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Is the UV Light test the ultimate test?

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    I hate to say this, but I actually saw a person at a show try to black-light a belt-buckle. To this day, I don't know what he was expecting to see!

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      Originally posted by Craig Gottlieb View Post
      I hate to say this, but I actually saw a person at a show try to black-light a belt-buckle. To this day, I don't know what he was expecting to see!

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        Craig, My only guess is that he could have been looking for blood or such? I believe blood, semen etc will all glow under UV light.

        Just my thoughts..

        Thank you, Scott

        Originally posted by Craig Gottlieb View Post
        I hate to say this, but I actually saw a person at a show try to black-light a belt-buckle. To this day, I don't know what he was expecting to see!

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          The magazine International Medal Collector Vol. 2, No.2 inbcludes a very scientific article by our own Gary Symonds explaining the direct relation between whitener and black light test.

          Dietrich
          B&D PUBLISHING
          Premium Books from Collectors for Collectors

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            Hi Dietrich, would it be possible to make a synopsis of the conclusions? Cheers, Torsten.

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              Someone responded to the poll and brought this topic back to the top. The Military Advisor Vol. 24, No. 1 has a very well written article by Dick Long titled Synthetics in the Third Reich which is related to this topic and well worth reading.
              AUTHOR OF:

              sigpic

              GERMAN ARMY SHOULDER STRAPS AND BOARDS - 1933-1945

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                Originally posted by Rommel1933 View Post
                Craig, My only guess is that he could have been looking for blood or such? I believe blood, semen etc will all glow under UV light.

                Just my thoughts..

                Thank you, Scott
                That is correct - which is why I always wince when I see photos of "motel buys" arranged on motel bedspreads.

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                  After reading all of the postings and may still be 100% among the believers in the use of the black light in determining originals from reproductions, you may be passing up opportunities to add excellent items to your collection. On the other hand you may be being separated from some of your own genuine pieces.

                  As many cloth items that are genuine glow, there are many reproductions that do not! Rubbing a cloth item between your fingertips, smelling it or burning a strand may help in bringing you a bit closer to determining if the item is genuine, but not one hundred percent. Rayon burns rapidly as does cotton, both giving off the odor of burning paper and both leaving a white ash residue. German cloth producers used fluorescent whitening agents to make whites whiter long before WWI, and most definitely before WWII..

                  As a side note, the German firm of I.G. Farben was one of the very early producers of chemicals and dyes containing fluorescent agents.

                  The above information is applicable to cloth items from the Third Reich Period however, I am not certain if it applies to any other countries cloth items.

                  Thanks to everyone for bringing the many points to light in this topic.

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                    My silk parachute " Lastenfallschirm" glows...and its a 100% original from 1939.
                    My super A-2 repro from Good Wear leather does not glow...nowhere.
                    So far for the believings in the black light tests...

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                      Originally posted by RJKUSA View Post
                      German cloth producers used fluorescent whitening agents to make whites whiter long before WWI, and most definitely before WWII..

                      As a side note, the German firm of I.G. Farben was one of the very early producers of chemicals and dyes containing fluorescent agents.

                      The above information is applicable to cloth items from the Third Reich Period however, I am not certain if it applies to any other countries cloth items.
                      That explains a lot; especially to a relative newb to this hobby like myself. I could never quite grasp why the German ribbons of that age had that bright sheen even after all these years; while American ribbons I have, dating from the 50's or 60's don't look near that "clean".

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                        I recently bought an Olympia-Erinnerungsmedaille, the one on the extreme rioght of this group photograph.



                        The ribbon has the lines far wider than the other 2 ... both of which are different from each other and UV- ... the strange thing is that while a straggly bit of the ribbon passed the burn test, burning smoothly and leaving a light grey ash, the centre lines are UV+ BUT the ribbon is sewn together and that thread is UV- ....

                        Your thoughts would be appreciated.

                        Cheers, Ian.

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                          The problem with the UV test is the assumption that firstly, nothing made before a certain date will fluoresce, and second, that good fakers are not clever enough to use materials that do not fluoresce. Plenty of natural pigments will glow under UV light, even ancient ones. I can make any material either pass or fail the UV test with a few minutes work. I used to see the UV test as a good starting point, but it is just too easy to fake. And god help you if grandma washed that old uniform. glow city.

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                            And another point is that they make a UV washing machine detergent and sprays to block the blue and white fluorescent colors from deer and insects which I use on my hunting clothes so I don't glow to them. So I would say that the UV test is just a start, I've seen many threads that closely look at the weave, how many threads per color and even the edges of the ribbon itself to determine if it's authentic.

                            Jef

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                              I had a captain smoke troop tunic where the two inner ribs on one board glowed?

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                                Originally posted by horwathj View Post
                                And another point is that they make a UV washing machine detergent and sprays to block the blue and white fluorescent colors from deer and insects which I use on my hunting clothes so I don't glow to them. So I would say that the UV test is just a start, I've seen many threads that closely look at the weave, how many threads per color and even the edges of the ribbon itself to determine if it's authentic.

                                Jef
                                I heard that some uniforms were sewn from original clothing after the WWII. Lots of cloths were kept in RFN/DDR. I heard that one guy in Poland was using original threads in 80's and was making very very good reproductions maybe even best one.

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