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Friday, August 22, 2014

More on FAKE Ranger Badges

I get a lot of inquiries from people who find and read my blog, still convinced they are the owner of a REAL Texas Ranger Badge, and wanting further satisfaction. I have to admit some of them own very well-made replicas. Sometimes, rarely, I agree that they have an authentic Texas Ranger badge. Maybe once. Also some owners of these rare relics contact me as well, and they of course do not need or ask for my opinion. But they seem to enjoy the blog and agree with most of it. Anyway, I thought I would post this for all those want-to-be Texas Ranger badge owners who still are not convinced, one way or another. 

IF you have the real thing... there are some telltale signs, on the back of the badge... once again the reverse or Peso side of the badge tells everything. A jeweler in Houston named Nelson Silvia made many of the later Ranger badges from the 1960's on and put his mark on them. It will look something like this... there are variations. IF you have a badge that looks like this, but does not have this cartouche, you are probably holding a clever copy.

real deal
Note at about about 5:00 the stamp...

It says : NEL-SIL 

The better copies of this badge are cast in silver by excellent craftsmen. As far as I know, there have been none made with the Silva name stamped in them, as this would be double forgery. But not all of them are easily discounted. Some of these copiers are very good at casting and replicating the Peso. So good, you cannot tell. BUT, you can tell if it is cast.


Do you see the inconsistencies at the bottom edge?

Inspect the coin's ridge. It should be in tact and have all those little tiny teeth. And they should be perfect. Here is where you will find the tell-tale evidence of casting. When the Peso badge is replicated, a mold is made from it and then wax copies of the coin are made to be cast in silver using the "lost wax" process. There has to be a tube to funnel the molten silver into the hollow ceramic mold -  which houses the cavity where the wax replica was... (now melted away). During the pour, that tube will fill full of silver as well and be sawed off after casting. The jeweler will carefully file the edge of the "coin" and then try to replicate those tiny little ridges on the edge of the coin. They hardly ever do a very convincing job- if you look hard...

You will see file marks, but they are never as neat and are rarely done with much precision... like a real Peso... it is just too small for most jewelers to be able to do it.

How about now? This is an especially poor job.

So, does your badge have any maker's mark? If it is a later design, and most are that "Co. A" Peso badge, it should have one, if it was an authorized badge.

Is it really a coin, or a clever forgery? Here is another absolutely gorgeous fake... with tell-tale saw marks on the edge,  to compare with yours...

This one is numbered and signed GW by the jeweler. GW did a great job, but his sprew location is easily detected, on the ridge, again, at the very bottom.

I hope yours passes this last line of scrutiny. If it does... then congratulations! You might well own a real Texas Ranger badge.

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