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> FAKE BRITISH & POLISH MEDALS & INSIGNIA., Spotted on the OMSA website.
New Connaught Ranger
Posted: February 28, 2007 03:29 pm
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Hallo Gentlemen, seeing there is an interest in Polish Insignia Items due to the fact that Polish Troops passed through Romania on the way to Palastine to join with the Allied Forces, so the following thread posted at OMSA website might be of interest to collectors here.



Today on the internet many dealers are offering for sale to unknowing Polish militaria collectors a Polish WWI Victory Medal.

Collectors and military historians should be aware that there never was an official Polish WWII Victory Medal. Poland was partitioned by Russia, the Autrio Hungarian Empire and Prussia (Germany) from 1795-1918. As a nation Poland did not exist during that time except in part during the Napoleonic era in a form of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. After Napoleon fall from power so did the Duchy. After WWI in 1918 by the Treaty of Versailles, Poland was restored as an independent nation. To commemorate this restoration, the new Polish Order of the Polonia Restituta was established and added to the Order of Virtuti Militari and the Order of the White Eagle as Poland’s highest national official decorations.

Collectors will NOT find any official documentation about this medal in Poland or in any Polish militaria literature. This medal and many others are known in Poland as fantasy decorations which were never awarded by the Polish Government.


Polish regimental badge collectors should be aware that almost all pre WWII Polish Regimental badges sold on the market today are fakes, copies or reproductions. Original Polish regimental badges awarded before the war in small numbers have been copied by many Polish and now Russian jewelers since 1946 to day.

These badges are being sold as ORIGINALS to unknowing Polish militaria collectors. Several firms such as Panansiuk and Olszewski are the major makes of these badges and insignia in Poland today. These copies are worth no more then $50. Original Polish regimental badges without enamels if found, are worth from $150 and up for and $250 and up for badges that have enamels.

Polish regimental badges are the equivalent our American Good Conduct Medals. They were awarded for a minimum of one year of exemplary peacetime regimental service or 3 months during combat upon recommendation of a commanding officer. Some regiments required a minimum of two or three years of peacetime service to be awarded a regimental badge. Any recipient convicted of any crime would automatically loose the right to wear the regimental badge. Thousands of soldiers never were awarded regimental badges.


In addition to copies of regimental badges, almost all major Polish pre WWII decorations are copies. The most copied decoration is the Order of the Virtuti Militari, The Order of the White Eagle, the Order of the Polonia Restituta, Independent Cross with Swords and the Lithuanian Cross of Merit. The Silesian Grand Cross breast star, the Wolyn Grand Cross breast star, the Wolyn Cross, the Balachowicz Grand Cross breast star and the Balachowicz Cross. WWII Exile most copied decoration is the Monte Cassino Cross, the Polish Air Force Medal, the Polish Navy Medal and the Polish Merchant Marine Medal.

Today even Polish Communist decorations are being copied and sold as originals. Most copied are the 1,2,3rd and 4th class of the Order of Virtuti Militari, Order of Builder of Poland, 1st class Order of Grunwald, all classes of the Medal on the Field of Glory, the Your Freedom and Ours Medal (Dabrowski).

In May 2004, I purchased a pre WWII Virtuti Militari which was guaranteed to be ORIGINAL from La Galerie Numismatique a firm owned by Bogdan Stambuliu. When I received it, I found it to be a Panansiuk copy. I informed him of this fact and requested a refund to this date, 4 June 2005 I have not received a refund.

Collectors should be aware of “reputable dealers” they know as much about Polish decorations as I know about heart surgery, nothing.

Submitted for your information by Prof. Dr. Zdzislaw P. Wesolowski

Captain, US Air Force Reserve, Retired

Colonel, South Carolina State Guard, Reserve

Ft. Lauderdale


"I am not normally one to post these 'Beware' type topics but I did see some (5) fairly well-executed fake First World War British War Medals this weekend.
These were named and numbered but I did not have a note book with me to copy down names and numbers. They were not being sold as casualties, however.
For those here who may be new to British WWI items I'll post the red flags below:
1. The medal and suspension were one piece, original medals consist of two pieces.
2. All had a very reflective finish, most likely polished to dull out the poor detail. They had several rim knocks to give them an older appearance.
3. They were not silver, they were much lighter than an original piece.
4. They were much thicker than an original piece.
5. The font on the naming was much larger than normal
6. The naming wasn't always straight, and tended to run from roughly the 6 o'clock position to the 1 o'clock position.
7. They were on faded, nylon ribbons. From a distance they looked like faded silk but once in hand, they were clearly new materials.

I know these sound pretty crude, but put them on say an online auction site and they could quite easily resemble original pieces.
Again, I post this for the new collector and as a warning that now even the most common pieces are being faked with the intention to deceive."

Neil Burns:Orders and MedalS of America, On-line Senior Member.


So Collectors, be extra careful if making Online buys of items that you have only seen pictures of, and get it in writing (letter & email) that the seller is willing to return your money if the item is proved to be a REPRODUCTION or FAKE, might save you losing your hard earned cash!!!

Connaught Ranger. :D

This post has been edited by New Connaught Ranger on February 28, 2007 03:37 pm
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