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Jim W Offline OP
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I have a chance to purchase a medal of honor from the Korean War.

The set includes all related ribons, but does not come with the document nor the box.

In addition to the medal are the gentlemans other unit insignia and medals, patches, photo, and some winapego research.

Is it worth $3,000

Thank you

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Isn't it illegal to buy or sell medal of honor.

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They are worth quite a bit more than that. However, they are illegal to buy, sell, own, make, etc unless you are the recipient or an heir (immediate family if I recall correctly).


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quote:
Originally posted by MSapp:
Isn't it illegal to buy or sell medal of honor.


Be careful here Jim:
This above statement is 100% correct. I personally would walk away from a deal like this.
Jim

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not worth 5-10 years... Big Grin

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Jim W Offline OP
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I should have known there was a problem when he insisted it is not against the law to "own" one.

Thanks guys.

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yep, sadly its best to just walk away.
google "stolen valor act" for the exatct wording, but even before the SVA it was a no-no.
( Ironically it is ok to sell in Germany, where a Knights cross can't be openly displayed...)


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I agree that the safest thing to do is walk away.
However, the way the law is written, isn't it legal to own one, just illegal to buy one?

(meaning the original owner can give it away or leave it to an heir)

Chief


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Jim W Offline OP
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Chief,

That is the semantics that the seller wss using.

Of course, if it came to it, I would hjave to produce some kind of will that bequesthed it to me.

But you guys should see this thing in person. The medal is breath taking.

In the end, it is not worth it.

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About 10-15 yrs ago there was a company on Long Island N.Y. that was gov't contracted to produce MOH .They were also selling them very quietly and were caught.Company closed and owners went to trial.I don't remember the out come but there are undocumented ones around.


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In Canada, there was a dealer here who had two for sale.He was lured across the border to make the sale in Buffalo and was immediately arrested and charged.

He ended up losing his house.It is a well known (but sad) story in the collecting community here..

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Zalcon Militaria based in Homestead, Florida had 2 for sale about 10 years ago, $400.00 each

i myself would buy one if I thought I could get away with it, am being honest.
Have not met any militaria collectors that would pass on it if offered.(under the table dealing, of course)

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if i remember correctly,its not against the law to own one,as a vet could give his,but you cannot purchase or sell the item,,,someone please correct me if i have understood this nuance of the law,,,

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A stupid, stupid law to be sure, but there isn't a piece of militaria out there worth going to prison for.

I've been trying to get the law repealed or at least changed, but I'm not optimistic.

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Current Code
TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 33 > � 704

� 704. Military medals or decorations

(a) In General.� Whoever knowingly wears, purchases, attempts to purchase, solicits for purchase, mails, ships, imports, exports, produces blank certificates of receipt for, manufactures, sells, attempts to sell, advertises for sale, trades, barters, or exchanges for anything of value any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the armed forces of the United States, or any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, or the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration or medal, or any colorable imitation thereof, except when authorized under regulations made pursuant to law, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
(b) False Claims About Receipt of Military Decorations or Medals.� Whoever falsely represents himself or herself, verbally or in writing, to have been awarded any decoration or medal authorized by Congress for the Armed Forces of the United States, any of the service medals or badges awarded to the members of such forces, the ribbon, button, or rosette of any such badge, decoration, or medal, or any colorable imitation of such item shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
(c) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Congressional Medal of Honor.�
(1) In general.� If a decoration or medal involved in an offense under subsection (a) or (b) is a Congressional Medal of Honor, in lieu of the punishment provided in that subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
(2) Congressional medal of honor defined.� In this subsection, the term �Congressional Medal of Honor� means�
(A) a medal of honor awarded under section 3741, 6241, or 8741 of title 10 or section 491 of title 14;
(B) a duplicate medal of honor issued under section 3754, 6256, or 8754 of title 10 or section 504 of title 14; or
(C) a replacement of a medal of honor provided under section 3747, 6253, or 8747 of title 10 or section 501 of title 14.
(d) Enhanced Penalty for Offenses Involving Certain Other Medals.� If a decoration or medal involved in an offense described in subsection (a) or (b) is a distinguished-service cross awarded under section 3742 of title 10, a Navy cross awarded under section 6242 of title 10, an Air Force cross awarded under section 8742 of section 10, a silver star awarded under section 3746, 6244, or 8746 of title 10, a Purple Heart awarded under section 1129 of title 10, or any replacement or duplicate medal for such medal as authorized by law, in lieu of the punishment provided in the applicable subsection, the offender shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.


