How to Start Collecting Militaria
There are many reasons why people decide to collect militaria. Motivation for it can come from a release of a new war movie, anniversaries of World War 1 and 2 or the desire to know more about history and own a genuine piece of its part. Collecting different memorabilia brings great pleasure and if you happened to be interested in this hobby, but you are a novice to it, here, you will find some information that will help you with a few decisions. The most important is to decide what exactly you want to collect and how to do it.
You can choose to collect a little bit of everything from helmets, uniforms, medals, belt buckles, flags and other military souvenirs. Some people even have mannequins where they display their collections of different items. On the other hand, some people choose to collect only one type of equipment from different nations or different periods. You can also collect more items from one nation only, such as German, French, Russian, American, British or Japanese. These are actually the most popular nations when it comes to war memorabilia as they belonged to the major nation groups involved in World War 2. It has been the biggest war ever known to the mankind that has happened relatively recently and this is why many militaria related to it have survived which make them just perfect for collecting.
How to start your own collection depends on what pieces you want to own and, partially, where you live. It is always better to start with items that are not very rare, thus, less expensive. For instance, getting a German paratrooper helmet can cost you over 12,000AUD while the price of an Imperial Japanese navy cap does not exceed 350AUD. Start your research and you will see that there are many interesting war souvenirs available on the market that are not too expensive to collect.
Rarity is not the only factor that drives up the price, but also popularity of certain pieces. Mentioned German helmets have been the subject of interest of many collectors, especially since the movie Saving Private Ryan. Thanks to the movie, a German helmet – Normandy Camouflage which has a particular colour scheme known as ‘Normandy Camo’ has infatuated a great number of collectors and this has resulted in the skyrocketing price of it. Unfortunately, many of these pieces are not genuine, but more recently repainted and sold as real ones.
As a beginner, you will not be able to tell the difference between real and false pieces, so try and keep away from the popular militaria. They will still be available after you become more knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to your new hobby.