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Using Magnification To Aid In Helmet Authentication


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#1 Bugme

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 03:07 PM

Scenario #1: Often times when buying a painted helmet on line, the photo's make it very hard to tell if it's legit. But, you bid on it because there is a 7 day money back inspection offered by the seller. Now it shows up and your still not sure...

Scenario #2: Your at a militaria show, flea market, gun show, antique store etc and you find that one painted helmet that you just have to have but, is it legit? It looks like it is but...

At home, I've got a table mounted 60X lighted magnifier that will clearly point out any fakers handy work, however, this is rather hard to carry in your pocket. For years, I've carried a 5X pocket magnifying glass with me for just this occasion but, even with this, I still can't see these little things called microscopic aging cracks. However, I've recently gone to what is called an "Illuminated Jewelers Loupe(20X Magnifier)", they also produce a non-lighted loupe but, it does not work as well. These things pick up the aging cracks that no faker can reproduce and the human eye cannot see.

While not all painted helmets will have these aging cracks, about 90% of them will. This will also help you discern if the patina is faked or original to the helmet, also, other little intricacies will be picked up that will further help you to decide: real or fake. This illuminated loupe is just another tool in the helmet collectors bag and best of all, cost is under $15.00. Still, nothing beats experience + loupe + experienced friends + black light + lead test + research + books + more experience + well, you get the idea.

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#2 Chunky Monkey

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 03:37 PM

Wow ~ I can't believe something like that is only $15! Where can one of these be gotten?

#3 Bugme

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 03:44 PM

Wow ~ I can't believe something like that is only $15! Where can one of these be gotten?

Type "Illuminated Loupe" into an eBay search. The really cheap ones for $4.99 are really... cheap, so I would stay away from those. Most of the better ones seem to run between $9.99 and $15.00

#4 jason4473

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:03 PM

I just bought a 30x the other day also they have the pocket microscope type I have one of those too they do help!

#5 Bugme

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:28 PM

Here's an example of magnified age cracking.

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#6 carbinephalen

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:58 PM

Wow, great topic Bugme! Thanks for the insight!



#7 Chunky Monkey

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 04:21 AM

Yes thanks for the info! I was looking at em on fleebay and will eventualy get one. Can I ask what brand yours is? These could come handy for all checking out all sorts of things.

#8 Chief Bast

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:23 AM

These are the kind of threads I like to see. Thanks for sharing such a handy tip!

#9 sgtdorango

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 09:33 AM

I gotta get me one of those!...thanks for the tip!....Mike



#10 1944

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 12:11 PM

Sounds like a great and useful tool to have Scott
and thanks for the information on it as well 



#11 Bugme

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 02:38 PM

I think that as a collector community there are little secrets that are available to us that we often don't share. This is just one of those little secrets revealed. ;)

#12 gravecreek

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 07:50 PM

Great Tip ! Thanks.



#13 Brig

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 08:03 PM

try Amazon...got a set of 3 (10x, 20x, 30x) for around 7 bucks. non-magnified, but I have 3 or 4 Surefires that assist there

as I deal with smaller insignia that can be hard to see, they're priceless. always carry one with me at shops and shows, keep 1 in the car. and a portable blacklight



#14 268th C.A.

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:48 PM

Hello I never leave home with out my loupe 10x. There a must have tool for collecting! ( I have 3) one always in my car  mine was $15.00 I picked it up at the local coin shop. David



#15 BOLO

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 07:47 AM

I could use one of these , sometimes I carry a pocket sized magnifying glass to see small details the type usd by coin collectors.



#16 coldsteel61

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 04:35 PM

I bought a 30X off x-bay with the LED lighting and found a lot of things on my insignia that I had never noticed with a mag glass.

IIRC ithink I payed 9.00 for it. Well worth it!!

 

                                                                      Tom



#17 josegarcia8578

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Posted 13 January 2015 - 11:12 PM

A picture of a fake helmet or fake patina on a helmet could used to compare on here :)

#18 automatic

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 12:49 PM

A picture of a fake helmet or fake patina on a helmet could used to compare on here :)

I think that just wouldn't have the age cracks

Also, I got a nice 60X illuminated loupe for my coin collection a couple weeks ago, didn't think to use this on my militaria!



#19 coldsteel61

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 05:55 PM

They come in handy for everything!! Especially the dosage and side effects of your prescription drugs!!!



#20 rhill13

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for the tip!

#21 ChuckG

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 07:01 AM

Another place to buy a loupe is a decent coin shop that sells supplies. Some shops will have 5-10 different loupes for sale.

Bring an item in with you to test out different loupes. The nickname for a loupe above 10x is "coin killer". Because it shows every flaw.

Coin shops can be a wonderful source for militaria. Owners get approached with it frequently and most don't know what to do with it. Let them know you are interested.

#22 Bugme

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 06:59 AM

Here's a few shots of a painted WWI M1917 helmet looked at recently while examined under a loupe. A self-proclaimed expert emailed me and stated that it was a fake since it lacked age cracks. I asked what he used to determine this, he cited his magnifying glass.(These average between 1X and 3X magnification). I then showed him these photo's taken of the same spots that he stated showed no micro-age cracking. This was done with a 20X loupe. When confronted with this evidence, I received NO reply.

Close:
DSCN9997.JPG

Closer:
RSCN9998.JPG
 



#23 Bugme

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 07:04 AM

A few other photo's, same helmet:

DSCN0001.JPG
DSCN0003.JPG
DSCN0006.JPG



#24 Bugme

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 02:54 PM

While carrying a jewelers loupe with you is going to save you a ton of money when  purchasing, for a little extra comfort you can check it out with an electronic magnifier when you get home with 500X magnification which couples with your computer! These guys go for less than $50.

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#25 Kadet

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 06:16 AM

Do you have a link to where these are sold..,great looking tool!


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