eBay lot takes in the unknowing

Posted on June 22nd, 2014 in Fakes,Hobby Trends,Rank by ramore

Here’s the title of a recent offering on eBay (end of May, 2014)

***RARE*** Vintage Boy Eagle Scout Type 1 Or 2 Rank Patch Badge BSA Merit Award

With the following description:

This is an extremely rare vintage 1924 Eagle Scout rank patch that has been kept in excellent condition and is certainly a rare find! I’m not sure if this is a type 1 or 2 but either way it is an extremely rare patch! This patch is a collectors dream and is something that everyone desires but no everyone gets! Bid on it now to secure that you will be the next owner of this amazing patch that is part of scouting history!! Happy Bidding!!! Let me know if you have any question!

And here’s a picture of the listing and patch:

But rather than be an authentic first issue Eagle patch, it is from the modern BSA issued commemorative Eagle patch display.

Now the history of avarice and greed are not new to our hobby. At one level, one can reach more collectors more quickly than ever before but at another level frauds can be found out more quickly. Moral of the story: buy from reputable dealers who know the patches (and that really is fewer than many realize). Also, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


This seller is back now listing this as:

***RARE***Vintage Eagle Scout Rank Boy Scout Patch 1924 – 1932

with this description:

This eagle rank is an extremely rare find and has been passed down from my grandpa’s collection! He had it displayed and sewn onto a navy blue felt material years ago and this is how I got it from him. This is a patch is in amazing condition compared to others which is really hard to find and is a collectors dream! I have to start getting rid of his collection and this one must go! Let me know if you have any questions that I can help you with and make sure you get this for your collection today!!! Thank you!!

and here’s the picture:



I see that someone did get taken in. Bought it. Paid for it. Received it and then when pointing out that it was the modern fake/repro and tried to return it the seller tried to charge a $125 re-stocking fee. What a scam!


BSA Supply Division report circa 1923

Posted on May 13th, 2014 in Fakes,Insignia by ramore

We do get some interesting items come through our hands. This is small BSA publication from the Department of Scout Supplies (or Supply Service – it wasn’t a Division yet). Among this annual report is a list of companies and individuals that it had to “dissuade” from unauthorized use of Boy Scout name, title, insignia and uniforms during 1923. Now our question is, what was some of this stuff?

The report also has some overall stats for the service – 97,907 orders processed at an average of $5.03 (and in 1923 dollars that was pretty substantial). They had 50 employees.


False Advertising? – rerpo Lone Scout Patch

Posted on April 27th, 2014 in Fakes,Insignia,OA by ramore

My friend Roger Schustereit sent me a link to some eBay auctions. On the first screen, one caught my attention title “BOY SCOUT LONE SCOUT LSA FELT PATCH Cir:1922-1927”

It shows an early LSA felt on felt patch. But, looking at the thumbnail, it didn’t ‘feel’ right. Looking closer, it is stitched incorrectly for that patch and era.

Then, getting into the detail description, in lowercase, it notes that this is a reproduction. Basically, feels kind of mis-leading (although at least he did mention its a reproduction). Its a patch most folks would NOT know the difference from the original because it is so rare. What happens when this patch moves from eBay to a collection?

Going on with this seller’s listings he’s offering, according to the title, “Brand New Tonkawa A2 Felt Arrowhead patch – Super Rare”

Again the details note its a reproduction (a poor one at that) but… the title is bull-crud and hyped. Again, I view this as dangerous for the hobby. What if the buyer pairs up a print-out of the auction “title” page with this patch (but does not show the details from the description)?

Oh well, one more fake to ad to OABlueBook.com

For Your Information by Paul Myers in ASTA


Senior collector Paul Myers of Goshen, IN was at the recent Calumet Council Memorial Day Trade-o-ree. Paul is a former editor of the Trader magazine in the 1960s. In the 1990s he wrote a regular column for ASTA, the America Scout Traders Association, which merged with NSCA to form ISCA the national group today. At the TOR Paul was handing out a compilation of the articles he wrote for ASTA. It is now contained in a PDF below. It covers over 75 topics of Scouting collectibles. Not in depth necessarily but my guess is that even veteran collectors will learn something knew from going through these pages.

