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Old 06-06-2002, 04:48 PM   #1
Art
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Soviet Academy Graduation Badges

I didnt know what this was until Christian emailed me. I guess it's a submariners academy badge? it's part of the Korean set I have. The shield is attached via the bendable "rivets" (the type of attachments used on Republic Orders before rivets) has a little screwback attachment stamped "Monetny Dvor". It's made very well. Black light checks out, weight is 17.9g, height is 47mm, width is 26mm. Screwpost is approx. 3mm thick.

Note on the doc, there is no marking on the shield. Normal or no? perhaps it was a "one size fits all" approach or is it fake?

Badge and Doc
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Old 06-06-2002, 05:13 PM   #2
Nota Bene
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Art,

They had a standard document for all academies, and your document is perfectly genuine. The badge looks OK too.

Alexei
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Old 10-19-2002, 12:35 AM   #3
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Soviet Academy Graduation Badges

There are a variety of diamond (or "rhomb") badges floating out there. Some are are nicely made, the kind of quality you would expect from the state mint, and others that quite frankly wouldn't fool a blind man from a 100 paces.

Granted, the quality and construction of the more commonly awarded badges, such as the Guards badges, has deteriorated over the years as the materials and manufacturing processes were simplified and cheapened, but some badges seem to have bucked the trend.

For example, take the first badge a Soviet officer got fresh out of the military training colleges and academies. The quality of the enamel, the detail of the Soviet crest, and the overall fit of the pieces hadn't dropped off compared to the ones awarded back in the 50's.

But I have seen examples (almost invariably lacking a mint mark on the badge itself, forget about the screwplate) where the enamel is sloppily applied and thin, details such as the sunburst rays and the crest lack detail and are uneven, the shape and fit of the parts are loose and/or mismatched -- the whole assembly fairly screams out "cheap".

I've seen these types of examples published in photo references, and offered for sale by various dealers, as legitimate issued graduation badges. I'm posting some examples for comparison ....

Any thoughts?
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Last edited by ibaya; 10-21-2002 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 10-19-2002, 03:19 AM   #4
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I have a question about the bottom three badges. Are the rims really gold coloured?? If so there is a problem as the only one with a gold rim was the Voroshilov General Staff Academy.

All of these badges continue to be produced post-USSR to the same high quality - likely by official mints.

I have one from late 40's, silver - very excellent quality. I have one from late 50's that is quite poor quality. I got it with a genuine award doc and it has signs of wear on it so I doubt it is fake. Could be though but why sell cheap fake with real 50s doc when you could get a modern good quality one for $5.

Shawn
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Old 10-19-2002, 08:56 AM   #5
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The bottom three badges don't have a gold border, they are silver-colors. That's what happens when you take a digital camera picture against incandescent lighting!

But it's the bottom three badges that I have issues with. Among the details have raise my suspicions: None of them have mint marks, not even the "logo" style. The crests look crudely stamped, without the smooth, rounded edges of mint-marked badges. I'll post pictures of disassembled badges to show them in more detail ...

Last edited by ibaya; 10-21-2002 at 02:54 AM.
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Old 10-20-2002, 10:20 PM   #6
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Here are two military college graduation badges. The one on the left has a MMD mint mark on the reverse, the one on the right does not.

Here are the enamelled main pieces. The one on the left has a hole for a metal post that secures the crest and helps align the crest and star. This is stamped to form a rivet, but on many pieces the rivet isn't complete or has become loose.

The star on the mint-marked badge (on the left) is smaller, thicker, and has more of a curvature than the other. The rays are more symmetrical, and stretch out longer, so that they fill out the bottom cut-out of the crest. A thicker star will not flex as much when the assembly is screwed together, which might cause cracks in the enamel, as seen with the star on the right.

The crest on the left is smaller and finished with a gold wash, and the rivet post is soldered in place. The piece is cleanly stamped out, with evenly thick edges on the reverse and full, rounded features on the face.

