Fakes are produced and sold with an intention to defraud or decieve with financial gain as the primary motive. Reproductions may have been made for a legitimate purpose, ie: to commemorate a particular event, as a regimental association badge or for wear by reenactors. Even if reproductions are made for the most benign of reasons, it is likely that some will eventually be passed off to unsuspecting collectors as originals. Most "legitimate" reproductions are made with a flaw or some other detail such as a modern date that is intended to indicate that the item is not an original. A few dealers however take pride in producing fakes that closely resemble the originals, one going so far as to reproduce clothing labels for uniform items such as Dennison Smocks, Windproof Suits and winter camo smocks.
A number of known fakes and reproductions are illustrated below, this is not comprehensive and it is likely that more of these will appear on the collectors market. Caveat Emptor.
A number of rare or significant Canadian Army cloth shouldertitles have been faked in the past few years, a prominant one is the embroidered Second World War title worn by No.1 Provost Company (RCMP). Viewed from the front, the fake is very convincing and closely resembles the most commonly encountered pattern of original title. Under close examination, the lettering on the fake is more uneven than on the original. As produced, the fake has a glued on black cloth backing, when it is removed, the thick and uneven embroidery on the reverse is a giveaway.
Many of the recently produced fakes are from England, the company producing them has also produced a fake Canadian Provost Corps cloth title, but they reproduced a post war pattern.
As part of the 100th anniversary of the RCMP in 1973 several sets of reproduction badges were produced. These were authorised by the Commissioner of the RCMP and ranged in quality from gilt and enamel presentation sets to plain brass badges. All are marked in some manner on the reverse to indicate that they are copies. A commonly encountered reproduction is a King's Crown RCMP cap badge as worn during the 1930s and 40s. As made, this badge has a high gloss finish and appears to be made from either J.R. Gaunt Ltd. dies or a die made from a Gaunt produced cap badge. It is marked "73" on the reverse, this mark is usually very difficult to see clearly. (See above image.)
Genuine RCMP cap badges of the 30s and 40s period were made by Scully Ltd or J.R. Gaunt Ltd. and may have the hallmarks of these companies on the reverse. Not all genuine RCMP cap badges will have hallmarks however.
In 1946, a British badge manufacturer anticipating the award of the title "Royal" to a number of British Regiments and Corps produced shoulder titles to reflect the new designations. One of the titles produced was R.C.M.P. (Royal Corps Of Military Police) in black lettering embroidered on a red felt backing. The Corps of Military Police was in fact granted the title "Royal" in 1946, but the new designation was "Royal Military Police (RMP). These black on red titles are therefore errors and were never issued to, or intended for wear by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Although these titles are not RCMP, they are moderately collectable in themselves as examples of manufacturer error.
A reproduction King's Crown Canadian Provost Corps cap badge was produced in the late 1980s or early 90's for members of the C Pro C Association. It has a high gloss gilt finish, screw back fasteners and resembles an officer pattern cap badge. The giveaway features are that it is much thinner and lighter in weight than an original badge and the screw posts are much smaller in diameter.
A reproduction RCAF Police identification badge has been produced by a former member of the RCAF Police. These badges are intended as souveniers for former members and are a very close reproduction. The primary identifying feature is the pattern of pin on the reverse. An original badge with the mounts for the pin ground off was delivered to the badge manufacturer, who reproduced the badge complete with the spots where the pin mounts were ground down. The manufacturer's mark, partly hidden by the pin is incomplete on the reproduction badges.
The original design specifications for the RCAF Police Identification Badge. Note the pattern and positioning of the pin.
Reproductions of the Military Police Identification Badge have been produced as Retirement Gifts for former members of the Military Police trade. These reproductions are embedded in lucite blocks. In addition, reproduction badges have been produced and have been made widely availible on the collectors market. Original Identification Badges are stamped in a die and are made of gilt plated brass. The date and manufacturer's name appears on the rear of the badge. Reproduction badges are cast in a mold and have a flat back. On the front, reproduction badges are virtually identical to the originals and have serial numbers ranging from the single digits up to the current 4000 range. Badges stamped "SECURITAS" instead of a number are retirement gifts for non specially appointed members. A small number of badges marked with "RETIRED" have also been produced.
Initial production of these patches began in 2001 with a total of 15,000 patches made in two production lots of 7500 patches in each. An unknown number of patches were made in 2003 as a trial run using a new web design. All of these patches have the plastic backing typical of modern Canadian military cloth insignia.
In June 2004 a relatively small lot of patches were privately produced, reportedly as sales samples for a possible contract with DND. These patches are not original military issue but can be considered a legitimate variant as examples have been purchased and worn by Canadian MPs.