Collecting militaria - making your first purchase



2015-06-26 13:37:10

Collecting militaria - making your first purchase

A step-by-step guide to collecting militaria for beginners, with plenty of useful links

Collecting militaria is a hugely absorbing hobby, yet the world of medals, weapons, uniforms and more can perplex the new collector.

In our step-by-step beginner's guide, we give you some tips to take you through to your first purchase.

 Don't worry, it's all downhill from here!

  1. Strategy

Misguided militaria collections are the ones that are most likely to peter out, full of forgotten objects that gather dust until they are sold for cents at a garage sale. That's why it's important to establish what you want from your collection.


What first drew you to collecting militaria? Are you passionate enough to maintain your interest? What will you collect? There are thousands of different collectibles, so narrowing your options is necessary. What will your yearly budget be? Is this enough to reach your goals? Where will you put your collection? Have you the means to store it? Learn more here.

Additional costs, such as insurance, maintenance, etc. Your location. Weapons and some items of militaria may be restricted for import in your country.

The practicalities of collecting are often overlooked, but it's also important to not let minor issues get in the way of a fantastic hobby.

  1. Reconnaissance

The best tool for a new militaria collector is to get to know the market. This knowledge will be gathered as you become more involved in the hobby, but it's always good to get ahead of the game to ensure your remain free from early mistakes.

Learn which dealers and auction houses other collectors buy from, what resources they draw information from, and get a good feel for the market before buying.

Below are some of the best places to connect with other militaria enthusiasts:


US Militaria Forum

British Militaria Forums

  1. Action

So, you've decided what to buy and where to keep it, grilled fellow militaria collectors for advice and got a good overview of the marketcongratulations!

You are now almost ready to make your first purchase, but before doing so, there are a few points to think about:

Buying from a reputable source is crucial - pick wisely. Provenance - can you trace the item's history, and does it have a (credible) certificate of authenticity? Shipping, packing and delivery. The excitement of buying can make it easy to forget these extra costs.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a magnificent selection of militaria for sale.

We've taken you through the initial considerations of militaria collecting, and the rest is up to you. Here's a few further resources to help you learn more:

Association of American Military Uniform Collectors (AAMUC)

Orders and Medals Society of America

The Western Front Association

Militaria Collector

Medals and Awards of the Great War

German and Axis Militaria

Eric's Soviet Collectibles

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