Our Top 5 Militaria Predictions for 2013

Our Top 5 Militaria Predictions for 2013

ONE OF THE REASONS for building a militaria collection is that simply owning a piece of military history gives you pleasure. It can also make sense to acquire pieces as investments. Keeping a tradition for the start of the year, here are our personal predictions as to what could be a good buy during 2013.

Experts advise you to buy the best militaria examples that you can afford. While militaria has clearly had a long life before it gets to you, do ensure that its overall condition and patterna of use is as close to original as possible, as naturally it is more likely to hold its value better in the long term. You know as well as we do that the originality will affect how much a piece of militaria is worth.

But when the seller is online, either selling through our marketplace or elsewhere, it’s obvious that you are not going to be able to inspect the piece, and it will therefore be more difficult to check authenticity. So how do you verify authenticity?

For a start you can ask the Seller targeted questions – “what is the item’s provenance?” and “can you send high quality images?” are always sensible ones to ask. You can check the Seller’s reputation by Googling to see if they have history. You can also ask for a money back guarantee on the sale, so if you are dissatisfied with it for any reason you can return it. Or you can use services like Paypal who offer some protection on your payment. And remember, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Militaria buying requires experience, knowledge, and common sense – more so when buying online. As well as following basic online buying safety principles, to balance the risk you need to collect for enjoyment as well as investment. If your investment doesn’t pay off, then at least you should have the pleasure of owning a piece of history.  With this in mind here are our tips as to what we think may be good to look out for in 2013: 

1) Japanese WWII Militaria

For a long time Japanese WW2 militaria has been overlooked – but no longer. Prices are rising to match German WW2 pieces. Helmets have skyrocketed in price, commanding upwards of £300. A standard Japanese infantry leather belt with cartridge boxes over £150. A basic rifle with matching sights, sling approaching the thick end of £1,000. With new Japanese militaria guides due to be released this year, this will likely fuel demand further, which along with the relative scarcity of items means prices for Japanese items could well remain strong. Add to that a bonus – the type does not yet appear to have the attention of reproducers and fakers… but still, caveat emptor.

2) Comprehensive Militaria Groupings

Historical groupings with a strong provenance are commanding premium prices. One of the reasons? Collectors enjoy the hours of research – putting together the individual’s story from their military and civilian records. Add to that the excitement of potential discovery that the individual was in an elite combat unit or regiment, or saw action in particular battles or campaigns means prices for large groupings are strong.  Expect to pay high prices for groupings containing uniforms with medal sets, dogtags, headgear, service records and personal items such as letters and photos. Anything in a set that confirms the identity of the original owner helps increase the value of even the most ordinary militaria pieces. Check all items belong in a grouping you are looking at.

3) WWII German Daggers and Swords

Daggers and swords from the 3rd Reich remain some of the most sought-after collectables. Along with helmets, collectable blades are some of the most iconic items of militaria from the period. The variety and the fact they display well means collectors have a lot to keep them interested, and prices remain strong. In addition, many historically interesting relics in original condition are finding their way on to the market as veterans pass away and their estates are sold on.

4) WWII German helmets

The WWII ‘stahlhelm’ is another one of those most recognisable militaria icons of 20th Century warfare. Made in millions, the pace at which the prices of German helmets have risen in the collecting market is still surprising us. Iconic militaria so obviously connected with the criminal events of the 1930’s and 40’s is going to charge emotions and demand is therefore going to stay strong, buoyed by tv series and movies such as ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Plain M35 helmets with original liner and chinstrap can go for upward of £400. Add insignia and the helmet can sell for £000’s. But, buyer beware. There are plenty of reproductions out there and plenty of sellers adding transfers and paint to pass off average helmets as something more.

5) Deactivated Weapons

Deactivated firearms have always been popular here in the UK as they are the only way to legally own some examples of historical, iconic weaponry. If you consider the on-going threat of political pressure here to change existing laws to restrict the sale of deactivated weapons further, or in the case of the United States due to recent horrific circumstances change laws that could impact the sale of all weapons including the historical, the dash to find the best pre-1995 legislation deactivated MG34, Bren LMG, Luger or Thompson M1 could well be on. As with all items on this list, buy quality.

So now you know our thoughts on what may be a good militaria buy during 2013, where do you go to advance your own militaria collection? Our Buy pages of course >>

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