Skip to main content


Loops can tell you a lot about a medal even if all there is to look at is a very unclear picture on an internet auction site. Many more times than I can remember I have seen medals described as “rare and a valuable addition to any collection.” Unfortunately such a description is often accompanied with a blurry amateurish scan of the medal. The seller claims not to know anything about the medal other than it is rare and valuable. Well here is a little observation of mine that will help us out. If the medal in question is German and has a flat loop-ring attachment which is in the same alignment as the obverse and reverse of the medal it is NOT an official government issue. It is a private issue which could be anything from a veterans group medal or a civil issue commemorating some historic event to a commercial anniversary. Illustrated below is such a private issue but it is not a common commemorative medal. This one is a medallic membership card for the Deutscher Offizier Verein which was a private cooperative-like store dealing in military items like swords, uniforms, helmets and replacement medals needed by German military officers and veterans. From the high serial numbers seen on these membership medals we can see that it must have been a successful venture.