Thursday, November 14, 2013

Silver or aluminum bullion? Or does it matter?

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These two eagles once comprised the front and back of a banner for the Nationalsozialistischer Reichsbund für Leibesübungen (NSRL), meaning: National Socialist League of the Reich for Physical Exercise.

It was the official sports governing body of Nazi Germany and organized the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The eagles are metal (aluminum or silver) bullion on black wool with a canvas-like backing and they measure 18¼” tall and 13½ wide. I bought them in an online auction 14 years ago, but I have no recollection of how much I paid.

The craftsmanship, as with most Third Reich items, is exquisite. I don’t have any emotional attachment to the pair and our cash flow would benefit from their sale, so I’m preparing to offer them on a WWII militaria site for $500.

Why so much? Well, in my nearly 40 years of Third Reich collecting, this is the only such NSRL banner I’ve ever seen and NSRL stuff is very rare.

I took them to a local precious metals dealer this morning in the hope of getting a definitive answer on whether it’s aluminum or silver bullion, but he said he had no way to determine it. Since silver is down to $20.05 an ounce at the moment, its historical value trumps any value in terms of silver content.

Here’s a detail shot of the front eagle’s swastika:

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