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SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

Article about: 13.03.11 Many thanks again for the input on this unbelievably grey area! I was lucky enough to be given the ring with many other German & Soviet memorabilia, so no problem regarding the

  1. #21
    ?

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    Quote by Totenkopf View Post
    Yours certainly appears more worn than the e-bay item. How do you know the one you have isn't genuine? It has an interesting score line behind the skull. Isn't there a way to authenticate by virtue of the metal composition?
    The old stick a fake ring with a copy of Himmlers signature trick some sucker is bound to fall for it and they did !!

    $40 dollars for the fake you bought is not a bad price for one of the modern copies , this one has been artificially worn down .

    Anyone interested in a real Honour Ring needs to do some serious research before parting with any cash !!
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

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  3. #22

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    Bottom line- Tony's ring is absolute rubbish-made with one and only one purpose-to screw naive collectors out of their money. Germanic Runes inside for an inscription? Not. As for honour rings, there is a whole list of criteria to go by and evaluate when authenticating them. The fake one shown, for example, does have a seam behind the skull, but the crudeness and ridiculous quality of the interior of the ring and the writing is a one look give away, in it's case. Some fakes, however, are getting much better and take considerably more scrutiny to discern differences. Metal composition is of no importance, as it is a simple matter to make a fake ring out of actual silver.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  4. #23

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    I find it all very perplexing. If nothing can be determined from the silver composition then someone familiar with what collectors look for can make a fake that would fool even the best. Nobody can be sure unless they have a documented chain of witnesses that saw it removed from the corpse. In addition Tony's ring (rubbish as it may be) is still mysterious. Why does it exist? If it is just some imaginative concoction to pass off as a German officer's ring why are there not more versions? Why fake something that never existed when you can fake something that did? It makes no logical sense to me. As for the runes some look like they came right out of the Hobbit but; then who know where Tolkien got his?

  5. #24

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    Quote by Totenkopf View Post
    I find it all very perplexing. If nothing can be determined from the silver composition then someone familiar with what collectors look for can make a fake that would fool even the best. Nobody can be sure unless they have a documented chain of witnesses that saw it removed from the corpse. In addition Tony's ring (rubbish as it may be) is still mysterious. Why does it exist? If it is just some imaginative concoction to pass off as a German officer's ring why are there not more versions? Why fake something that never existed when you can fake something that did? It makes no logical sense to me. As for the runes some look like they came right out of the Hobbit but; then who know where Tolkien got his?
    Where to start...Okey,metal composition first. Genuine SS Honor Rings were made of solid fine Silver. The same as most all other good quality jewelry pieces of the time. There were no varieties-none made special in gold, for example, no silver plated rings,etc. Silver is fairly inexpensive-as opposed to gold and platinum, so it is no problem to make a fake ring out of solid fine silver. If you have a fake ring, it's pointless to say "It's genuine! It's made of solid silver,isn't it?" The only way that metal composition actually means anything when it comes to an Honor Ring, is if the ring is Not silver or is Marked silver. The genuine pieces did Not have any silver markings in them. They didn't need any. Their value was more in the honor and the award than in bullion value.
    As far as chain of evidence, of course it is important to know or be able to document if possible. Many SS men did survive the war,naturally, and their rings are more easily able to be traced back to them in many cases. Some were removed from prisoners,some were disposed of by the SS man himself or his family after his death. This is where the vast majority of known genuine rings come from-not from being removed from dead bodies.
    Now, for Tony's ring. Yes, it is just a fantasy design and as such was created for the Sole reason to sell to fanciful and naive or ignorant collectors to make the manufacturer Money. No other reason. And, yes-there are, indeed, several varieties of this same type of ring to be found out there. Not all of them have the Runic lettering inside. Some have no writing. Some versions are very well made with good detailing-some are crude and do not. The symbols on the outer band are meant to imitate an actual Honor Ring. The Honor Ring was an Extremely high honor for the recipient. It was right up there with a prestigious medal,dagger, etc. and as such, the use and wear of these rings was Very tightly watched. Of course, no SS man would dare walk around wearing an imitation one-even a crudely done one. It could well result in the loss of his life before a firing squad. It would be like a soldier wearing around a fake Knight's Cross. The lettering inside it is Germanic Runes. They are a well known ancient writing script and did, of course, exist. They are referred to as the Futhark and are very attractive to fakers for the "Old Germanic Effect". The reason that fakers make these outright fantasy/never actually existed pieces are varied. Sometimes they did not have a genuine one to copy exactly and made one Anyway. With the Honor Rings, they are Very valuable and worth in the 10,000 dollar plus region and are scrutinized with microscopes when authenticated. To make a fake one of them is getting harder and harder to do successfully. Collectors are no longer as naive as they once were about them and no longer blindly accept silly stories as fact. And, of course, it's always simple to make a fancy or unusual new design and hope that collectors will think of it as a newly discovered type or kind of ring and want one. German rings such as the run of the mill Skull rings are faked in the Millions now. People are getting so wary of the old fakes, that they are beginning to look into making these New designs,as collectors will no longer Buy the old designs anymore. Hopefully this makes more sense now. As for Tolkien? Yes, he knew of ancient scripts and writing forms and he did use them in the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, etc. And some he just Made Up...
    Last edited by Wagriff; 04-04-2012 at 12:24 AM.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  6. #25

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    Thank you Wagriff for taking the time to explain it so well. I get it now. I thought alloys were typically added for strength. I take it now silver rings don't require any. I'd no idea a genuine honor ring was so coveted. I suppose it shouldn't have come to me as any surprise. It's simply as phenomenal as the Nazi's were themselves. Have you ever heard of any expeditions to Wewelsburg to find the one's Himmler supposedly had buried there about? Oh yea, I was only figuratively speaking in regards to the corpse but; hey, do you think an honor ring would be worth more if it was still on a finger?

  7. #26

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    I do - but I would want to dig it myself, or be present when it was uncovered
    to believe it - with photos, witnesses and all - because then to me, there
    would be instant undeniable provenance. This would be one of the
    best ways to trust it is good.

    On the other hand, who would believe my story.........?
    Regards,


    Steve.

  8. #27

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    An old jewelery trick-adding alloy such as copper,etc to pure silver has always been explained as "adding strength", but the bottom line is actually to make silver go further and thus make more money. If anything at all, reducing the purity of silver merely makes the piece not wear Quite as fast.
    The returned rings from the fallen SS men were supposedly sealed with explosives deep inside Wewelsburg. It is highly doubtful they will ever be located-much less recovered. As far as rings recovered with fingers still inside them-that would be one thing, but if the entire Body was also with it, then you would be into the grave robbing and corpse defiling modes-never a good or acceptable practice, of course.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #28

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    Indeed, I did mean hypothetically, of course.........!
    Regards,


    Steve.

  10. #29
    ?

    Default Re: SS Stalingrad Officers Totenkopf Skull Ring

    Quote by Totenkopf View Post
    Thank you Wagriff for taking the time to explain it so well. I get it now. I thought alloys were typically added for strength. I take it now silver rings don't require any. I'd no idea a genuine honor ring was so coveted. I suppose it shouldn't have come to me as any surprise. It's simply as phenomenal as the Nazi's were themselves. Have you ever heard of any expeditions to Wewelsburg to find the one's Himmler supposedly had buried there about? Oh yea, I was only figuratively speaking in regards to the corpse but; hey, do you think an honor ring would be worth more if it was still on a finger?
    Masses of info on the net about Honour Rings , whole books have been devoted to the subject !!

    Anatomy of a SS Honor Ring
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

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