LATEST NEWS IN BADGE COLLECTING
Check here often for the very latest information on fakes and
reproductions that have entered the collectors market. If you have additional
information on these items or others that should be brought to the attention of
collectors, please send an email to the address noted in this website.
SHOWING THE OLD AND THE NEW
The Texas Department of Public Safety has started issuing new badges to the DPS personnel. The new badges, manufactured by Nielsen, have basically the same design as the older badge with the exception of the cutout star that is positioned to represent the state capitol of Austin. The DPS also has added some ranks, such as is shown in this collector’s display. Note Senior Trooper and Trooper II and Trooper III.
These badges are starting to show up on the collectors market, and should be valued at the same price as the most previous issue, without the star cutout.
NEVADA HIGHWAY PATROL becomes
NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY – June 8, 2003
The State of Nevada has announced the Nevada Highway Patrol is becoming the Nevada Department of Public Safety. In addition to the name change, department personnel will be issued new DPS badges and patches for uniform wear. And, the Nevada Highway Patrol marked cars will soon be sporting a new DPS decal.
Should you have any photographs relating to this change, please send them along so we can post them here.
Nevada Highway Patrol badges with the Nielsen maker mark continue to show up on the collectors market. These badges have the date of 1999 on the back of the badge. Although Nielsen did hold the NHP contract briefly many years ago, this 1999 badge should not be considered “department issue”, as it did not come from the department, was never issued to NHP personnel, and although they are well done and very attractive so far as badges are concerned, the should be valued at only the cost of material, and not as a collectible.
Nielsen NHP Reproductions
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE – Hat Emblem & Pocket Badge – June 2003
The Virginia State Police are issuing the “standard” campaign hat for all uniformed members. The hat is a dark blue, and only issued in straw. The members voted not to wear the gold or silver acorn cord worn by other departments. So, you’ll see only the black leather band on the uniform hats. Along with the new style hat comes a new hat emblem. The emblems are rhodium (silver) and were designed like the hat emblem worn by members of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The diamond shaped emblem is shell back, manufactured by the Blackinton Company, and is slightly smaller than the North Carolina hat emblem.
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE – New Hat & VSP Emblem
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE – Off Duty & Pocket ID Badge – June 8, 2003
For many years, members of the Virginia State Police have requested an “off-duty” or pocket identification badge. The department has finally issued just such an item. The “department issue” leather case is a fold-over design, and contains an identification card for the member and a small Virginia State Police wallet clip badge. The badge is solid back, manufactured by Blackinton, and has the members VSP ID number stamped in the back. This well made badge is about 50% smaller than the uniform breast badge.
*** As an added note, Blackinton is now the state contract holder for all Virginia State Police Badges, and although the initial issues, like the earlier Hahn made badges were shell back with the attached member ID number tab, the latest issues from Richmond have been solid back badges with the Blackinton marker mark and a stamped VSP member ID number. There are no plans to recall the earlier Hahn badges.
WASHINGTON STATE PATROL – New Reproduction – June 8, 2003
Collectors should be aware that a new Washington State Patrol reproduction has surfaced on the collectors market. The badge carries the Blackinton maker mark. Blackinton does not and has not held the official Washington State Patrol contract, according to the department. Although this badge looks almost exactly like the current issue WSP badge, it appears to be a parts badge rather than a solid die. The badge is being offered for sale at badge shows and on the internet auction sites, often advertised as a department issue badge. The value of this badge should be rated only for the material of manufacture, and should not be considered a “department issue” by collectors. It can be considered as an “officer’s second”, if desired. Here is a close up photo of the reproduction.
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE REPRODUCTIONS June 1, 2003
Look carefully at the Virginia State Police badge pictured above. These reproductions are showing up on the collectors market frequently in every rank. If you are seriously looking for a valid “department issue” Virginia State Police badge to add to your collection, you need to know what to check when evaluating a VSP badge. Whoever is making these reproduction badges is working vary hard to fool you. Here are some important points to remember:
First, look at the letter “O” in STATE POLICE. The “department issue” badge has a round letter “O”. This series of reproductions has an oval “O” in the word POLICE.
