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Scary reproduction patch currently made in Vietnam

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I saw this at an insignia show today in Northern California and it looked real to me but when I asked the seller if this was an original war time piece he told me that he had this and others made in Vietnam recently. I'm not familiar with this patch but what is scary is the way the back is made which looks just like the original war time pieces. He told me that they still use the older Schiffli sewning machines in Vietnam and orders whatever he wants to have reproduced. FYI


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They've been doing this for a long long time. Most of the 'old stock' patches people have bought in Nam over the years were done by the same old ladies, on the same machines, with the same material- but for collectors and not soldiers.

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I agree that these are getting scary good. Unless you spend a lot of time handling good period insignia these will fool you. It is getting to the point where you won't buy viet era insignia unless it can be attributed or unless purchased from reputable dealers only. but this is good advice for just about all militaria any more.




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Anybody got an authentic one to show?

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC

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It can be honestly sold / described as a "Genuine Vietnamese-made patch"....except that it was made in 2009 as opposed to 1969!! Alleged "theatre-made" VN war patches have become a collectors' minefield...which is why I don't collect them. I leave that to smarter folks than I! :o

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"


Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon





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  • 3 months later...

Some not-so-scary repros like thos one can fetch $300:






If there is a market for these horrors, the fakers obviously do not need to put too much effort in their creations.



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Everybody knows that they are still making items today in Vietnam, so just be careful.


A lot of the modern made reproductions have errors that betray them.


Typically they are made with either synthetic materialsor thread, or both. (Yes, there were period made patches that were made with synthetics, but natural materials such as cotton, silk and even wool were more common.)


Reproduced designs often use the wrong colors, are mishaped, or have design errors.


And for some reason, many patch mills in Vietnam insist on artificially aging the patches they sell. They will be dirty or stained without any sign of ever having been actually sewn on a uniform.


The best thing one can do is look at, touch and feel as many real period made patches as you possible can to learn what they should look like.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War



"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."


Moliere: Tartuffe





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  • 2 weeks later...

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