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Last updated on:

11-Jun-2017

 

 

  WATCH OUT !!!!!
 

Follow examples of my private experiences - comments will be welcome, especially if you add scans or observations to the Forum part devoted to forgeries and fakes!

4 July 2004

I would like to warn all collectors about my experience with the Zeige Auction House (Hamburg) that knowingly sells fakes and later refuses to take any responsibility (http://www.zeige.com/en/index2.html). I do so after several failed attempts to bring obvious fakes to their attention. After beibng ignored for months I finally received an email: "...you have bid for a lot and we can't examine each item for original. It's one lot with a lot of items in it. Sorry. regards Auktionshaus C. Zeige".

So much for after-sale guarantees ... all I can add is that I should not have believed that they sell originals only (I called to ask that specifically before the auction) and any buyer should always insist on high quality scans and a money back guarantee inspection period before buying.

In my case it concernes a lot from the 15th Auction which included two Orders of Glory that I was told on the phone are 3rd class and original. One was in fact a crudely converted 3rd class to 2nd class (slopily applied gold paint to center relief with the number on reverse crudely altered) and the other is a cast copy (alluminium?) of a 3rd class, with red paint in place of enamel and at first sight not from silver! In both cases VERY obvious fakes but the Ziege Auction House maintains that it did not NOTICE and refuses to take any responsibility! As far as I am concerened this dealer is thoroughly unprofessional so keep away if you value your money! See yourselves on scans below what Mr. Zeige overlooked and feel free to warn your friends about my experience (click on the thumnails below to see the detailed avers and reverse).

Click to see detail              Click to see detail

23 February 2004

When visiting Vienna I thought for a few minutes that I would finally add to my collection a medal for "Strengthening of Military Cooperation". The price was 110 Euros (usually around 100 USD from US dealers) but upon closer inspection their was no enamel but only a thick layer of either paint or epoxy in the star. This is a rather rare medal (only 20.000 ever issued) established on 25 May 1979 and awarded only to participants of maneuvers of the Warsaw Pact. The otherwise reputable dealer was evidently convinced that this piece was an original, arguing that late issue Soviet medals (like for example for "International Soldiers" or for the "Chernobyl clean-up") were no longer with real enamel. Wrong, this medal is always made with enamel and is gold-plated and very good fakes are evidently minted in high quality but without the obligatory enamel. Be careful and do not accept such explanations!

16 June 2002

I was just offered a number of awards that were very skillfully forged:

1) Suvorov 3rd class Type 2 (3 rivets) that was very nicely made and came complete with forged medal book. The pages were washed of their former contents and a new entry was made for the Suvorov award. The pages showed signs of chemical bleaching and the new entry with the serial number was evidently with new ink that was absorbed by the damaged paper so it was blurred at the edges. The weight was a few grams too much but the piece was made of silver. Evidently an excellent effort to cast that left tell-tale signs of pockmarks and even file traces were it was being finished off. Another problem was that the screw post was not soldered but screwed in. Price ... 550,- USD.

2) Bogdan Khmelnitski 1st class Variation 2 (2 rivets) - even a better "product", this time without a medal book. The weight was a whole 7 grams too many (49g) but made of 950 gold and silver as it should. Evidently a most excellent effort of casting but it still left tell-tale signs of pockmarks and even file traces were it was being finished off. Another problem was that the screw post was not soldered but screwed in. Price a whopping 2600,- USD!

3) Hero of Soviet Union that had problems with its suspension (clearly replacement), otherwise looked very good and had the right weight and size, made of the correct gold. Indeed, a nice effort complete with forged medal book (no in the 6 thousands). The pages were "washed" of their former contents and a new entry was made for the Suvorov award. The pages showed signs of chemical bleaching and the new entry with the serial number was evidently with new ink that was absorbed by the damaged paper so it was blurred at the edges. Another problem was the reverse which displayed the uneven dents that are supposed to be made by hand but these were evidently not done by a Monetnij Dvor master. Another excellent effort of a cast copy that left tell-tale signs of pockmarks and even file traces were it was being finished off. Also the fastening nut was a cast copy. The last problem was the price ... 900,- USD.

4) Several at first sight in very good condition 20 years of the RKKA. All allegedly came directly from a "vojenkomat". Their problem was however that they were not of silver (nitrate of silver test immediately produced black coloring), the weight was several grams too much, the enamel on the star was "soft" (applied evidently by the so called "cold" method) and you could feel it give even when applying pressure with your nail and the XX numerals were not gold plated (which was surprising given the otherwise excellent condition. Finally, the suspension ring was far too thin and they came without it. Price 50,- USD.

Copyright 2002-2017 Oldrich Andrysek. Contents are copyrighted but may be used with permission (scans can be downloaded if credit is given). Page created by Nick Ionascu.