The crest on the right is taller, and shows an imperfect, unaligned die cut. The upper wreath is thinner, shows a sharp edge rather than a round, sculpted one, and the star is truncated. The globe is an oval, rather than a circle, and the handle of the sickle is almost completely missing. Some crests of this type are bare copper; either the gold wash has worn off, or was never applied.

Here are the reverses of the main pieces. The one on the left has a raised, stylized "MMD" logo mark.
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File Type: jpg full.jpg (45.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg base.jpg (41.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg star.jpg (33.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg crest.jpg (47.5 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg reverse.jpg (36.6 KB, 0 views)
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Old 10-20-2002, 11:00 PM   #7
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Other examples ...

Here are a few more examples. Illustrated here are badges from various higher academy badges.

The generic academy badge and the naval engineering academy badge (the 2 badges on the left) have the same type of construction as the mint-marked military college badge. The Frunze naval academy badge and the Kuybeschev engineering academy badge (the 2 badges on the right) are similar to the non-mint marked military college badge. Note the evenness of the rays on the star, and the overall fit of the assembled pieces (exposed parts of the star underneath the crest, the reach of the horizontal star arms on the badge, the fit of the crest flat against the star). The Kuybeschev badge's crest is exposed copper, which may not show clearly because of the lighting.
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Last edited by ibaya; 10-21-2002 at 02:51 AM.
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Old 10-20-2002, 11:18 PM   #8
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Another shot of the same badges

This shot was taken with the camera flash. Another thing worth noting is the badge scroll. The left-most scroll is fastened to the badge with prongs, and the letters seem screened/printed with a sturdy enamel paint, with sharp, clean edges.

The 2 on the right are glued onto the badge, and the letters are recessed and filled with enamel paint. On some pieces, such paint has completely disappeared. Recessed lettering may not be significant, since I have seen otherwise high-quality pieces with this type of scroll (one even done in a script-like lettering), but they have been of the prong-type attachments.

The glued-on scrolls might be custom attachments added on when such individual scrolls were abolished and the academies moved to the universal generic badge (as was pointed out in another, earlier thread), but the question remains, why attach such scrolls to a sub-standard badge rather than a readily-available, high-quality one? This seems to indicate that the entire badge was a built-from-scratch job ... any thoughts?
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Last edited by ibaya; 10-21-2002 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 10-21-2002, 02:38 AM   #9
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Ibaya,

Kudos for posting such a fabulous study in photos. This is an excellent future reference.

So, what now?

In my mind there are two possibilities.

1) The high quality mint mark ones are the only genuine ones and were used till the end of the USSR. The other are (likely post-Soviet) fakes.

2) This is a case of declining quality. At some point the badge manufacture moved from MMD to another facility and quality went down. All badges are genuine but early vs. late. The late types have also continued to be manufactured post-USSR for sale to the public.

I have no clue of the true story. Either way the MMD ones should be much more desirable!!

I wonder if there is a way to find out if any of these non-MMD were really issued?? The details are so subtle that I doubt examining and Soviet-era photos would help....

Shawn

Just a short postscript I may have mentioned before on another thread.

I personally bought a Russian Suvorov school badge at the supply store in the St. Petersburg Suvorov school in 1999 - so it was 100% official.

The quality was very poor!
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Old 10-21-2002, 02:48 AM   #10
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Looking over my posts, it's plain to see that my sense of left and right were in serious decline, and my proofing skills weren't quite there ... a dangerous thing, writing way past one's bedtime!

But fortunately, you were able to understand what I meant to say, as opposed to what I actually wrote! I'm going to have to see if I can correct them ...

RE: your Suvorov badge: I guess that gives me hope for the other badges I have.

On another note, I think I'll start posting images of the other academy badges that I have. Maybe some folks will be able to help me identify the ones that I haven't quite figured out yet, as well note the variations in construction. And disassembling the badges is actually kind of fun ... :)

Here is a picture of 2 general staff academy badges that I have. They have the disappointing construction I had earlier discussed. The one with the scroll has a lettering style that I have noticed on some other apparently post-Soviet badges, such as the Margelov Airborne Academy badge (which, curiously, also has a gold-coloured finish, thus conflicting w/the Voroshilov-only gold observation).
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