"Conclusions regarding TR German insignia can certainly not be drawn from what the U.S. Amry sells today"
Well, at last we can agree on something.
I have acknowledged that price list from the start and as I previously stated, I see nothing in those few words, which makes it clear that the reference is to solid silver. It could mean that, but it could just as easily be referring to the finish/plating. All that has been offered here in support of the belief that it refers to solid silver is the percentage difference in price, which is hardly conclusive evidence. In fact, if today's prices are any indication, that price difference would be better offered as evidence that the list is not referring to solid silver.
ALL of this discussion regarding the price list is little more than conjecture on both sides. If there are period documents which offer greater insight, I would truly love to see them.
Until something more substantial in terms of historical documentation can be offered, I would like to also ask those who believe that the price list refers to solid silver this simple question. If solid silver insignia were an official production item, which was, at least for a brief period in time, widely available, where have they all gone? Today, we see ample examples of both neusilber and silver-plated pieces, but no one can seem to point to one surviving example of a similar piece in solid silver.
Silver was 42 cents an ounce in 1938. My resource is KITCO.com, who has silver price charts going back to 1888.
Now, with silver being so cheap, it would make sense for echt silber to cost 3 times the cost of aluminum, CuPal, or tombak. The value was in the workmanship, not the metallic content, with only a fraction of an ounce of silver needed to make the insignia, and it being alloyed down to 80% silver.
I have only seen 3 silver content marked skulls and 3 eagles that I would believe are original. One was on Bob Coleman's hat, examined in 1970, one on David Delich's hat, examined in 1968, and one loose skull that was in a dealer's inventory, in the 1970s. Back then, it was 4 or 5 times the $35.00 value of a skull and I would not pay the price.
I owned one eagle, now in a collection in Wisconsin, and I had seen 2 others.
Now, I have not seen these in 4 decades and I may change my mind if I saw them today. However, the existance, in pricelists, leads me to believe they were made, but with very poor success in marketing. In all reality, why would you want something so prone to tarnish on your visor hat? The need to polish insignia would do more damage to the velvet hat band than one would want. I think it was a foolish marketing idea and obviously not one that was very successful, from the lack of examples that survived the 3rd Reich.
I am seeking Golden Party Badge # 77578, Luftwaffe blue summerweight flight pants, used Geschwader Immelmann officer's cuff title.
I USED TO OWN AN ALL ~SS HAT BACK IN THE 1980'S,,,I DIDNT TAKE PICS OF IT BUT I WISHED I HAD,,IT WOUND UP IN LEO WATTERMAN'S (?) COLLECTION I BELIEVE,,,IT HAD 800/900 EAGLE AND SKULL,,EAGLE MARKED ON WING LIKE ONES POSTED AND MARKED ON LEFT SIDE ON JAW,,,WAS IT REAL???,,,DONT KNOW TO THIS DAY...
that was Leo Watermeier from New Orleans,,,
Certainly a great lively discussion .
Hi Guys, thank you for an interesting thread. I think the standard of debate here is what sets us apart and is what I wish to positivly encourage: Evidence presented in a clear, factual and polite way.
If it came to buying one of these, to quote Mr Toncar, "I would rather take the middle ground with known and accepted patterns" this would be my take on the subject too.
I would really like to get a pinned thread on the subject of original SS cap insignia going. This would be really helpful. These peices of insignia have an almost mystical hold over many collectors, especially the new ones. A good reference in one place would be a real bonus for the forum. Clear photos along with descriptive text so a search engine will bring up the item.