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Tim B

Latest Reproduction Clasps

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Not sure what manufacturer is producing the latest version of the WW1 Victory Medal clasps but, they are starting to show up on eBay. Some are listed as "gee, I don't know if..." and others are attached to modern Graco (G23) VIC's.

 

I suspect they will eventually start pairing them up with authentic period VIC's, hopefully not but, watch out!

 

Tim

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Here's an example on the Graco Victory medal with one of these new clasp.

 

I also see a new "similar" style clasp with the same backstrap starting to show up on the Antarctica Service Medal (looks like G23 - Ira Green). These are not period either but may be current issue, I don't know.

 

Any idea on who is making these?

 

Tim

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When the govt. reissued my wife's grandfather's WW1 medals in the late 1970's, the new issue clasps on the Victory Medal had long, pliable pins on the reverse that pushed through the drape to be bent over instead of the back strap.

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Hi atb,

 

Yes, I believe those pin type clasps were the last "official" replacement contract clasps provided, Laslo even discussed these in his book. I should point out that even they have been reproduced. The period clasps had short pins and the more modern manufactured ones have longer pins. I'll try to post some examples here.

 

Here's a good example of a 4th Division setup with a "replacement" Defensive Sector clasp.

 

Tim

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You might not notice it from the front but, if you were able to compare the reverse, obviously the number of clasps don't match. The front of the clasps appear identical in font as well as finish.

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Here's the type pin you mentioned. Note the short length.

post-50776-0-35055100-1361659429.jpg


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Here's some later produced clasps with the two pins.

 

Note the top clasp appears close to the originals in font however, the finish is a brighter gold and not the "riverside bronze" like originals.

 

The bottom clasp has much longer pins, indicative of modern pieces (probably post 1990's) and the finish is this brighter gold with the lettering burnished bright and shiny. The dark areas between the lettering are also burnished, though you can't see it in the PIC here.

 

I've also seen these modern type clasps and C-54 plane attachments for the WW2 Army Occupation Medal.

 

Tim

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A little off-topic from why I started this thread but, thought I might as well show the Berlin Airlift reproductions that I just mentioned. These also have the longer pins and shiny gold finish. The reproduction set below is commonly seen on eBay.

post-50776-0-08189500-1361660597.jpg


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Like the modern reproduction Victory Medal clasps, these also have a much brighter gold color and lack the detail or quality of the original clasps.

 

Here are two occupation clasps next to a mounted original. Pretty easy to distinguish between the two IMO.

post-50776-0-26855100-1361660932.jpg


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Here's a comparison of the C-54 Loadmaster pins. The original is on the right. Note the difference in length of pins as well as finish and overall quality.

post-50776-0-27396900-1361661476.jpg


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Here's a shot comparing a reproduction (marked) along with two mounted originals.

 

That's it for now. Hope it helps someone from getting taken by any unscrupulous sellers out there.

 

Tim

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That attention to the airlift device helped me out already. I'm bound and determined to wait until i can get an id'd example, hopefully on a uniform, and this might help a lot.


Looking for the following:

452nd and 447th Bomb Group items

Anything 12th Armored- especially uniforms

155th Assault Helicopter Company, Camp Coryell, or Ban Me Thuot Vietnam items[/center]


WWII US Navy Uniforms from the Battle Off Samar: USS Johnston DD-557, USS Hoel DD-553, USS Samuel B. Roberts DE-413, USS Heermann DD-532, USS Dennis DE-405, USS John C. Butler DE-339, USS Raymond DE-341, USS Fanshaw Bay St. Lo, White Plains, Kalinin Bay, Kitkun Bay and Gambier Bay...


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That attention to the airlift device helped me out already. I'm bound and determined to wait until i can get an id'd example, hopefully on a uniform, and this might help a lot.

 

Happy to hear it! ;)

 

I'll add, that if you ever need assistance or have questions on an item and do not want to post it or link to it, drop me a PM and I would be happy to assist where I can.

