Before Starting the Collection

It takes a great deal of preparation before we should even try to look at the many law enforcement badges being sold online and offline. This includes knowing what exactly we are getting into. While scoring a great find may be fulfilling, the world of badge-collecting is fraught with people who are only interested in making a quick buck by selling or trading fake items. As such, we should arm ourselves with enough know-how to protect ourselves from being deceived, and exercise extra caution before going into any transaction with a seller or trader.

We should also be aware of the laws involving badge-collecting. Although this hobby is not illegal, it would do us well to remember that wearing badges and impersonating law enforcers is against the law.

Another thing we need to pay close attention to are the kinds of badges that are being collected and are considered valuable. While the act of acquiring badges may in itself be a source of joy, it would still be better if our collection doubles as an investment.


Acquiring Law Enforcement Badges

There are a number of ways by which we can get a hold of badges used by law enforcement agencies – the most popular of which is looking at online shops and auction sites. Other than this, though, badges can also be found in antique shops and trade shows. The good thing about going this route, however, is that we also get to connect with dealers who may be able to help us locate and acquire pieces for our collection.


Spotting Fake Law Enforcement Badges

There is no substitute to asking the help of an expert when it comes to determining whether a badge is authentic or not. However, we can increase our chances of finding the real deal by checking the following every time we are faced with a probable purchase: (1) the hallmark, (2) badge design, (3) fastener, (4) manufacturer, and (5) the condition of the badge. By consulting credible resources, it is easy to see if the design and fastener of the badge match those worn by officers in the same location and period of time. There are also but a handful of legally-commissioned badge manufacturers in any given timeframe; knowledge of these companies can make it easier for us to identify whether or not the badge we are interested in acquiring is authentic.

Preserving the Collection

Law Enforcement BadgesHaving a sizeable collection takes years – not to mention a tremendous amount of effort – to accomplish. As such, it is important that we take good care of every piece that we manage to acquire. Most authentic, obsolete badges are in good condition due to the care given by their original owners, so there’s no need for special cleaning. A soft piece of cloth and a jewelry-cleaning solution are enough to restore a badge to their former glory. After making sure that the pieces are dry, it’s time to mount them and put them in a place that will not only allow us to display them but also protect the law enforcement badges from outside elements that may decrease their value.