What does collecting law enforcement badges mean to a collector? At first glance, it may seem like nothing but a costly hobby aimed at satisfying a lofty compulsion—as most other collections are. But such a snappy judgment is often the product of minds most unfamiliar with the subject. Superficially, it may seem like a luxury, but for the most passionate collectors, buying and trading these badges is like being part of a nation’s great history.


A Hobby With Authority

Badges are unmistakable symbols of authority in the recent times. They are regarded as respectable devices that represent an organization. Members of a particular group often wear these badges on their clothes, bags, and vehicles. They are displayed as such to indicate authority acquired by taking an oath (like with policemen and firemen), special accomplishments and feats of service, or simply as a valid identification. Materials used to make them are usually rather simple (plastic, rubber, textile and leather). But on occasion you may find ones that are made with a metal base decked with precious stones such as rubies, diamonds and sapphires.


Law Enforcement Badges And History

Badges related to law enforcement are considered as highly collectable along with other police memorabilia such as medals, handcuffs, training manuals and bobby helmets. This type of badge carries with it the legacy and prestige of the person who once wore them, and the bits of history attached to his dedicated task of keeping peace and order. This is what gives this hobby a significance that is not found in most other collections.


A Hobby With A Hitch

Collecting badges is not an easy thing to do, what with the rise in the number of fakes being sold as real in online auctions. This is the reason why it is important to familiarize yourself with every valuable information you need in order to be an informed buyer and bidder. Look at how collectable badges look like and keep their appearances to mind. If it’s at all possible, visit events such as badge shows and gun shows, or purchase picture books that contain information on what hallmark is used in a particular period of time.

Another source of information, though not often reliable, is the internet. I registered for membership in a forum of badge collectors and took part in discussions, asking questions and getting informative answers. I made friends with serious collectors from whom I know I can get reliable advice on a particular badge before making a purchase.


Law Enforcement Badges And The Pursuit Of Knowledge

Law Enforcement BadgesOf course, even with reliable online friends, you may still find yourself with a fake badge every once in a while. Don’t let this slip up dishearten you, but instead let it be a reason to pursue more information about the badges you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if the answers don’t satisfy, either pass or seek the advice of more knowledgeable collectors.

Sellers of law enforcement badges are often collectors themselves who know the value of this hobby, but there are some who only aims to deceive so always be a cautious and thorough buyer.