 

Good luck!

 

Tim


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The bottom clasp has much longer pins, indicative of modern pieces (probably post 1990's) and the finish is this brighter gold with the lettering burnished bright and shiny. The dark areas between the lettering are also burnished, though you can't see it in the PIC here.

 

 

Tim

 

The first time I encountered these was in 2001-2002.


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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The first time I encountered these was in 2001-2002.

 

Yes, the long-pin reproductions have been around for sometime now. The newer reproductions with the robust backstrap (that started the thread) appear to be new and merit watching how they enter the market. Either way, they are not from any official contract for sure, as no one remains in service that would be eligible to wear the WW1 medal or associated clasp/s.

 

In regards to the long-pin style clasps on the Occupation Medals, there could have actually been an authorized government contract, even in 2000. Considering the Germany clasp was still authorized for the Army Occupation Medal to those assigned in West Berlin up to October, 1990 it would be an item carried in the PX's for replacement purposes. Most of those qualified individuals would be over 20 years service today and as the 30 year mark approaches, we should not be seeing anymore government contracts for them.

 

Once an item falls beyond use, or anyone authorized would no longer be in uniform, the item/s are no longer contracted to be manufactured or sold through official outlets. So, in this case, the Berlin Airlift device and Japan clasp should be long gone by the early 1980's.

 

In this case, as all three items appear to be from the same manufacturer and compare in quality to one another, I honestly believe these long-pin examples shown are not from any authorized govenment contract either.

 

Speaking of reproductions vs re-issue or replacement type items.

 

Though many might consider all, except the initial period attachments as reproductions, I don't draw that line so tight. If there was an authorized government contract for an item that could still be worn, including replacement items, then they should be considered authentic IMO. However, understanding what patterns were used during each timeframe becomes important as we clearly see manufacturers that have/had govenment contracts continue to produce outdated medals for private purchase. The Graco Vic shown above in post #2 is case in point. IMO, these are reproduction items, as they were no longer authorized for uniform wear when produced.

 

R,

 

Tim


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Tim B, I am sorry that I am late in my posting, but I just found this thread.

In the case of clasps for the Victory medals, I think a little more needs to be said. The last veterans are gone, but they are still issuing the medals to family members, as well, they are also still issuing Purple Hearts to these same family members. Numbers 5 & 7,clasps in your posting, all are official. The rules today are relaxed as to color and spacers, maybe because there were fewer veterans applying for first time issue or replacement. Maybe just so few were needed and it was an easy fix for the manufacturers.

 

You will find four modern type clasps mixed with the original clasps sometimes and on originally issued victory medals. You will find modern clasps with medals made by (LI-SI) Lordship 1980, (EIGI) Elwyn Industries 1983-86, (LIGI) Lordship 1992 up to the MoH trouble, (G27) Graco Mgf after Lordship troubles. Now it is (G23) IRA Green.

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Hello Jim,

 

I think if you go back and read the comments, I mention the type clasps in posts 5 & 6 as being original, as stated in post #4.

 

As far as the ones shown in post #7, maybe the shorter pin version but I do not consider the longer pin version manufactured under government contract. Read my last comments in post #15 and I think you can apply that same thought on the Vic's.


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Hey Tim,

I did say # 5 was official. I also believe # 7 is authorized as well. (No. 7 is made by The Daniel Smilo & Sons, Inc.).

 

Examine my two examples below:

 

Obverse & reverse - view of Lordship LI-GI (note same style letting on all three, yet they are of a different type).

1. Original Oise-Asine clasp - This original is without spacers but with back bar (inventory clasp)

2. New, pin back - Meuse-Argonne clasp

3. Original, made up without back bar, with the new pin back style - Defensive Sector clasp.

(This clasp never had spacers like your example). I think they were using old stock and added pins because it was easier to assemble. Note the original dark color as is the top clasp.

