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Using Magnification To Aid In Helmet Authentication


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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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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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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

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Here's an example of magnified age cracking.

5058797686_6aaac6f0d4.jpg

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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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. ;)

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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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

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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  • 2 years later...

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


Pvt. James H. Honey 1st Md. Eastern shore Vol. Inf. Co. D (union) Gettysburg
Pvt. George Eddie Lear 26th Inf. Co.H 1st Div .(WW1) P.H. WIA Cpl. Richard Elsea 268th C.A. Bn. Battery A. WW2 SSgt. Grant Elsea 314th Inf. Hq.Co. I.R.79thDiv. WW2
Cpl. Harry Lawrence Butler Jr 23rd Regt. WIA Korea Lt. George Olin Tilghman 111th MG. 29th Div. WW1 DIS France 1919
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  • 3 months later...
  • 8 months later...

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

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep: I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion".

 

Alexander

 

"Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back."

 

Heraclitus

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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!

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

"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep: I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion".

 

Alexander

 

"Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back."

 

Heraclitus

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 months later...

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.

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  • 2 months later...

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:
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Closer:
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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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A few other photo's, same helmet:

DSCN0001.JPG
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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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  • 2 weeks later...

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.

Magnification Computer.jpg

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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  • 2 weeks later...

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

I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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