12 September 2011

Collecting habits

When it comes to collecting medals, general advice seems to be, collect with a theme in mind. That theme may be regiments, campaigns, one single medal (or combination of medals), medals named to a particualr surname, medals awarded to men of a particular location, and so on and so on. The problem is, after a relatively recent five years of sporadic collecting, I have yet to settle on a definitive theme. Nevertheless, I have set my own 'rules' and here they are.

1. I buy for pleasure and as an investment for my children.
2. I believe that all British medals, particularly the Victorian medals, are objects of beauty.
3. I like medal singles and groups with an India connection.
4. I like the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal - Army, Navy and Volunteer, it doesn't matter, although I like the Army LSGC in particular
5. I prefer to buy singles or groups that have been unresearched
6. Once purchased as part of my collection, I would not re-sell a medal or group.
7. I have a desire to own at least one medal from all of the major campaigns from the Military General Service Medal campaigns onwards
8. I have a secondary desire to own at least one medal from each of the old 69 line regiments.
9. I abhor the practive of erasing names on medals and would never knowingly buy an erased or re-named medal.
10. I would not buy a broken group unless it was a sought-after family medal or part group of family medals
11. I do not like medal copies and would never, under any circumstance, buy one to complete a group.
12. I am always looking for alternative income streams to feed my habit!

Pictured above, the medal group for George Arthur James Welch, an ex Yorkshire Regiment regular who latterly served as a sub-conductor with the Indian Army Ordnance Corps. His group includes the Delhi Durbar Medal for 1911 and an Army LSGC (so he ticks two of my boxes there). An added bonus was that I found a sheaf of service papers in the India Office Collection at the British Library; a source that is often overlooked (third box ticked).


  1. Congratulations on your collection!
    Your site is a source of reference for me. Take their rules as references for new collections .. I'm still "lost."

  2. Thanks Lambert, but my collection is paltry indeed compared to others. I view it as a (very) long-term project/interest and one that I have come to rather late in the day. Just hope I live long enough to fulfil some of my self-imposed rules. At the current rate of purchase I'm hoping that I'll live to be 163.

  3. I then say "so be it done"!
    I would like to visit my website.
    I have some British medals.


  4. What a great website. I would hardly call it a "blog".
    I have an interest in Victorian campaign medals and the men to whom they were awarded. I am a pensioner and many 'quality' medals are out of my price range, so my small collection is mainly made up of 'abused' and 'mis-used' medals, such as 'brooched' ones which I have restored, as far as possible, to their original condition. Obviously they are not of great value, but researching them and mounting them for display gives me great pleasure.

    If you are interested, here is my blog on the subject ... http://oldgit.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/theirs-not-to-reason-why/

  5. Thanks Big John, and thanks for posting your link. That's a nice blog you've got there, and I'll be popping back. Congrats too on your Golden Wedding Anniversary, whenever that was.

  6. These are superb benchmarks Mr N, I'm now using several of them to add some focus to my own 'habit'!!



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