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German Democratic Republic Deutsche Demokratische Republik 7th October 1949 - 3rd October 1990

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Old 06-03-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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Recommendations for a New Collector


I have built up large Soviet and Mongolian collections and am thinking about branching out. I just came back from Germany and searched through the flea markets and saw some interesting GDR militaria, which has got me thinking about collecting GDR orders and medals. What I need is now is some sage advice.

I am interested in collecting a few higher quality orders and medals, specifically ones that are made of silver. I would like to get your views on what orders and medals (under $100 USD ea) are worth my time. I figure I can get the much more common medals later on.

Also, can you PM me any leads on dealers or any items you may have that are available for sale.

Finally, is their a good reference book you recommend, as there seem to be a few on the market.

Thank you in advance!!

Will :thumbsup
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:10 PM   #2
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Re: Recommendations for a New Collector

Get the references by Ralph Pickard. Though they are focused on Stasi collectibles, the information is also useful for other DDR pursuits.
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Old 06-06-2014, 04:28 PM   #3
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Re: Recommendations for a New Collector

I will echo Paul's recommendation regarding Ralph's books... especially where documentation is concerned- very thorough and enjoyable. I would also steer you toward Frank Bartel's books. They're in German, but really won't take too long to get used to. Most DDR awards and badges had several variations, and Frank's books will point these out (what to look for, etc.). Certainly more straight "catalog-type" books rather than Ralph's books which enter into scholarly discussion, the Bartel books are at their best when used for spot recognition. However, having both Bartel and Pickard books at your disposal will certainly help you become a formidable DDR collector! Good luck!

With regard to silver... right now the focus seems to be on the earlier Volksarmee Merit and Long Service awards with the "900" (silver content) stamps. These are going for premium dollars now. Both books mentioned above will show you how to recognize these awards.
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Last edited by Greg Collins; 06-06-2014 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:04 PM   #4
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Re: Recommendations for a New Collector

Paul and Greg,

Thanks for the responses and excellent recommendations! I am definitely going to buy Ralph's book, consume it and go from there. I have been looking around on different dealer sites and off course the most famous auction site and gauged what is available. I think I am probably going to buy some Patriotic Merit Orders and Volksarmee Long Service Medals in the near future. I think with earlier versions I will be more likely to be buying something that was previously issued rather than made for the tourists.

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