Most Vietnam veterans' would say an original RVN Vietnam medal is a medal that was awarded during the Vietnam War 1963 to 1975 for the United States, and up to 1972 the end of the war for Australian Forces.
Vietnam War combat Veterans' were awarded RVN medals, some for Service, others for the highest acts of Gallantry on the battlefield, all these RVN medals were manufactured in South Vietnam during the war. At the end of the war in 1975 production seized as it was now occupied by the communists.
Many veteran's both from the United States and Australia were still entitled to be awarded their hard earned RVN medals. In 1975 in the USA the contract went out to various Government approved manufacturers to manufacture all types of RVN medals, these medals are classed as 100% Genuine by the US Federal Government, basically the US manufacturers stayed with the original RVN designs, except for the fastening system on the reverse, the originals made in Vietnam employed the French style double pin system, this was changed to the US pin back clasp system. All the medals manufacturer in the USA were hallmarked (makers marked) under the pin on reverse.
The Australian original awarded version of the RVN Vietnam Campaign medal of which we do not have a picture of right now was manufactured in Korea for the Australian Government, the actual medal hangs loose and swivels freely on a small suspension ring. The US manufactured version is still used today for the medal mounting of Australian Vietnam veteran's medal groups.
There is only one US manufacturer that still makes these what are classed as Genuine RVN medals in the USA, they are hallmarked G27 under the pin. The US manufactured RVN medals are of the highest quality and therefore are a little more costly to buy for dealers in bulk.
In comes two well known dealers in the USA, who went to China to source a cheap base to manufacture certain types of RVN medals ( we will go into the details how to distinguish the USA Genuine made from the Chinese Fake in a minute) . One dealer sells the fake RVN Vietnam Campaign Medal and RVN Cross of Gallantry Medals in bulk for about $70.USD for 10 on eBay USA, these dealers are 100% honest we might add, and well respected, they tell all their customers that these medals are made overseas (Not Genuine USA Made), but for a little more money, they offer the genuine USA manufactured medals.
The problem is with the dishonest small time dealers who sell these Chinese fakes, and state that they are '100% ORIGINAL MONEY BACK GUARANTEE' they sell them for around $30. a piece, selling the same Chinese made fake rubbish week after week. These dealers know exactly that they are selling fakes, because all the medals come delivered on a white cardboard sheet, sealed in plastic bag that says 'MADE IN CHINA'.
ORIGINAL RVN (VIETNAM) MADE
GENUINE USA MADE FAKE CHINESE MADE
As you can see, basically from the front, they all look the same, the real story is on the reverse, please study pictures carefully.
ORIGINAL RVN MADE GENUINE USA MADE G27
FAKE CHINESE MADE
Let's study the pictures above, the original RVN made has the French style fastening system reverse. The genuine current USA made by an authorized US Government manufacturer is utilizing a crimped pin back clasp system, notice the extra fine detail of good old USA workmanship, most importantly on the reverse the USA made is Hallmarked (Makers Marked) G27 under the pin as per US Federal regulations.
Chinese Fake, has a big ugly, sewn on, old fashioned chunky pin clasp system. 'Sewn on' being the key word here. Now, the most important give away is the 'H' - HALLMARK IN A CIRCLE on the reverse of medal. The medal is also of a much poorer quality than the genuine current USA made version.
GENUINE USA MADE
FAKE CHINESE MADE BELOW
Again, the Genuine current USA made, is of superior quality. Please notice the front enamelled map of Vietnam, as it is flat, this medal is made by the same US maker as the Cross of Gallantry above, hence utilizing the same crimped fine pin back clasp system and most importantly hallmarked (makers marked) G27 under the pin as per federal regulations. We have also noticed some sellers try to make this medal look older by using Gun Blue, a blueing acid used on firearms, especially on the pin clasp assembly to remove that new gold 'shiny' look straight out of the Chinese factory, an old trick, don't be fooled, look at how these two fakes are made. Please search eBay USA and ask the honest dealer who sell these medals as 'DEALER LOTS OF 10' and they will give you an honest answer as to in which country these medals are made. We did.
The Chinese fake has a RAISED DOME map of Vietnam on the front, on the reverse it shows the same clumsy ugly chunky incorrect SEWN on pin back clasp system, with no regulation US Federal hallmark (makers mark)
Some of the current type RVN Medals made in the USA such as the Special Service Medal, Honour Cross 1st and 2nd class, although made by the same authorized US Government manufacturer, might not always be hallmarked, some are and some are not.
The main aim of this guide was to show you two of the most common Chinese Fake RVN Medals that are currently being sold eBay USA and eBay Australia as originals.
We only sell what are classed as Genuine USA made RVN Vietnam war medals, and originals made in Vietnam before 1975 when we can source them. Some might argue that even the current USA made by an authorized US Government manufacturer are reproductions, we would disagree. Dictionary definition of GENUINE is: a, really coming from its reputed source: not a sham or counterfeit. The two Chinese fakes sold on eBay, we would class as 100% counterfeit, so stay away from them as they have no collector's value whatsoever.
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