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Old 11-04-19, 04:21 PM
zorgon's Avatar
zorgon zorgon is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 162
Default early CAF collar construction

I recently acquired (thanks T.W.) a partial, deconstructed 1st issue (without motto) CAF (Canadian Air Force) stamped copper base collar manufactured around 1920. It did however have the overlaid silver monogram but was missing the silver wings and crown. Iím fortunate to own a handful of these complete.

It was after cleaning and taking close-up images, I noticed that there were scratched Roman Numerals etched into the back, XII to be specific. This is the first time Iíve seen this on the CAF items other than the 2nd issue (with motto), 2nd design large, Officerís cap badge for the peaked caps Ė all of which generally have these marks. The use of these Roman Numeral markings was first noted on the earlier rare, RCNAS cap badges of similar design and it is believed each one carried the unique, sequential marks by the jeweler who manufactured or certified these items. A couple of photos under various lighting conditions are attached to show these CAF collar marks. The collar, like all others of its kind is fitted with a central single screw post.
None of my other 1st issue collars are marked in this manner so one might speculate that this item was in fact an early prototype or template for the design and thus received special attention by the Master Jeweler; or perhaps even a design that was ultimately rejected. Interestingly, on close examination, I would say itís a different die from my others. This is most noticeable in the shape and size of the copper Crown. Likewise, the silver ďCAFĒ monogram is ever so slightly different in detail, suggesting it to was a prototype before the final dies were adapted (images attached).

These are small, picky details but if nothing else, they show how much care and planning by skilled craftsmen went into the design and manufacture of these badges.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg XII collar (sm).jpg (80.7 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg XII marked 1st isue collar.jpg (64.4 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg RIMG8763 sm.jpg (86.1 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg prototype collar monogram.jpg (46.7 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Standard 1st issue collar monogram.jpg (40.8 KB, 15 views)
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Old 11-04-19, 04:26 PM
arrestingu arrestingu is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: uk
Posts: 1,137

Interesting !!!
If you have a spare collar Iam after one !!
Cheers steve
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMAG3168_1.jpg (63.1 KB, 44 views)
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Old 12-04-19, 01:47 PM
zorgon's Avatar
zorgon zorgon is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 162

A lovely early group you have there - hard to find.
PM sent about the collar; maybe others might have a spare for you?

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Old 12-04-19, 02:14 PM
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Roy Roy is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: A Shropshire lad in Arizona
Posts: 3,605

Lovely to see these badges chaps.

I had one of the cap badges once but have always though the wings are one of the most lovely designed I have ever seen, although never owned any.




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Old 01-05-19, 11:10 PM
zorgon's Avatar
zorgon zorgon is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 162

A bit more on this particular collar.
I'll write more about this in a future post as I think the general results are quite significant when related to identifying replicas but I had a non-destructive, test done on this and other CAF insignia yesterday using a SEM-EDX (scanning electron microscope with an energy-dispersive X-ray for elemental analysis). It provides semi-quantitative details about the elements and their abundance in metal objects.
As might be expected, the base piece is effectively 100% pure copper and the CAF overlay is very close to 100% silver (and not sterling or plating). There is some trace amount of silicon present, the origin of which isn't clear; perhaps contamination.

Some original CAF monograms only have silver coating.
Just another tool for insignia identification.
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Old 02-05-19, 02:17 PM
cefguy cefguy is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 264

Thank you for a very informative post on an interesting topic. You are very fortunate to have access to the advance equipment and techniques that you mentioned.
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