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May 5, 2007

There is a fake Virginia Special Agent badge that is being offered for sale to collectors. The badge, although in the same general shape and design as the department issue, is a total fake. The eagle is not right, the banners are wrong, the enamel is wrong, and the state seal is very poorly done.

The Virginia SP Special Agent badge is a VERY rare item for the collectors market. In fact, in over 10 years of checking the validity of state badges for collectors when they have asked for insight and appraisal, I have never seen a valid Virginia State Police Special Agent badge on the collectors market. This sales offering sent up red flags.

For some unknown reason, fake Virginia and Maryland badges are flooding the collectors market right now. They are everywhere, and are being offered as valid issues and at high prices. You really have to be careful with anything from these two states right now. Please don't be taken by these deceptions!

If you are offered a Virginia State Police Special Agent badge for your collection, we will gladly review it for validity. We do not buy or sell badges. This website is non-profit and what is posted here is offered as a service to collectors at no cost. All collector inquiries are kept 100% confidential.

The chances of you being offered a valid VSP SA badge are probably poor at best. The badge offered this week appears to be an import. In addition to the eagle, the banner, and the state seal mistakes, this badge appeared to be poor quality and of import origin.

If you would like a second opinion before you buy, we will gladly give you one. It would be awful to be taken on this one, as the price is high and the badge is worthless. We have photos on file. This badge already has the attention of the VSP.

Always get a right to return a badge if you are not pleased when it arrives. It is also a violation of the federal mail fraud laws to knowingly misrepresent a badge when selling it.

April 15, 2005

There is a fake VIRGINIA STATE POLICE First Sergeant badge that has been making the circles in the collectors market for nearly a year now. This badge is not valid. Watch for a damaged area between the P and the O in POLICE.

As this badge has made the rounds, sellers have told buyers that it is REAL, but the tab is either not attached or is missing and on and on. Virginia breast badges are made by Hahn. The number tabs are attached in such a way as they can NOT be removed without real damage to the badge. Collectors, DO NOT get taken by the stories that are told about this badge. IT IS NOT a valid badge. It has NEVER been property of the department. The tabs DO NOT come off.

There were a whole series of these badges made with different ranks. Most of them had the tabs attached with epoxy and you could pop them off with a simple screw driver. These badges probably cost the repro maker around $20 to make. If this badge is in your collection, you have a reproduction and not a valid issue.

This badge is a REPRODUCTION! Don't buy the old story about the tab is missing or is not attached properly. They are just stories. Removing a tab on a Hahn made VSP breast badge will destroy the badge. They don't fall off, ever!

Beware of any VIRGINIA STATE POLICE badge that does NOT have a tab that is
welded to the badge, and be especially aware of this FIRST SERGEANT badge as it is not a valid issue.

A photograph of this badge has been supplied to the Virginia State Police for investigation by a collector.


April 14, 2005

Sellers are offering reproduction Virginia State Police hat emblems to unsuspecting collectors at an increasing rate. These imports often come with a faked Blackinton hallmark, and are offered to the unsuspecting buyer as “department issue.” Most sales offerings are made directly over the internet, however, some VSP reproductions are appearing on the auction sites and at badge shows.

These imported reproductions are probably costing the seller somewhere around $2.00 each. They are being offered to unsuspecting collectors for between $50 and $200 each. They are nearly worthless to serious collectors. Don’t be taken by this one.

The reproduction is fairly easy to spot. The weight of the hat emblem seems lighter than the issue emblem. They are poorly made, and there have been reports of the screw post attachment breaking off under pressure.
In the photo posted with this ALERT, note the applied VSP lettering in the top photo. The “department issue” hat emblem is die cast by Blackinton, and nothing is applied. The reproduction has the VSP and VA lettering in a metal filled blob, which is then attached to the reproduction. The VA at the bottom of the emblem is also applied and attached in a like manner.

Note the metal fill around the VSP lettering in the top photo. It is just poorly made. Note there is none of this in the “issued” hat emblem pictured below.

Seller’s should note that selling a fake or reproduction badge, hat emblem, or shoulder patch to a buyer as “department issue” constitutes a violation of United States laws, and you can be prosecuted under mail fraud statutes.

Our publication tells the secrets of telling a "department issue" badge from a fake or a reproduction. Should you encounter a badge that you have questions about, do send us a copy of the photos, front and back. This will
help us in our efforts of telling other collectors what is out on the market these days. Should you encounter a state patrol badge and have questions about it, send us a photo of the badge, back and front, and let us give you an opinion. Remember, it is your input that alerts us to the fakes and reproductions that are out there. Support this site by telling us of questionable badges. Our BADGE GUIDE will assist you in collecting only valid badges, and will advise on a bracket price for each state.



This VIRGINIA STATE POLICE – First Repro of 2005
January 6, 2005

The Virginia State Police badge was at one time one of the most difficult to find and to add to a serious collection. I am starting to believe there are more fakes and reproductions of the VSP uniform badge than of any other state. The Virginia ALERTS section is larger than any of the other states as this posting is entered.

This VSP reproduction is one of the worst I have seen. The state seal would be a dead give-away that the badge is not a quality Blackinton issue. However, I will give whoever had this one made up some points. At least they are paying attention to the lettering a little more. This badge doesn’t have an oval “O” in the word STATE POLICE. But, the overall back ground of the face of the badge is awful. The finish does not even come close to the quality background of the current Blackinton VSP issue, and in fact, it isn’t close to the old Hahn issue either. The lettering is wrong, and poorly spaced.

In looking at this one closely, I would have to say that even those of you who collect repros wouldn’t want this one in your collection. This badge is very poorly done, and to most collectors, it would be nailed as a reproduction without much detective work. Just look it over and be aware that it is just another reproduction joining the VSP section here. Please don’t even think about adding this one to your collection!

