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Miscellaneous Questions Anything else that doesn't fit into the Fake Alert Titles, Orders, Medals, or Documents sub-forums should be posted here.

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Old 03-30-2003, 05:41 PM   #1
Chris
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Don't share

As soon as it becomes common knowledge what the flaw is that indicates the fakes from the genuine the fakers will copy it.

Keep the secrets secret

Chris
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Old 03-31-2003, 12:32 AM   #2
olezha11
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Secrets are best keep secret!
I am sorry.
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Old 03-31-2003, 09:04 AM   #3
Lapa
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Secrets versus Knowledge

I understand the position that you have expressed. On the other hand, had Paul Mc Daniel followed the same reasoning, we would not have his Encyclopedia at our disposal.

I agree that there is a serious risk that fakers would try to duplicate the existing flaw(s), but at the same time, it leave the rest of us out in the cold. Other branches of collecting have long been faced with faking problems, most of which is coin collecting. Their approach is, on the contrary, to fully publish all the characteristics of genuine coins and of known fakes, so every collector has the necessary knowledge to identify their potential purchases.

A quick last point: it is extremely difficult, not to say impossible, to exactly replicate a defect. To illustrate this point with a phaleristic example, consider the Free French Croix de Guerre issued in Algiers by General Giraud where about 1000 were locally produced, making it an extremely rare and very valuable medal. THE identifying characteristic is a flaw on the bottom arm of the cross and on the edge of the right arm. This information has been widely published, and to this day, we still have to see a perfect fake of this medal, despite the original medal being of a fairly simple design easily faked.

Anyway, back to the jungle... :D

Marc
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Old 04-01-2003, 09:13 PM   #4
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Gentlemen,

Please believe me when I say, that I am not revealing any secrets. As a matter of fact I don't have any secrets at all. Any experienced dealer or collector knows all the little "secrets" I am sharing with you. If you take a medal you know is genuine, examine it in every possible detail, and compare it to a fake you will see all the flaws I mention. I just try to simplify this process for you, or would you rather that I just say "fake" or "good"?

Alexei
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Old 04-02-2003, 06:20 PM   #5
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Secrets or not secrets...

Hi Alexei,

Well, I, for one, appreciate your explanations and the details that you can give. Next time I am staring at a specific medal, I (hopefully ;) ) will have a better idea of what I am looking at, and by the same improving my odds.

My previous posts were refering more specifically to the claim that Eugene has a 100% foolproof method for identifying genuine Nakhimov medals. Personally, I'd love to learn what is the magic spot to check on the reverse (for those among us weary by public disclosure, feel free to PM or email me the solution to this mystery).

I believe that the best defense against fakes is EDUCATION, and I know of no other way to educate people than by sharing information. The idea that publishing specific identifying characteristics of genuine items can only help fakers is I believe erroneous. Once again, consider the example of numismatics (to which, by the way, our hobby belongs). The ANA (American Numismatic Association), the largest collector's organization in the world, has been publishing reports about fake and genuine items for over 100 years now. Net result: collectors are now better armed to screen genuine from fake items.

I believe that my few posts on enameling and gold plating have provided our members with a better understanding of these two techniques. It is possible that some fakers also read thoses posts, but the net result is that collectors from this forum are now armed with crucial knowledge which will enable them to detect problems in these areas, and therefore be able to screen out some fakes.

Finally, and maybe obviously, don't believe that the fakers have been waiting for us, members of this forum, to keep perfecting their "art". Disclosure is our weapon against their endeavours. The more information we publish, the higher we raise the ante, and therefore the further we push them back in their corner.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Right, I'm stepping off my soapbox now :D

Marc
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Old 04-03-2003, 07:53 PM   #6
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Marc,

Ove the years I've been accused many times that my sharing "secrets of the trade" with the collecting community will eventually help the bad guys. Well, I don't think I am all that popular and that every faker in Russia religiously reads my messages and webpage. :) Besides I believe that perfect fakes can be made only if they use original dies, technology, materials, etc. If not there will always be differences, that an educated collector will find.

Alexei
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:36 AM   #7
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I agree with that: all original material needed to coin the medals, etc...and we forget the most important: the mint artisan-worker's talent. Since fakers don't hav e systematically all the stuff, the main barrer to excellent copies is profitability: cost time and materials to do perfect copies, and slightly, finishing an ushakov, modifying the metal, etc...is time and money, and slightly they approach the real price...where's so the profitability?
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Old 04-06-2003, 03:58 AM   #8
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Well Alexei you expressed what i wanted to say in far less words and much clearly than i did :D

Marc
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Old 04-06-2003, 05:23 PM   #9
Chris
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Secret and passage of information

Actually I have to clarify my comments about secrets as Note Bene who we should be extremely thankful for has I believe saved many a soul from loosing money by sharing information.

I believe there is a fine line however between information and secrets...there are one or two things that could persuade the buyer to purchase when these things are copied.

My recent experience with two-piece ushakovs proved to me that the fakers listen to these sites...etc.

I do however agree with most of your comments about sharing information...long may it continue...it has saved me money and now I am virtually bullet proof when I go to meet the guys in the street.

I do believe that if the secret of the Nakimov flaw was introduced it would be copied enough to persuade the innocent until they could look closer at home….

My thoughts. It’s a fine line…and I love this passage of information

Regards Chris
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Old 04-07-2003, 03:19 AM   #10
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I agree in general with sharing info. Dealing mainly with paper and unforms I come at it a bit differently. For paper especially there is little invetment necessary - at least for some types of IDs - for the faker to begin production.

To me the key is to provide enough information to allow people to spot fakes. For a short while I kept all info about fakes "secret" to 1) finish gathering it and 2) verify that it was correct and I was not calling something genuine a fake.

When I did reveal the info that I and others had gathered I provided all the main keys for identifying fakes, listed the types of fakes, and the general qualities of fakes. What I have not revealed is every little thing that tipped me off or made me suspicious or is wrong with them.

A few of these things can be changed instantly by a smart faker and I don't want to reveal eveything I know. But, the main point is I am not keeping anything secret that would allow identification of a further type of fake. I have revealed enough so that every type of fake so far can be identified by someone who reads all the info on the forum.

If new fakes come out that are better or that counter what I have said so far I may have to go into more detail.

As an example, I have files of genuine and fake IDs and decree numbers. I can see that many of the current fakes have decree numbers that are totally bogus and wrong. However, there is already enough other features revealed to identify those fake IDs without talking about decree numbers.

Shawn
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