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What does the term "Mint" mean to you?

Article about: Hello Folks, I have a question, what does the term "Mint" mean to you? I feel the term gets overused a lot in this hobby, and frankly too many pieces are termed mint when in fact t

  1. #1
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    Question What does the term "Mint" mean to you?

    Hello Folks,
    I have a question, what does the term "Mint" mean to you? I feel the term gets overused a lot in this hobby, and frankly too many pieces are termed mint when in fact they are not. To me the term means untouched and the item should look like it just left the factory. I have a very high standard when it comes to medals and badges. So why don't we now play a little game. Let us post some mint items from our collection, and we can discuss if they are truly mint.

    Please post away. Maybe we can come up with a baseline, of mint, near mint, excellent, etc.

    Regards,
    Jody

    First up is my 1st Pattern Destroyers War Badge by Schwerin Berlin. I feel this is the finest badge of this type anywhere, and it is flawless. To me this is mint. Does anyone disagree?
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  3. #2

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    here is my mint K98 bayonet, which is truly mint. I got it from a vets son. I has been in a garage since the end of the war. numbers are matching also. it has already been discussed on this forum.
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  4. #3

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    Strictly speaking nothing can be MINT after 70+ years.
    Oxygen will have taken its toll somehow. Then again, do we REALLY want it to look that fresh?
    I think we all like a little patination on an item.

    You did ask for opinions...

    Regards, Dan
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  5. #4
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    Smile What is mnt

    Hi Dan,
    Some items can be original with very little to no age at all. The question is what is mint, I see the term bantered around all of the time and the reality is that most of the stuff is not mint at all.

    Here is another item from my collection, it is unissued and is still pinned in the case with the original pin. This piece looks as fresh as the day it was made. To me this is mint.

    Jody
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    Ok THAT is mint ....!!!
    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  7. #6

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    Here are two DJ/HJ patches. one is mint, the other is minty because the RZM tag is a little beat up. IMO
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  8. #7

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    And this is mint too .....




    Sorry Jody, just having a laugh....
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    " When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle "

  9. #8
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    As a comic collector for many a year, mint equals absolutely pristine. Even being handled will downgrade the item. This is why I stopped collecting comics. Once we start a grading system, it ruins the hobby. Look at sports cards and such, you can't even touch the item.

    I hope to God militaria will not go down the same road. Is it a 9.4 or 9.6?

    Mint in my opinion means a clean undamaged item.

    The items pictured above would be considered mint in militaria, but with a grading system none of them would be mint. I think it is an interesting question, but we should be cautious. Next thing you know, helmets incased in nitrogen filled boxes.

    Just my two cents.

    Great items posted by the way.
    "You will get all the rest you need in the grave"

  10. #9

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    +1 to visor's comment.

    In this hobby, it seems like most people give a lot more leniency to the term "mint" than they would in comics or baseball cards. I've seen stuff like flags be considered mint regularly if it's absolutely clean, bright colors, and no more than a very few small 1-2 mm tiny holes in it. And in many ways I'm comfortable with that assessment. A while back, I asked this exact same question to Wagriff in reference to a flag I was looking at, who in his great wisdom and years of experience, I think summed it up very well, which I'll post here:

    I asked:

    Something about WW2 stuff that I can't nail down is what qualifies as "mint".

    In stamps, comics, ball cards, etc. it means it can't have any defect whatsoever (even the slightest). I see flags for instance, like the battle flags I've been looking at, that might have a small finger smudge or say one little hole called mint, up to maybe a small stain and a few tiny holes getting the mint qualifier. Some badges have small imperfections, or very minor paint loss getting called "minty". Typically they are in very good shape compared to others....but are they mint?

    Is there room for a little imperfection on WW2 items where they can still be considered mint even though they might have one or two very minor spots or a tiny hole or two?

    Wagriff Responds:

    The lines get a little blurred some times, so it can be hard to figure just what is what grade. Some people's standards are different from others too, of course, and there are no set rules anywhere, so it's all basically a big judgement call. Most people try to show alot of photos and tell people to judge for themselves, so there is no confusion. Sometimes it even works..lol

    Mint, by my reckoning, means bright colors, no wear from exposure or handling, and no detracting tears that mar the looks of it. It is probably Used, but not very much and still looks fresh and bright. Above "Mint" is yet another grade, and that would be "Unissued". Unissued is, basically, what you would be handed from the supply room in 1942. Mint, on the other hand can have Minute but very minor imperfections, but nothing really glaringly obvious and disfiguring. A tiny hole, for instance, the size of a match head on a 6 or 10 foot long flag would not disqualify it from being "minty". Unissued, not so much. And, to frustrate collectors all the more, you'll see "Near mint", Excellent condition", "Flawless, all sorts of midgrades.
    "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." - C.S. Lewis

  11. #10

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    Hi Jody,

    well,i'm not a fan of the term "mint" although i am sure i have used the term in the past.

    I'm more inclined to now use the term "unissued/unworn".

    Probably the nicest looking piece i have in my collection is this Juncker Hilfskreuzer award.It is a piece that i would consider to be "issued but unworn".

    It belonged to Kaptlt.Erich Kuhn who was the 1st Officer on the HK Atlantis and came with a grouping that included his other awards and a Rogge signed "Atlantis book".

    The badge is in super condition and shows very little wear.

    Regards,Martin.
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