I suppose its pretty obvious that living in the UK has its limitations when it comes down to being able to buy US medals. And lets be honest now, US medals are not as popular as UK medals on this side of the pond. There is access to the web where every once in a while (on a certain internet auction site) good quality US medals become available and I should know I’ve purchased a few good one’s in my time as a collector. But this isn’t the “norm” unless you look stateside where there is an abundance of the better quality medals available. Sometimes even with postage and import duties (should you get the red card through the door) they are cheaper to purchase from the US? Militaria and medal shows can sometimes throw up a good buy but that is few and far between with a lot of the UK medal shows concentrating on British and German awards. Price can also be a factor and I find it frustrating when I do see US medals with a crazy price for what is a restrike of a medal that can be purchased from the states for a lot less.
Obviously there is a bigger market in the US and this not only applies to medals but to most militaria, helmets, field gear, uniforms, patches and badges (badges! we don’t need no stinking badges….. actually…we do in our collections). The more popular available in the UK are the Army Airforce WW2 medals such as the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart complete with ribbon, lapel pin and coffin box. No doubt some of these medals awarded to members of the RAF for their assistance during the war. You may also find a single award attached to a set of British medals only to find you need deep pockets to purchase.
I recently managed to find a set of 5 US Navy Korean war medals but I had to look quite hard to find them tucked away in a corner of a display cabinet at a local medal show. There is the exception to the rule with a couple of dealers who specialise in US medals and badges but not always the quality you desire only quantity or the price being an issue dependant on what you are happy to part with monetarily. I suppose we just have to grin and bear it and keep looking and be patient and hopefully we can come up trumps*.
Good hunting and here’s to finding the next addition to your collection.
Trumps* is an old English meaning derived from the word triumph or to have a better outcome than expected or performance.