 

Obverse - view of Elwyn EIGI

1. Champaign-Marne (Daniel) pin back like your # 7 (Italy) with long pins.

2. New pin back - Defensive Sector clasp (never had spacers).

 

 

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Hi Jim,

 

Oh, completely agree that once the initial supply of period-issue clasps with backstraps were exhausted, they adopted the style with the short two-pin attachment. Not only was it easier to affix to ribbons, but by eliminating the backstrap, companies could save a lot of money in material.

 

One might not think a backstrap would account for much material or associated costs, but you start adding up that little amount by the millions made and the costs become a factor.

 

On the later backstraps; I believe Elwyn Industries came about in the mid-1980's. A company that used workers with disabilities, I know they took some of the medal contracts away from Lordship Industries and Lordship took them to court at one point concerning how they won the contract. I won't post that information here as it really is getting off topic but, the Elwyn products were often considered of inferior quality when compared to other manufacturers.

 

My point about these clasps though go back to what I previously stated in the last paragraph of post #15. By the 1980's, there was no contract to continue production of the WW1 Victory Medal or any of the clasps. The government provides ONE medal to a recipient and/or next-of-kin. The contracts are awarded on a estimated amount needed to fill that requirement, with some extra figured in for those that lose their initial issue, "through no fault of their own". They don't contract to continually fill requests by family members or others requesting medals that servicemen would have been entitled to. That would be nuts.

 

I know several requests have been filled over the years when family's request medals but, this is really supposed to be only for those medals that were never issued for one reason or another (we know many did not apply for the medal after the war) and to those that can show items were lost through circumstances not considered negligent on the part of the service member. After that, you're on you own to acquire a replacement through private purchase.

 

So, figuring the initial issue was in 1920 for service during WW1, the average serviceman that might have been entitled to such a replacement would have definately been retired by 1948 at the very latest (30 years service). Considering the thousands of original medals and in some cases, original clasps that were unissued stock by WW2, I do not believe there would have been any legit contract to continue to produce medals or clasps after approximately 1950 at latest, as no individual would be remaining in uniform by that point and a surplus of material still existed.

 

Any replacement of lost items at that point, would have been filled by unissued stock on hand, which there appears to have been plenty.

 

Regarding the more recent manufacturers, I regard the Elwyn products the same way as the Lordship, Graco, etc. medals made today. They obviously were not for anyone in uniform at the time they had government contracts, nor for replacement requests by authorized recipients as they are gone. The requests from family members would have been filled by any on-hand unissed stock and apparently the government decided they no longer required a lot of that as it was surveyed out of the system. So, the only point of manufacturing WW1 medals and clasps was to satisfy an individual type aftermarket IMHO, as they continue to do so even today.

 

Tim


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Tim, The Army is still coveing the Victory medal on their books, but list the ones they have dropped in this pub.

Army Regulation 600-8-22

11 December 2006

Effective date: 8 July 2007

RAR issue date: 15 September 2011

§ 578.54 World War I Victory Medal.

 

Also these are but a few medals with "Clasps" that has been issued in the last two year to family members along with Purple Hearts. So, I do not respectfully agree with you on this subject.

Jim

 

http://www.masslive....ence_bring.html

 

http://www.dentonrc....-wwi-medals.ece

 

http://www.presspubs...1a4bcf887a.html

 

http://cervenka.blog...rple-heart.html

 

http://www.wvgazette...ws/201210030148

 

 

Tim, note the one medal that has the bright clasp and a darker one just above it. And, note the one with 5 clasps

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Jim,

 

Well, that is interesting and I apparently stand corrected on the government still providing WW1 medals to next of kin. I would be curious to know the maker's/contract to see if they are current production or some contract back in the 80's or earlier (like HLP). If earlier, it could be a case of on hand stock of these being used up.

 

I do suspect in all these cases that the recipient never was issued a medal before, or this would be against the policy of providing more than one medal. Of course, as mentioned before, many did not apply for their medals after the war.

