I will be comparing the WW2 iron cross which is a fake to a WW1 iron cross which is real.
First look for any markings on the ring. On this one you can see a little ko stamped on the top which is a sure sign the cross is real. This is where a magnifying glass comes in handy.
Second try and slip a piece of paper between the actual cross and shell. The actual iron cross in the middle is a separate piece from the outer frame.
If you take a strong magnet the iron in the cross will easily stick to it. This is almost a sure sign your iron cross is real. The fakes are made of cheap metals that won't stick to the magnet.
Another detail you want to pay attention to is the thickness. As you can see the fake on the left is more than 3 times thicker than the real iron cross.
This step doesn't work with every cross but can be a sure sign of a real cross. Grab the cross and shake it. Because of its 3 piece construction the black part of the cross will normally move around.
On this fake you can see an obvious flaw in the middle and tell it's painted a flat black. This is a sure sign of a fake.
Pay attention to detail. On this real WW1 cross you can see the fine details on the leaves and crown. Most fakes will not have that nice of detail.
On World War Two iron crosses the edges on the swastika should be very sharp. On this fake you can see how dull and rounded the edges are.
Now go out and buy some war memorabilia!
- Iron cross from World War 1 or 2
- Magnifying glass