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Russian Federation Российская Федерация 25th December 1991 -

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Old 07-25-2015, 12:35 PM   #1
Sgt Stavka
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Modern Russian Medals - Over-productions or fakes?

I read here that many modern Russian decorations are fake, then I also read that many are over-production pieces from contractors. I am sure that both are true, but which are most likely fakes and which are over-productions?

I recently bought the Russian Jubilee's (1995-2015) from a popular auction site (we all know which one), that I believe to be ok - too cheap to be worth counterfeiting. I also read here that the 'Retrieving Crimea' are likely over-productions by the contractor. So it should be ok.

So how to tell which ones are likely to be fake and which are contract over-productions?
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:49 PM   #2
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That is a very difficult question to answer simply.

There are original and awarded items, unissued accidental overstock, unissued deliberate overstock and complete fakes.

As the production of Russian medals have been opened up to contracts for a great deal of the awards there is of course a vast variation in legitimate items. One very quick and easy way to tell if an item is a "deliberate overstock" piece it will have a "Chelznak" Kolodka. Almost all officially produced Commemorative Medals (and many other Medals) can be purchased from the officially contracted company without blank documents for ~$3 and with the blank document for about $1 more.

There is no decisive answer to this question but the best way to know an item is really the real deal is to get an awarded piece. Although there are many cases of the overstock documents being filled in to order.

Be careful and don't waste your money is pretty much the advise here. Certainly don't part with more than $10 for anything "overstock".

A very complicated yet lucrative issue.

That's without going into fakes or "organisational awards".

Here is an example of the official contract http://soviet-awards.com/forum/sovie...tml#post249912. The later Variation with a rather different finish and different size emblem on the reverse were made just for collectors and could be bought from a losing contract bidder for ~$3 each.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: Modern Russian Medals - Over-productions or fakes?

Thank you for the help,

Two more questions:

What is a "Chelznak" Kolodka?
How can one contact the contract company?
(Unissued versions are fine for what I do, but I can't take deliberate fakes)
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:11 PM   #4
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Re: Modern Russian Medals - Over-productions or fakes?

Chelznak is a company that produces awards. The ones they produce for contracts have blank kolodkas but the ones made just to sell have the company name on. One easy tell.

Googling in Russian the companies will show you their websites, nearly all of them offer hundreds of awards in quantity - directly on the site. Although getting them posted to areas outside of the former-Soviet Union (excluding Moscow unfriendly states) is not easy at all.

I gave up collecting almost all Russian Federation unawarded items about 3 years ago as the regulations have been relaxed so much that the awards have been completely devalued as anything other than collectables but there are so many of them (and made in such large numbers) they are not even worth speculative investment. This is rather parallel to the American Medals being churned out by various contractors and available to buy for pennies by all and sundry.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: Modern Russian Medals - Over-productions or fakes?

Thank you for the information! I would give you a medal for your help, but odds are you have them all. :)

I need the unissued ones not for the value, but as historical examples only (they would be upgraded of course if I could get issued ones later :) ).

You are right that getting them posted to me in the USA will be difficult. I have friends in Ukraine but...
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:45 PM   #6
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Re: Modern Russian Medals - Over-productions or fakes?

I certainly don't have all the departmental awards (also every regional/city department of every branch of every service has awards these days) but I also have hoovered up many pieces just to have examples to use to inform what is out there (if you look through the ministerial awards section I've posted a couple).

The main problem is the lack of information or willingness to accept that many of these items are just being used to cash in on collectors. Middle man after middle man marking up the pieces before they make their way to a western collection when a collector could put a bit of effort in themselves and understand not only what the pieces really are but that they could buy them direct from source for a fraction of the price these are offered for on auction and dealers' sites.

If I were of the mindset of taking advantage of this situation I would have bought up vast supplies and offered them with a large mark-up and made up story on western markets. That however does not advance the understanding or honour of the awards or recipients. It can be lucrative when you find punters that have not done their research. I constantly warn about the pitfalls. Some listen, some don't and then come back and tell me it turned out I was right and there's no helping some.

Just remember, at the end of the day many people are very happy to take as much money from you as possible. The layers of deception have been removed by this forum from its very creation. Fakes, faerie tales and misunderstanding.
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