Collecting Militaria

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Do these terms mean anything to you, militaria-wise:

If your answer is “no”, you have either lost your way while browsing bidorbuy, or you only intend to start collecting militaria.

If “yes”, you are most likely already a collector. (We’ll say no more - you probably have to listen to your wife’s tirades on that subject each and every day).

Part of the bigger family of collectibles, militaria won a right to have its own category on bidorbuy long ago and is holding well in the face of competition form other categories.

Collecting militaria is an established hobby among many groups of people. Sometimes also called military antiquities or military antiques, the term militaria denotes artefacts or replicas related to the army or police forces. It covers a wide range of objects: firearms, swords, knives, and other weapons; uniforms, helmets, caps and armour; medals and decorations; badges, buttons and insignia; military art, sculpture, and prints; memorabilia such as cigarette cards, photographs and letters; scale models and toy soldiers; and items of combat equipment and field gear.

On bidorbuy, the Militaria category is divided into several sub-categories, each with several categories of their own. The main sub-categories are: Badges & Insignia, Clothing & Equipment, Medals, Militaria Books & DVDs, Sharp Edged Weaponry and War Memorabilia.

Collectors say it is a good idea to decide early on what you want to collect and then stick to your area. You may concentrate on just one artefact and collect it from various nations. Or you may collect militaria by nationality. Super-specialists collect only specific artefacts from a single country. In any case, it is important to have a focus. Otherwise, your collection may become a mere hoard (or clutter collecting dust, as your wife so often points out).

Many people collect militaria for investment purposes. However, even when you ignore the investment aspect, it is an engrossing hobby with historical significance and a wide scope for reading and research. For many collectors, the most interesting part of collecting militaria is finding out about the history of the item that they have acquired. Therefore, be sure to go through the bidorbuy Militaria Books & DVDs section to see what you can find on the areas that interest you.


The Value of a Medal


Easy to Collect

Medals are symbols of qualities human society values: long service, loyalty, courage and heroism. A medal is closely associated with the persons who received it: the more illustrious the recipient, the more valuable the medal; also, a complete set awarded to a particular person is more valuable than the same number of individual medals.   In South Africa, popular medals include the Boer War medals, Rhodesia medals, SADF & SANDF medals, as well as the First and Second World War medals. South African Korean War medals awarded to pilots who participated in the Korean War under the auspices of the UN are sought-after by collectors worldwide. Military badges and insignia are considered an easy area and consequently suitable for beginners. They are made of a variety of materials (brass, white metal, silver, cloth, etc.). Most collectors will not buy damaged insignia unless it is very rare or easy to repair, though a repaired badge will be worth less than an intact one. If you remove the fastenings from the back of badges to make them fit in display cases, you will reduce their value. (This does not apply to the badges officially issued without fastenings, which are meant to be sewn onto uniforms.) Find a variety of badges and insignia on bidorbuy, international as well as South African, issued by the air force, army navy and police.


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