The topics include:

  • Amaquonsippi trail patches
  • US Grant Pilgrimage patches
  • Lincoln Pilgrimage patches
  • Contest medals
  • Henderson Award System
  • Belt Stencils
  • Colored Background Service Stars
  • BSA Anniversary Week
  • Ribbon Pin Bars
  • 100% Duty
  • Standard Church Troop Bars
  • Original Twelve Regions
  • OA Chapter Flaps
  • Early Registration Cards
  • Scout Emergency Units
  • Recruiter Strips
  • Scout Diaries
  • Boy Rangers of America
  • District Badges
  • Region 7 Hoe Down
  • Sweater, swim suit, hat and jacket badges
  • Veteran Emblems
  • Explorer Top Awards
  • Presidents Awards & Quality Unit
  • SeniorScout Titles
  • Civic Service
  • Overseas Travel Badges
  • Service Library
  • WW 1 War Service Medals
  • National Service Camps
  • Boy Scout Bands
  • Tenure in Scout Camp
  • Service Troops
  • Jamboree Staff Positions
  • Jamboree Participation Awards
  • Jamboree Contingent items
  • Jamboree Shoulder Identification
  • 1950 Jamboree Prototypes
  • Variations in Jamboree Patches and Neckerchiefs
  • Jamboree Region Items
  • Strengthen the Arm of Liberty Program
  • Take Me Home Folders
  • Scout Straight Knives
  • Scoutmaster’s Key
  • Cub Scouting
  • First Class Hat Pins
  • Patrol Identification
  • Folding Pocket Knives
  • OA Chapter Badges
  • Scout Rings
  • Pin Back Buttons
  • State Strips
  • Early Camp Honor Societies
  • Philadelphia District Badges
  • Region Standard Camp Badges
  • Philmont Contingent Patches
  • Merit Badges
  • Boycraft Co. Booklets
  • 10 Year Program Award
  • Sea Scout Ships

Boy Scout Memorabilia Information

Suspicious 2011 WJ Patch Issues Surfacing

Posted on October 23rd, 2011 in Fakes,Jamborees by ramore

Jason Spangler, the Santee Swapper, just sent over a link from his blog about suspicious 2011 WJ patches are that are surfacing. They’re bringing some incredible dollars but I think the points raised, slight but noticeable variations in stitch patterns and borders, makes me think these are $3 bills (which don’t exist). Anyone got more insight or knowledge?

Here’s the link from the Patch Blanket blog – What’s with all the 2011 World Scout Jamboree border colors?

An image from his blog points out differences between what was confirmed to be handed out and what is surfacing. These kinds of differences should NOT exist with today’s embroidery techniques.

Fake Nentico 12 X1 on eBay (duh!)

Posted on February 25th, 2011 in Fakes,OA by ramore

In our periodic eBay surfing we noticed the sale of what was listed as “BSA OF AMERICA NENTICO LODGE 12 X1 PATCH MEGA RARE – NR.”

Although we sell tons of stuff on eBay we actually don’t have the time to surf it much or maybe because we’re selling so many items we don’t have the time so we weren’t paying attention to this listing until after it closed. Its a $3 bill. Close but not right. It ended up at $810. A fraction of what a real one sells for, and to us, it seems a lot for a fake for one’s collection. The give away is the back although the front is wrong too.

The seller apparently had offered this previously as his listing makes lots of references to prior contacts he had. He provides many caveats (like he does not know Scout patches – but he knew enough to put a lodge name to a patch that has none). He offers a refund if done in 3 days (awfully short in my opinion). There are no postings of comments/contacts he’s had.

I’ve added it to OAbluebook.com. We’ll get it over to oaimages.com too. We have to continue to educate collectors. The Detroit Institute of Arts currently has an exhibit of fakes that have fooled museums. The exhibit was even written up in the New York Times. There are many cases of fakes passed off as real for a lot more money than Boy Scout patches bring so our hobby is not the only one to get burned.

12 ZX1 fake.


Observations from another hobby in the Wall Street Journal

Posted on August 18th, 2010 in Fakes,Hobby Trends by ramore

The Wall Street Journal yesterday had an article about coin collecting. Its a different hobby but several of the points discussed apply to our hobby as well (see my highlights). These are ‘truths’ for any legitimate collectible. Some, both the good about getting knowledge and dealing with reputable sources, and the bad – forgeries and misrepresented items are true in Scouting collectibles as well. The comments to this article pointed out that in coin collecting now, even some of the encapsulated packages are being faked.

How to Cash In on Rare Coins

George Lim began his coin and banknote collection 30 years ago with a single note, the first 10,000 Singapore dollar bill he received. “As soon as I made that amount, I saved it to remember it,” says Mr. Lim, a Singaporean real-estate developer, whose collection today includes over 100 rare coins and banknotes.


