Awards · Military Medals

A Few Golden Rules for Medal and Badge Collecting

Most of us collectors (and some dealers) buy British and German medals and badges both for pleasure and as an investment. Certain items have outperformed the stock market. But before you all go jumping in and buying up anything with a swastika or crown, I would like to impart some sound investment
A pair of Minesweeper awards both mint but one has faded finnish
I feel the following, are a few golden rules to enjoying the hobby with minimal chance of finding fakes entering your treasured collection.

  1. Deal only with dealers who hold a good reputation, this means asking about and finding out exactly what their money backs, guarantees etc are. Never deal until you know this information, (all dealers make mistakes from time to time, it is what they do to rectify matters that counts.)
  2. I would always say buy the best quality piece you can possibly afford at the time. Common items need to be of good quality, cheap damaged items always remain that, cheap.
  3. Keep all your letters and receipts, build this up, as much as your collection. Records are handy when you wish to sell an item, knowing where it has come from, can help just as much to sell an item as the item itself. Another reason to keep a receipt is for insurance, an often overlooked part of our hobby.
  4. Several dealers now offer a certificate of opinion on items over £700.00 and in years to come I feel this will be an important part of our hobby. Just like meats and milk is now traceable, so too should your medals and badges be. I find that a large amount of collectors like to know the history of their item before they acquire it.

Returning to condition of items, I have taken from a couple of catalogues a few examples. An item was in a catalogue a few years ago and was inscribed, Bronze U-boat Clasp being the first type with full maker’s name of Schwerin, with wear to the high points, and priced at £375.00 (A bargain you may well cry!),but the badge is a badly worn and pitted item.

relic Iron Cross 1st Class and a very good condition example

Another item from this list listed a Spanish Blue medal. This was described as near mint, but the dealer did not say that all the gold has faded, leaving the medal a grey zinc colour.

This type of mis-description is both annoying and costly to collectors, but unfortunately, my idea of a very good condition badge and a worn badge can differ from someone else. So what should you do? Ask other collectors who they deal with. Why do they deal with these people? Some of us now deal
over the internet, so ask for front and back scans of an item you want to purchase. (But be warned, No one will keep scanning items for you if you never buy anything and only want to build a picture date base. This is both unfair to the dealer and other customers.) A good idea so you can see what exactly you are buying in advance.

What do you do if at the end of it you are unhappy with your medal/badge for one reason or another? Well if you have followed the golden rules, your dealer will take it back, no problem and most will. This is why you must check a dealer’s reputation. Ask other dealers, collectors, look at their stock of medals and badges at fairs, (Buying at fairs is notoriously dangerous, as some dealers appear and disappear all within a few months. Medals and badges bought at these fairs are usually accepted to be sold as seen with no comebacks, many a collector has bought a “bargain” at a fair only to have nagging doubts myself included ) and then you try to return it only to find that the dealer has long since gone).

Picture of one of our opinion certs
As for our guarantee policy, all our items are guaranteed original to the best of our knowledge and we offer you a one year period to check this out etc and If subsequently the item is proved to be a reproduction within this year, you should return it to us for a full refund (including all costs and a refund will be forthcoming immediately,) the only major stipulation being that the item is in the same condition as sent.

Also on all purchases from Jamie Cross Collectibles and Thirdreichmedals, an inspection period for 30 days is given, so that you may return any item within this time span for a full money back guarantee minus postage costs, and we also offer a lifetime buy back at 66% of its total value at the time.

Please feel free to visit our website at either, or Our Facebook page address is We update our list on a weekly basis on a Wednesday night. We also do a wants list, where we record what people are looking for and do our best to fulfill them, however there is never any obligation to buy these items, we would simply enter them up for sale on our website should the vendor change their minds.


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