Second, on most of the reproductions that have surfaced recently, the number tab on the back is NOT wielded on the badge. It has been attached with glue or epoxy. The number tab on a “department issue” Virginia State Police badge will not come off without considerable effort. Another words, you’ll have to nearly destroy the badge before the number identification tab will pop off. It is truly wielded on the badge, and done so before the badge is plated. If you are considering a VSP badge, by all means stick a screw driver or an ice pick under the number tab and see if it is welded on or if it is attached with epoxy.
Third, look at the rank panel carefully. Most reproductions have poorly engraved rank panel lettering.
The value of a “department issue” Virginia State Police badge on the collectors market is somewhere between $900 and $1200 dollars. When you see a VSP badge offered for sale for less, start by looking at the badge closely, and then ask yourself why the seller is offering it for less. You should always have the right of return with a full refund once you receive the badge, should you find something doesn’t look right, and in this case, should the ID tab pop off under reasonable pressure.
The value of a VSP reproduction is around $35.00, certainly no more. This is just the basic value of the material it took to make the badge. As a serious collectible, these reproductions are worthless. If you have questions about a state police badge, you are welcome to send us photos of the badge, both front and back, and we’ll give you an educated opinion.
MARYLAND STATE POLICE REPRODUCTION
January 31, 2003
Reproductions of the Maryland State Police are starting to show up on the collectors market in considerable numbers. The badge is being sold to unknowing and uneducated collectors as "department issue", and actually in many respects it is very close. If you have a copy of the BADGE GUIDE, pay close attention to the photo of the department badge pictured in the book. Pay close attention to the finish on the badge. The reproduction has more of a dull finish that the department badge. Also, look closely at the feet on the eagle, as they are unlike the department issue badge. Also the flags on the top of the pole in the state seal is incorrect. These are tiny details, but knowing these reproductions are out there and being sold as "department issue" can save you from being taken! If you have any questions about a badge, send me a photo of it, back and front, and I'll give you my opinion. Here is a photo of one of the Maryland State Police reproductions.
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE - Reproduction, the OVAL "O" badge
- January 20, 2003
There are two know series of reproductions of the Virginia State Police badge being circulated among and sold to unknowing and uneducated collectors. The first reproduction of the Virginia State Police badge can be spotted right away because, as I have named it, it is the "Oval O" badge. The die is very close to the Hahn die, however, the "O" in the word POLICE is OVAL and NOT ROUND as it should be. If you encounter one of these badges, treat it as a reproduction and value it as such, as it is of little value and is a reproduction. The "O" in the word POLICE should be ROUND. Here is a photo of the reproduction. If you have questions about a badge, before you buy it, send me a good clear photo of the badge back and front for an opinion.
VIRGINIA STATE POLICE - Reproduction Warning - Number tab pops OFF
There are a considerable number of Virginia State Police badges circulating on the collectors market these days that look perfect. They reportedly have been made from the VSP die used by Hahn. There are two ways to detect this reproduction. First, the font used for the number on the tab on the back is incorrect. But, the most obvious mistake is the way the number tab is attached. The "department issue" Virginia State Police badge made by Hahn had the number tab attached before the badge was plated. You can't pop it off, period. The reproduction badges have the tabs attached with glue or epoxy, and just slipping a small ice pick or screw driver under the tab will cause it to easily pop off. If you have recently bought a Virginia State Police badge and everything looks right, check the tab. I would value the reproduction at around $35, no more.
WEST VIRGINIA STATE POLICE - Stars required
If your BADGE GUIDE is one of the older editions, make this note on your West Virginia State Police page. The "department issue" West Virginia State Police badge is slightly larger than the "stock die" reproductions that are showing up. Also, to be a "valid department issue" West Virginia State Police badge, the stars in the round ring MUST have tiny a metal star within the star, or a tiny metal dot. Make sure it isn't just a dot someone entered after the manufacturing process. It must be centered, and you can detect an add-on dot easily. There is a photo below that shows this. Make this note in your BADGE GUIDE so you will not be fooled by the slightly smaller stock die "reproduction" of this hard to get badge.
Remember the badge collector's rule... "Never pay more for
a badge than you can sell it for."
This page will be updated as we learn of other fakes and reproductions. You are welcome to check here for the latest news on state police and state highway patrol badges.
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