NGC (Numistmatic Guaranty Corporation)

The 1910 Yunnan Spring Dollar

Mr. Lim plans to auction 68 coins and notes from his collection in Hong Kong on Aug. 22. He hopes to cash in on growing interest in collectibles from mainland Chinese buyers who’ve already pushed up the price of rare stamps, wines and art in recent months.

The lots in the Hong Kong auction will focus on Southeast Asian and Chinese coins and banknotes. One item of note is a rare Yunnan Spring dollar dated 1910 with an unusual spelling mistake embossed on the coin. Mr. Lim spoke with Angie Wong in Hong Kong about collecting etiquette and how to safeguard yourself from picking up a fake. The following interview has been edited.

WSJ: What do you look for when starting a collection?

Mr. Lim: Rarity and quality. Quality is basically the condition of the coin, who commissioned the coin and when it was produced. But if the coin is rare, then the wear and tear isn’t as important, especially if only one or two survives.

WSJ: Do you think it is good to hoard a collection or sell it?

Mr. Lim: This is only a hobby. There are collectors who keep all the good stuff and leave nothing for others to collect. I think if you are collecting, you must release something from time to time [so other collectors can enjoy them]. I wanted to collect China silver coins, but all the top China silver coins are going into one person’s hands. So I had to go for Chinese gold coins instead.

WSJ: How do you know when to sell?

Mr. Lim: Let the market decide the price. Watch the auctions to see what is selling. Also know that auctions goes up and down with the economy.

WSJ: What tips do you have for someone who wants to start collecting?

Mr. Lim: Newcomers, especially those interested in Chinese coin collecting, need a base knowledge. Read lots of books on the topic. Get to know what each coin is about, and the story behind it. Talk to dealers as well.

WSJ: What about forgeries?

Mr. Lim: It is very common for forgeries in China, especially if the coin is worth a lot. The best thing to do is safeguarding yourself by buying coins approved by a recognized third party grading service.

Live Blogging the Jamboree – Spoofs are down

Posted on July 31st, 2010 in Fakes,Jamborees by ramore

There does not seem to be as many spoofs this year. One was some Marvel characters which confused some of the Scouts because of the Theodore Roosevelt Council set they heard about. Here are a couple I saw come through Collections MB.

More fakes from the Phillipines

Posted on January 5th, 2010 in Camps,Fakes,OA by ramore

eBay seller freedomfifty2k has been out for a while with more fake Boy Scout patches produced in the Philippines. He’s had some Canal Zone Council 1960s era canoe race activity patches but now he’s running a lodge 391 Chiriqui fake flap and a fake of the Camp El-Vol-Can patch. See below. His story is that these came from a Scouter who was a US Navy Chief that served in Vietnam. Doubtful. He says these patches were “worn by members of the a Boy Scouts of Canal Zone, Order of the Arrow (OA) Chiriqui Lodge 391, CZ Panama.” NOT Oh well. Buyer beware. It looks like folks are on to these not being real based upon bidding but certainly not from anything this seller is saying. eBay benefits financially from these fakes so they won’t do much to stop them which leaves it up to the hobby.

Fake El Vol Can patch

Boy Scout camp El Volcan fake patch

Boy Scout camp El Volcan fake patch

The real El-Vol-Can 1950 patch – white flock printing on blue felt. (This is from my collection. The piece that’s really interesting, IMHO, is the envelope corner from Canal Zone Council from 1950.)

Real Boy Scout Camp El Volcan patch from 1950

Real Boy Scout Camp El Volcan patch from 1950

Fake Lodge 391 Chiriqui flap

Fake OA Lodge 391 flap

Fake OA Lodge 391 flap

More on the 227 Wetassa R1 fake from England

Posted on April 1st, 2009 in Fakes,OA by ramore

Earlier we blogged about the surfacing of some fake felt OA patches on eBay, specifically including the Illinois lodge 227 Wetassa. Their first issue patch, an R1, is one of the classic, toughest issues from Illinois. We know the buyers of the two that came up within two weeks of each other. The first buyer knew it was a fake but he had a real one and wanted the fake for his collection. He’s gotten it in and told us, besides being crude, that it is MUCH larger than the original. Cute. That will make telling the real and fake apart. For the second one, the buyer was not aware that it was a fake. We don’t know if he’s going through with the purchase or not.

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