not all commented on though.
You're definitely better off having not bought that disc first and then asking about it. Unfortunately, fakers normally choose the more interesting, rare or 'sexy' units, so it's easy to find something and be totally into it- maybe knowing it's probably a fake will temper that excitement until you get a chance to ask about it
There are real ones out there- but yeah, it can take some searching. I, myself, only ever had I think 12 or 15 SS discs, simply because it was tough to find any I was sure or virtually sure were real.
Ohhhhh- pillage then burn...
I too am gonna have to agree with Matt. Fake
Something similar at the Berlin Auction House, but no pics as that auction has closed:
2 ERKENNUNGSMARKEN: "Waffen-SS Kdtr. Stb. K.L. Stu", Alu., getönt, Sammleranf.; "RAD K 3/11...", Zink, korrodiert <746003F , verkauft! Zuschlag: 30
A shame to not have photos. Would be great to compare the two and keep an eye on whether more of this unit's discs start hitting the market.