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SS 8 -Year Service Medals

Article about: I have always thought that these medals were interesting, so I thought I'd try to look at as many examples of authentic pieces and reproductions as possible so that I can become proficient a

  1. #1

    Default SS 8 -Year Service Medals

    I have always thought that these medals were interesting, so I thought I'd try to look at as many examples of authentic pieces and reproductions as possible so that I can become proficient at authenticating them. One of the things I like to do, as a way of testing myself, is to check out the offerings from reputable and not-so-reputable online dealers to see if I can spot the fakes. In doing so, I come across a number of pieces that I consider to be authentic. I thought I'd post two of them here so that I can get some opinions from the experts.

    Here's the first one. The ribbon looks fine to me:

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    The suspension ring looks wrong at first glance, but I think it might just be that the teardrop is upside down and the narrower end is hidden beneath the ribbon (in the first photo, the left edge shows that the ring is not circular -- I'll have to check on that)... The smaller ring has the characteristic bevel, though. The front side seems to have the right characteristics, in my opinion:

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    The edges are sharply defined, the thorns in the wreath are not exaggerated, and the pebbling looks crisp. The points of the arms on the swastika all touch the border of the medal, as well. The backside also looks good to me:

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    Again, all the details are well-defined, and the lettering and the runes look crisp.

    Here's the second one:

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    We can't get a full view of the suspension ring, but it looks alright. The front side is similar to the first example:

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    Here's the backside:

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    So, what do you guys think? Do you agree with my opinions? Please let me know! Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Hi Dave,

    You are correct, both are genuine type II medals.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  4. #3

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    Thanks, Ned! I'm not as good at authenticating the type 1 medals... Here's a type 1 that I was less sure about:

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    The ribbon looks wrong to me, but the rings seem correct...

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    The details on type 1 medals always look less defined to me than those on the type 2 medals, but some of the details on this one still look sloppy, in my opinion.

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    Am I being overly critical here, or does this one look strange?

  5. #4

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    Your type 1 example doesn't float my boat, the detail in the area at the base of the wreath is not well defined and the runes look sloppy. I like the first of your type 2 examples but would point out that the ribbon isn't an SS long service ribbon as it should be wider. 32mm from memory (around the width of the medal)

    You should be able to see what I mean here with my example. check out that stippling!

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  6. #5

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    Wow, beautiful piece, Glenn! Yeah, as I said, I wasn't too convinced by the type 1 example. Do you agree that the ribbon on that one also appears to have the wrong weave? I have to admit that I definitely prefer the type 2 medals. However, I wasn't aware of the ribbon issue on the two I posted... That's what's so great about this forum! Now I have another thing to scrutinize when I authenticate these pieces! After looking into it, I believe the medal is supposed to be 38mm, and the ribbon is supposed to be 35mm. Based on the pictures I've shown, I'd estimate the ribbons on these two to be 30mm wide. This is the same thing you encountered with your 4-year medal, isn't it?

  7. #6

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    Yes, my 4 year came with a 30mm ribbon off god knows what but a civil LS ribbon is 35mm from memory and I was able to get a nice example complete with pin from Daniel at Great Militaria.

  8. #7

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    Nice! I'm glad it all worked out for you. I'm going to spend some more time getting further acquainted with these medals until I find the perfect one. I've got plenty of time to hunt for that mint example with the correct ribbon while I recover from the dent my recent lovely acquisitions have put in my finances!

  9. #8

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    Without wishing to be controversial or bloody minded, I see no problems with the type 1 medal posted above. The definition of the wreath appears correct to me, although may be a little worn compared to some others, but that's it.

    As for the lettering on the type 1, from all originals I've seen it always appears slightly crude and individual, some may say amateurish or sloppy, compared to the type II medal that is much sharper in it's lines and serifs, but that IMO shows the individual and artistic take on the lettering when it was first carved by the die cutter, and his personal artistic touch or licence that gives a more natural, hand carved impression rather than a typical regimented, almost machine 'printed' appearance.

    For comparison here's a well known obverse and reverse pic of a genuine type 1 SS 8 year medal that's often used as an example to show what a good one should look like, and below the one posted above. That way they can be compared more easily.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is just my opinion, and I look forward to hear any other thoughts on this subject that point either way, as we're all here to learn.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  10. #9

    Default

    one must remember its 70 yrs since the end of the war.and medals have been sliding around in draws and tins,so this will have some bearing on the high spots of medals and badges.

  11. #10

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    Excellent points, guys. This medal could very well be an authentic piece. There are all sorts of interesting details on these medals that you have to examine (for instance, the "E" in "DIENSTE" is set a little lower than the rest of the letters in the type 2 version). The type 1 medals do certainly have a more "handcrafted" look to them. I agree that aside from the artistic details, one must also take into account the age of the item. I'm going to make an effort to study more of the type 1 medals, even though they're my least favorite, in order to improve my skills. Thanks, guys!

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