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so it would seema "all" US medals are forbidden to be sold,trade,etc,etc,etc.... Eek

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Well I think technically only the ones "authorized by Congress": Silver star, Bronze star, and ironically the WW1 Victory Medal.

But as with any law ( its written by lawyers) they have that "except under regulation as pursuant to the law" loophole that no one seems to quite understand.

This is why it has collectors confused. At last years shows promoters were issuing warnings to dealers, not so much this year.

I totally agree with the spirit of the law, I totally hate the wording.


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I think that ALL medals, badges, decorations, devices, etc have to initially be authorized by Congress. I don't think that the individual services or the Joint Chiefs have the authority to come up with a new one.

I think the only military decoration that has to be individually approved for each recipient is the Medal of Honor.

Dave

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I acquired This medal years ago at an estate sale.
Jim

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It is an Air Medal for Single Acts of Heroism.
Jim

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I have no idea if it is legal for me to own this medal. And if it isn't is there a procedure for turning it in? It is not inscribed so I have no idea who it was awarded to originally.
Jim

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Jim,

I'm actually in charge of collecting those for proper disposal. I'm email you my address Big Grin

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Haha~!
same thing I was thinking!
Here is a link to to a note from the OMSA president regarding the SVA:

worth a read:
Article


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From what I can discern from the above; The law is clear as to new manufacturing of medals but quite ambigious as to the validity of buying or selling existing medals other than the Congression Medal of Honor and the other medals specifically cited.
Timboo:
I am now a designated disposer of worn out currency so I'll send you my address as well. Wink
As an aside: This Air Medal is IMO very attractive and my pictures don't do it justice.
Jim

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You can buy and sell the air medal. The medals the law is talking about is ones that are earned for valor. A campaign medal can be bought and sold with no problems. PH, MOH, SS, BS and the higher medals can not be sold. If you want to see if a medal can be sold go to ripoffbay I mean ebay. Type in what you want. If they are for sale then it is legal.

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quote:
Originally posted by mananero:
You can buy and sell the air medal. The medals the law is talking about is ones that are earned for valor. A campaign medal can be bought and sold with no problems. PH, MOH, SS, BS and the higher medals can not be sold. If you want to see if a medal can be sold go to ripoffbay I mean ebay. Type in what you want. If they are for sale then it is legal.


Here is what I copied down in full in regard to this medal.
"Air Medal for single acts of heroism or meritorious service while participating in aerial flight in actual combat".

If this medal wasn't "earned for valor" just what was it earned for based upon this description.?
Please understand I'm not trying to give anyone a hard time I'm just trying to understand the difference here.

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Jim,
Just don't let anyone know that you have it. Wink

Oh wait, you already told everybody. Razz


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This company sells just about everything but the M.O.H.

www.wwmeinc.com


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Jim,

Check this site out:

http://armyawards.com/awards.shtml

It explains the criteria. Like a Bronze Star, the Air Medal can be for service or heroism. Silver Star and above are defined strictly for gallantry in action.

