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Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

Article about: I'm really puzzled! If I wanted to forge a belt buckle I would take an imprint of a genuine, certified original, make an exact mold and reproduce everything exactly as I see it on the origin

  1. #11

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    sadly enough, the lack of care or effort on the part of forgers does work out for collectors.

    i sell stamps, and you might be amazed what forgers / fraudsters will do to make a product to decieve folks who just aren't armed with the correct knowledge..

    there seem to be a couple of things that THANKFULLY hamper the forger in their quest to defraud the innocent.

    1. lack of knowledge of their subject and its manufacturing process . (it actually helps to understand the process that was used in making the original item.....)
    2. lack of interest (most of the time the forger is just interested in making a "quick buck" and only creates a facsimile of the original)
    3. lack of resources ( sometimes modern equipment actually just won't do the trick, and re-creating / obtaining obsolete equipment is not feasable)
    4. pure lack of time ( in modern or even vintage production there is usually a lengthy period of time needed to create a master object / die / etc.. abd then you need to make working dies... etc..)

    it really all boils down to lack of knowledge in most cases.
    with all but the crudest forgeries, the skills it takes to be able to readily detect forgeries and their ilk are almost the same as you would need to create a forgery.

    learn all you can about your chosen subject, including HOW it was made, and study as many example both good and bad, you will find quite quickly if research is applied, that these forgeries actually "stick out like a sore thumb".

    caveat: these are skills i am just bringing to bear on the subject of militaria and still have a whole lot of research to do myself, but in my experience they ring true with coins, stamps, and other antiques.
    -sean

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  3. #12

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    Well said, Sean !

    Forgers are not interested in perfection,
    They're only in it to make a quick buck...............!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  4. #13

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    As time progresses the fakes will get better. With those cheap fakes they are looking more for a sucker then a collector.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    Hansi, everyone has to start somewhere, you will get there my friend
    Ben

  6. #15
    ?

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    Thanks a lot Sean, Steve, Franz, and Ben... yes, thankfully there are still careless mistakes to be seen on most of these fakes... and I have already learnt a lot about spotting them (with the priceless help of this forum and its members!) over the past few weeks. As a novice buckle collector, I have to admit that it came as quite a shock to me to learn that there are just so many makers... I naively thought that all belt buckles would have been made in one factory and by one company, just churning out thousands of identical buckles each day! So, then to learn that each of these different makers was allowed to make slight variations upon what I would have believed to have been a very rigid theme with a set of strict rules... that they were allowed to create their own style of eagle for example... well, although these variations are great for collectors, it does mean that a person like myself, without a thorough knowledge of these many makers, their different styles, materials used, etc. is obviously an easy target for forgers. But... I'm doing my best to change this situation and as I learn a little more each day, so this fascinating subject grows more and more enjoyable! So thanks to you all for all your help... it's very much appreciated.
    Having just touched on this subject of 'style'... I hope you don't mind if I just ask you this... but it does surprise me that in times of war, when the main priority for field equipment was that it should function at its very best... that a certain amount of... I'll call it 'vanity' for the want of a better word... and style is still very much in evidence... that it should be built to last and do its job, but still look nice! I know that a lot of field equipment does actually look quite drab and doesn't have much in the way of style but, does anyone know why, say... in the case of belt buckles for example, there wasn't a fixed rule that each buckle within each service.. Heer, Luftwaffe, etc. should look the same... why the basic design was allowed to have variations? I have always found it fascinating that military uniforms, from Roman times onwards and probably even before... have so much emphasis on style as well as plain functionality. I just find this interesting... Cheers Hansi

  7. #16
    ?

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    I have even heard of fakes being made on "original german presses and dies" out of Czech and Hungary. Is it possible that this equipment still exists?????