 

Of all the medals you show in those links, they appear to be modern manufactured medals/clasps and not the original period issue items of 1920. I still would have to consider these as current made "reissues" and not period originals, including the clasps. I think you would agree with that?

 

Tim


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Jim,

 

Not sure what reference you're using here that says the Army still has the WW1 Victory Medal on it's books and is still issuing the medal upon request but, I went back to double check my references and it appears those WW1 Victory medals being given to these people are against the standing policy.

 

I'll post the references from DoD, Army, and Navy with excerpts discussing reissues. Please note paragraph "c" of the Army Regulations as it clearly discusses the WW1 Victory Medal.

 

Tim

 

Excerpts:

 

DoD 1348.33-M

C3.2.14. Replacement of Defense Decorations

C3.2.14.1. The Service member to whom a Defense decoration has been awarded or the representative of a Service member to whom a Defense decoration was posthumously awarded may receive a replacement decoration without cost, if the previously issued medal, ribbon, or other device for wear with or in place of an individual decoration has been lost, destroyed, or rendered unfit for use, without fault or neglect on the part of the recipient or the representative. All other replacement decorations are replaced at cost. Miniature decorations are not replaced by the Department of Defense.

Army Regulations 600-8-22 Military Awards of September 11, 2011

1–47. U.S. Army medals—original issue or replacement

a. All U.S. Army medals are presented without cost to an awardee. Replacement of medals or service ribbons for individuals not on active duty may be made at cost price. No money should be mailed until instructions are received f r o m H Q , U S A H R C ( A H R C – P D O – P A ) , U S A H R C S t . L o u i s ( A H R C – C C – B ) , 1 R e s e r v e W a y , S t . L o u i s , M O 63132–5200 or the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132–5100.

b. Requests will be honored from the original recipient of the award, or if deceased, from his or her primary next of kin in the following order: surviving spouse, eldest surviving child, father or mother, eldest surviving brother or sister, or eldest surviving grandchild.

c. Issue or replacement of service medals and service ribbons antedating the World War I Victory Medal is no longer accomplished. These awards are not available from the supply system, but may be purchased from private dealers in military insignia. Requests for medals should be directed as shown in tables 1–3 and 1–4.

d. The Web site for the National Personnel Records Center is: http://www.archives.gov/. The Web site for HRC, St. Louis is: https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/reserve/

e. Issue of medals, other than Army. Medals and appurtenances awarded while in active Federal service in one of the other U.S. military Services will be issued on individual request to appropriate Service as shown in table 1–1

Navy Awards Manual SECNAVINST 1650.

821. REPLACEMENT MEDALS. All medals, except the Medal of Honor, which is strictly controlled by CNO and CMC, are now available and authorized for purchase from numerous commercial sources, including the Services1 Military Exchange systems. Replacement medals (except the Medal of Honor) may also be available to veterans and next of kin of veterans killed in combat on a one-time basis, if stock is sufficient, by writing to the addresses shown above. However, due to the volume of requests received, the processing time may be lengthy; therefore, procurement from commercial sources is recommended for more timely receipt.


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Your are correct and I listed it wrong, they were stopped in 2002. Yet you will notice the date of the 5 articles are from 2005-2013 ?

 

Table 1-3. Addresses for requesting medals

 

Request for: Personnel in active Federal military service or in the Army National Guard or U.S. Army Reserve

Submit to: Unit Commander

 

Request for: Medals on behalf of individuals having no current U.S. Army status or deceased prior to 1 October 2002

Submit to: National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

 

Request for: Medals for individuals who retired, were discharged or died (except general officers) after 1 October 2002

Submit to: Commander, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, AHRC-CC-B, 1 Reserve Way, St. Louis, MO 63132-5200

 

Request for: Retired general officers

Submit to: Commander, U.S. Army Human Resources Command, AHRC-PDO-PA, 200 Stovall Street, Alexandria, VA 22332-0471

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