Dave
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Dave:
I see the difference after reviewing the more detailed information on that site. While this medal could be awarded for individual valor it was also awarded for other more general reasons as well.
Well I guess I don't have to worry about the FBI showing up at my door! Wink
As an aside: It was a proud day for me when Joe Foss handed his Congressional Medal Of Honor to me for my inspection. Cool
Jim

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quote:
Originally posted by militarymania:
if i remember correctly,its not against the law to own one,as a vet could give his,but you cannot purchase or sell the item,,,someone please correct me if i have understood this nuance of the law,,,


Just for accuracy's sake, while it is correct that to sale, trade or barter for the MOH violates current law regarding them, it is NOT illegal to OWN a Medal of Honor.
If, as a collector, you are the owner of an Medal of Honor (assuming that it is not stolen property) you are not required to produce a will, or any other documentation, that substantiates your ownership.

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I JUST CHECKED THIS THREAD AND IT BROUGHT BACK SOME (SAD)MEMORIES
I WAS THE CO PROMOTER OF A MILITARY SHOW IN N.J. NOV.1995 A DEALER WAS ASKED IF HE HAD ANY MOHs TO SELL AND SHOWED (2) NOT NAMED TO ANYONE AND WAS TOLD TO PACK UP ALL OF HIS STUFF. I BELIEVE SOMEONE DROPPED A DIME ON THE DEALER...HERE IS PART OF THE NEWSPAPER ARTICLE THAT DEALS WITH THE QUESTION ABOUT THE MEDAL.............DAVE HOWERDEL

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Hi All, I was not going to post this but I feel that we all have the "RIGHT" to own things that are obtained by us in a legal manner for "legal purposes. I have been HONORED to have known Stephen R. Gregg-MOH-WWII, for many years before his death in Oct. 05. In 1995. After a large memorabilia show here in Bayonne, NJ, to commemerate the 50th Anniv of the end of WWII, Steve asked me to mount his medals in a frame as I did for my dad. This frame was on display at that show. He came to my house the next day with a frame and all his medals, except for the MOH, which he wore at different occasions. I mounted his medals and I included a US Army MOH that I had purchased MANY years before at a local gun/military show. It was very easy to buy one back then. Anyway, I brought the frame to Steve's house and explained to him that I felt the MOH rightfully should be hanging in his home rather than in a drawer in my home. I explained how I got it and told him that I NEVER even tried it on. He accepted the package and I left. The next day, Steve was on my front porch with a small package of tissue paper rolled up in one hand and a small brown bag in the other. In the tissue was the planchet for the MOH. He said he kept the ribbon in the frame but wanted me to have the planchet back for my collection. In the brown bag were 6 neck ribbons from his MOH that had become soiled or had some other problem and he had retired them, 3 lapel pins. 2 ribbon bars-1 being his original, plastic coated one, his OD border 36th Div patch, his CIB, and MANY other items. I eventually made a list of the items he gave me along with a statement that I, Stephen R. Gregg gave the following items to Mark G for his collection etc, etc, etc. He signed it, actually I made 3 copied that he signed. These items are now on display at the Military museum at VFW post 226, where Steve was a Life-member( Nicholas Oresko-MOH-wwII-is also a member of this post). The Planchet, I eventually gave back to Steve. He wore it instead of his original. One day he said to me "one day i'm going to loose this damn thing. I keep forgetting where I put it(He was nearing 90 at the time). So I suggested that he wear the one I had, which he did. Steve's family has 3 medals now, as he requested a second medal to wear instead of his original. My medal was given to him during the waiting process. An interesting aside, Steve's medal only has his name on the back, no date or place of deed. It is also silver on the back. Thats my story & I'm sticking to it. Sorry for ramblin on so. Peace, mark

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Very interesting insights Mark!

There is no problem in owning a legally obtained one (such as being given one by a recipient) but I think some of the problems stem from the fact that many of the "blank" ones that were "available at gunshows" years ago were actually stolen (or at best sold without Gov't Authorization) from the manufacturer His Lordship Industries (HLI) who subsequently lost their contract.

So from what I can gather other than the original there is no "Legal" copy of the medal itself (other than a Gov't issued replacement).

Just sad that the Government has to take everything to the extreme...


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