  8. #17

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    Quote by Hansi View Post
    but it does surprise me that in times of war, when the main priority for field equipment was that it should function at its very best... that a certain amount of... I'll call it 'vanity' for the want of a better word... and style is still very much in evidence... that it should be built to last and do its job, but still look nice! I know that a lot of field equipment does actually look quite drab and doesn't have much in the way of style but, does anyone know why, say... in the case of belt buckles for example, there wasn't a fixed rule that each buckle within each service.. Heer, Luftwaffe, etc. should look the same... why the basic design was allowed to have variations? I have always found it fascinating that military uniforms, from Roman times onwards and probably even before... have so much emphasis on style as well as plain functionality. I just find this interesting... Cheers Hansi
    two words military procurement!

    very very simplified version of the military procurement process:

    1. official / general / bean counter, decides that the army needs a new widget.
    2. said official forwards his idea to higher authority.
    3. higher authority reviews idea, then passes it on to a comittee to decide if the widget is actually needed.
    4. comittee reports back to higher authority, that yes.. indeed the widget is needed
    5. higher authority delegates the task of creating said widget to a quartermaster.
    6. quartermaster forms a comittee to decide what the basic specifications of the widget should be.
    7. committee submits design specs back to quartermaster.
    8. quartermaster then send specifications to certain "favored" contractors for submittal of a prototype and bid
    9. contractors submit bids and prototypes to quartermaster.
    10. quartermaster reviews bids and prototypes and selects a spread of 2 or 3 that meet specs /cost and send them to higher authority for approval.
    11. higher authority chooses one and sends approved bid/ prototype back to quartermaster.
    12. quartermaster contacts contractor and orders xxxx,xxx number of pieces to be completed by some random date.

    13. contractor delivers order to quartermaster
    14. quartermaster issues widget to tropps / units
    15 units ask for 5x as many widgets
    16. quartermaster contacts original contractor with new order
    17. contractor agrees to fill half the order (does not have capacity to fill whole order)
    18. quartermaster contacts losing contractor and offers contract for the other half if they use approved prototype.
    19. contractor 2 agrees and produces order on time...

    20++++ wash rinse repeat

    this is very simplified, but does lay a general outline of the procurement process..
    now in this process quite often once a main or "spec" design is chosen, contracts are given out to multiple vendors, and they are allowed some latitude, as long as the basic "spec" is followed.

    this is what gives us the largest number of varities..

    mix politics, and government "quality" inspectors together, andd all of the sudden the bribes flow, and blind eyes get turned..
    voila' even more varities...

    not even going to discuss "private purchase" thats a whole different ball of snakes.


    sadly this style of procurement exists today, and the best company with the best product does not always get the contract... all too often it is the cheapest bid.. or the biggest bribe that gets the bid.

    i imagine that this process was old when the romans were conquering gaul
    -sean

  9. #18
    ?

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    Thanks a lot Sean for that very thorough explanation... and without going into detail I am only too aware that this goes on today. Am I correct in saying that these variations in style seem to be mainly with buckles? When I look at most other field equipment it does seem to be more ... um... uniform... (sorry, couldn't help myself!). Can you imagine the different makers of 'jackboots' adding a little personal touch here and there... ! No, just kidding but you know what I mean... maybe I don't know enough about uniforms to comment on this but it does seem to me to be mainly buckles with variations... Cheers... Hansi

  10. #19

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    actually these variations exist in nearly all areas of militaria, whenever there are more than one manufacturer there will always be variations...
    buckles, badges, and pins seem to be where they are most apparent though...
    i see it quite often in daggers and edged weapons as well..

    i remember visiting perth / freo back in 94 was a hoot, loved W.A.

    enjoy your collecting journey
    -sean

  11. #20
    ?

    Default Re: Forging Belt Buckles: Why do forgers not copy the details exactly?

    Thanks Sean... that's interesting and something that I will look out for in the future. Yes, Freo is a great place... hasn't changed one bit over the years... I used to live there but now live just down the road... if you ever find yourself in these parts let me know! Cheers and thanks again... Hansi

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