Our publication tells the secrets of telling a "department issue" badge from a fake or a reproduction. Should you encounter a badge that you have questions about, do send us a copy of the photos, front and back. This will
help us in our efforts of telling other collectors what is out on the market these days. Should you encounter a state patrol badge and have questions about it, send us a photo of the badge, back and front, and let us give you an opinion. Remember, it is your input that alerts us to the fakes and reproductions that are out there. Support this site by telling us of questionable badges. Our BADGE GUIDE will assist you in collecting only valid badges, and will advise on a bracket price for each state.

VIRGINIA STATE POLICE – Pocket Badge Reproduction
January 6, 2005

The Virginia State Police haven’t had their pocket badge issued for very long, and now we have a reproduction of the pocket badge on the collectors market.

I have pictured the official “department issue” reproduction in this section of the ALERTS area because it is not currently shown in the BADGE GUIDE. Take a minute to scroll down and take a look at it, with the solid back, official issue stamped ID number, a Blackinton hallmark, and a wallet clip. This badge would be a very rare item on the collectors market today. In fact, I doubt very seriously if one has “escaped” from VSP inventory in the little time it has been out.

This reproduction of the “pocket badge” is generally a very poor reproduction. The lettering is poorly done, is comes with a pin and safety catch rather than the official wallet clip, and of course, has no hallmark or stamped ID number. The state seal is one of the worst I have seen lately, and overall, it is not something any educated collector would even consider at any price.

Just be aware that these are out there, and don’t be fooled thinking it is a real VSP issue. It is worth basic materials only, and that wouldn’t be more than about $25 at today’s exchange rate.



October 28, 2004

There is a rank series of Virginia State Police badges on the collectors' market with the letter “O” in the word POLICE is oval and not round. These badges are from the dies I call “the oval” series. These badges are often seen on the auction websites. They are also offered for sale to unsuspecting collectors in direct sales. This badge does not meet the department specifications and has never been property of the VSP.

Like many fakes and fantasy badges, the "oval O" badges can appear close to the department issue VSP badge. Like most reproductions, the badge has enough mistakes to easily be detected by the educated collector. The official VSP badge has a round "O" in the word POLICE.

I might add here that there is a series of round "O" VSP reproduction badges on the collectors market also. This series is described in detail in the posting relating to the reproduction First Sergeant badge.

There is no perfect reproduction. There are always mistakes. This series of badges could fool the new or uneducated collector.

If you buy an "oval O" Virginia State Police badge for your hobby collection, the chances of you ever selling it for what you paid initially is probably zero. Always get the right to return a badge for a full refund if you are not fully satisfied upon delivery.

Collectors just do not knowingly buy reproduction badges. Consider any "oval O" badge with a great deal of thought, as an "oval O" VSP badge does not even qualify as a reproduction. It is a fake or fantasy badge and is worthless as a collectible.

Photographs of the Virginia "oval O" badges was recently forwarded to the VSP for their information by an in-state collector.

Remember, any badge that is knowingly offered for sale as department issue through the mail, when the seller knows the badge is a reproduction or a fake, is a violation of the federal mail fraud law.




September 7, 2004

Another Virginia State Police reproduction joins the others being offered to unsuspecting collectors!

This reproduction version is slightly improved over most of the others posted on the site. Whoever made this one corrected the oval “O” tell-tale mistake. However, if you look closely at this badge, you can see they failed to get the finish on the badge right. It has what appears to be “patterns” in the finish. The back has no number ID tab, and is solid back.

Remember these facts when dealing with solid back Virginia State Police badges: ( 1) The VSP has been issuing solid back badges only in recent years, and (2) this contact period means you should be looking at a Blackinton badge. (3) These badges are hallmarked with the standard Blackinton hallmark and will have a number ID tab welded to the back of the badge. It will not pop off without considerable effort, and if it does, there will be damage to the body of the badge.

The other tell-tale signs of “repro” on this badge are… no double ring around the state seal, and the lettering font in both TROOPER, VIRGINIA and STATE POLICE is too thin! This is an easy reproduction to spot if you know what to look for.

This badge, as a collectable, is worthless. It probably cost $30 to make. Let’s hope if you have one in your collection, you didn’t pay more than that for the poorly made repro!

Hat Emblem & Pocket Badge
April 9, 2005

 Imported reproductions of the Virginia State Police hat emblem are flooding the collectors market, often in Blackinton bags with Blackinton hallmarks. These are NOT “department issue” and most are probably deceptive imports. On the imports, the screw post will break off easily. These reproductions are probably costing the seller around $2.00 each, and they are being sold to uneducated collectors for as much as $200 each. Many have a reported Blackinton hallmark, which does measure up to the hallmark on the “issued” VSP hat emblems.

Should you be offered a Virginia State Police hat emblem in the Blackinton bag, it is not a certainty that the emblem was made by Blackinton. And, you can bet that a Blackinton bagged hat emblem has never been property of the VSP. After seeing the quality of some of these reproductions, I would venture to say anyone buying one of these reproductions is probably going to pay far more than the reproduction is worth, and in the end, not have a serious collectible for your collection. I would value the reproduction at around $7.00.



New Virginia Hat Emblem

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 the Virginia State Police pocket badge and hat emblem. Hahn continues to make the department issue breast badge, with the later versions now solid back. The Hahn badges continue to be numbered on the back with the football shape tab. The tab is imbedded in the solid back badge. It is welded to the older shell back badges. Hat badges are not numbered. The Blackinton pocket badge is solid back and the number is stamped into the die.

June 2, 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 very 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.


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.