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Old 09-07-20, 11:27 AM
Wooffy's Avatar
Wooffy Wooffy is offline
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Default When is a Variant a Variant?

Like some, my collecting (or hoarding as my other half would say!) has led to me having multiple examples of the same object in my collection. In some cases there are clear and significant differences between the examples, typically these include the things that you would anticipate: different maker marks, different fastenings, detectable changes in areas of the overall design and even changes in materials and finishes applied.

As these Covid times still seem to progress, like others I have had some extended time to consider items in the collection. So in browsing through things and comparing what I have to each other and also to images of other examples, I have come to the realisation that some of what I have always considered to be identical examples of the same object are not so. The biggest revelation being the discovery of at least 2 dies used to make cap badges - one with a flaw in it which is repeated in examples I own and examples I have seen, whilst the other clearly doesn't have the same flaw.

As neither are marker marked it is probable/possible that the two different dies are were used by different manufacturers. Although this is more a working assumption than anything that I can prove.

So the question is this - does a hard to spot die flaw, which is repeated on different examples, make one a variant of the other?
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Old 09-07-20, 01:25 PM
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Sonofacqms Sonofacqms is offline
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Cool Variants

I think I now look at badges more closely than I ever have in the past, this has come about because of the time I have on my hands or the interest has grown.

In the past the aim was to get a good original example of each Infantry, Cavalry and Corps badge as possible. The variations that were then collected were spelling on badges, ADSUMAS/AUSUMAS, BY DAND/BYDAND, and dates.

Makers never figured too much in the early days, but as the collection grew so did the interest and like many collectors I have to the untrained eye ten or twelve cap badges the same except they are variations.

When you think of the lifespan of a die, how many were used to produce the Great War ASC badges, the variations would probably be endless, but this is what makes collecting badges interesting, you can go on forever . . !

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Old 09-07-20, 01:53 PM
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Home Guard Home Guard is offline
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Location: Tennessee
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A very interesting thought. What comes to mind regarding this is do you consider a fake as a variation or not. I know the first blush reaction is to say no, but it usually is a different version of the badge, although not a real one. If I can get a fake for a cheap price I might consider it. But a seller trying to pass a fake off at a high price that a real one might go for is a different story.

For example, I want to add a Danbury Mint WRAC cap badge to my collection even though it is definitely not a true army badge. But to me it is a variation. And, from what I've seen in looking for one is that the Danbury Mint regimental badges are priced cheaply enough as should be.

Interesting thread.

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Old 09-07-20, 02:05 PM
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Luke H Luke H is offline
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I would say if we are taking about the same die and a flaw developing through damage/wear it’s not a variant of that die just earlier and later strikes.

If the die is a different one, even if those difference are slight, then it is a manufacturers variation.

With more the common badges which didn’t change for long periods the number of variations from different dies is likely to be huge and non-exhaustive.

As ever down to the individual what they collect.

Also some die flaws on certain badges are indicators of it being a restrike or fake.
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Old 09-07-20, 02:49 PM
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Nozzer Nozzer is offline
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Even a short lived Corps such as the Machine Gun Corps (MGC) have a large amount of cap badge die variations. I have 18 at last count, not including officers or Motor Machine Gun variants.
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Old 09-07-20, 02:58 PM
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Luke H Luke H is offline
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Quite right Andy, I should have included large wartime units in my third paragraph.
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