How to spot a fake German helmet: a guidance

German helmets from World War I and World War II are highly sought after by collectors, history buffs, and enthusiasts alike. However, with the increasing demand for authentic German helmets, there are also many fake German helmets circulating the market.

It can be challenging to differentiate between genuine and imitation helmets of German origin, but by utilizing specific techniques and knowledge, it is possible to spot a fake. This article explores how to spot a fake German helmet and discusses the key features that distinguish authentic helmets of German origin from fake ones.

how to spot a fake german helmet

The importance of authentic German helmets

Authentic German helmets from both WWI and WWII are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, making them a target for counterfeiters.

Knowing how to spot a fake German helmet is crucial for anyone looking to buy authentic helmets.

  • Original German helmets produced during the world wars are rare and expensive, and identifying genuine helmets can be challenging.
  • Some of the factors to consider when examining a helmet include authentic decals, silver army decals, camouflage paint schemes, helmet liners, and paint smell.
  • Double decal SS helmets, Luftwaffe helmets, and non-combat helmets are some of the German helmets listed as rare and highly collectible.

History of German helmets

German helmets are iconic pieces of history, known for their use during World War II. The helmets were produced with a high level of quality, made of steel, and equipped with a helmet liner. Authentic German helmets are highly sought after by collectors, but it is important to be aware of non-original German helmets.

  • Many imitation helmets are postwar modified or have fake chin straps.
  • One way to spot a fake helmet is by checking for a paint smell, as many imitation helmets have a fresh paint smell.

How to determine the authenticity of a German helmet?

If you’re looking to buy authentic German helmets, it’s essential to know how to spot a fake German helmet. German helmets were produced during World War I and World War II and are highly sought after by collectors. Genuine helmets can be expensive, so it’s important to learn how to differentiate between real and imitation helmets.

  • One way to do this is to examine the details, such as the helmet liner and chin strap.
  • Additionally, postwar modified helmets or camouflage helmets may be fake, so it’s best to do your research before making a purchase.

Analyzing the shell of a German helmet

Analyzing the shell of a helmet is one of the most important steps in determining its authenticity. German steel helmets produced during the Second World War are highly sought after by collectors, but distinguishing a genuine helmet from a fake one can be difficult.

  • Some non-original German helmets were made using postwar modified helmets, while others were made to look like rare helmets such as camouflage helmets.
  • Genuine helmets worn by German soldiers during the war are highly prized, especially those with West German helmet liners. Authentic German helmets can provide a link to the past and a unique insight into the German World War experience.
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Identifying authentic German liner bands

  • One of the key features to look for when identifying authentic German helmets is the liner band. The liner band of a genuine helmet should be made of leather, have eight or nine fingers, and utilize aluminum rivets to connect the fingers to the band.
  • Non-original German helmets often have liner bands made of fake leather, fewer fingers, and rivets made of other materials.
  • It’s important to note that postwar modified helmets, including camouflage helmets, may have different liner bands than original German helmets from World War II, so it’s crucial to do your research and look for other signs of genuine helmets, such as the type of steel used or markings specific to soldiers during the Second World War.

Examining the chinstrap of a German helmet

Examining the chinstrap of a helmet is an essential step in identifying whether it’s an original German helmet or a fake one.

The chin strap is a crucial part of the helmet, and a genuine steel helmet always has an appropriate and well-constructed chin strap that links to both sides of the helmet.

During the Second World War, German soldiers wore helmets that were precisely designed to provide adequate protection.

Therefore, when examining a helmet, the chinstrap must be correctly connected to ensure it’s a genuine helmet.

Look at the rivets on a German helmet

When examining a German steel helmet, one important factor to consider is the rivets. Genuine helmets from World War II will have specific types of rivets that were used in the manufacturing process.

  • These rivets were not utilized in later, imitation German helmets produced after the war.
  • Additionally, the placement of the rivets can also provide important information about the helmet’s authenticity, as genuine helmets had consistent rivet placement patterns.

By examining the rivets on a helmet, one can better determine if the helmet is original or fake.

Examine the paint on a German helmet

Understanding the paint on a helmet is crucial in determining the authenticity of the helmet.

  • Original German helmets from WW II were typically painted with a specific shade of green-grey paint, known as feldgrau.
  • The paint on an authentic helmet should also have a textured finish and may exhibit signs of wear and tear consistent with use by a German soldier during the war.

It is important to familiarize oneself with these characteristics when trying to spot a fake German helmet.

Determining the weight of a German helmet

When determining the authenticity of a helmet, one factor to consider is its weight. Original German helmets were made with high-quality materials, such as steel, which made them heavy. Non-original German helmets, on the other hand, may be made with cheaper materials, which can result in a lighter weight.

It’s important to compare the weight of a helmet to known authentic examples to determine its legitimacy.

Utilizing this method, in combination with other techniques for how to spot a fake German helmet, can help collectors and enthusiasts ensure they are purchasing genuine pieces.

Inspecting the size of a German helmet

  • Inspecting the size of a helmet is crucial when determining its authenticity. Original German helmets come in various sizes, ranging from 60 to 71. Utilize a tape measure to determine the circumference of the head at its widest point, then link it to the corresponding size.
  • If the helmet size does not match its intended wearer, it may be a fake helmet. It’s important to note that some fake helmets may have the wrong size tag, so thorough inspection is necessary.

The cost of German helmets in the collectors market

The market for original German helmets has been booming in recent years, with collectors utilizing various resources to authenticate their purchases and avoid the risk of buying a fake German helmet.

The value of authentic German helmets is determined by several factors, including the rarity of the helmet, its condition, and the historical significance of the helmet.

However, collectors should be cautious and take the necessary steps to ensure they are purchasing a genuine item to avoid the risk of buying a fake German helmet.

Red flags to watch out for when buying German helmets: important tips

When looking to buy original German helmets, there are several red flags to watch out for to ensure that you are getting an authentic piece.

  • One important factor to consider is the seller’s reputation and ability to provide provenance.
  • Another is to examine the helmet’s materials and construction, such as the type of steel used and the presence of correct markings.
  • Additionally, it is important to look for signs of aging and wear, as modern reproductions may be artificially aged to appear authentic. Utilizing these tactics can help you spot a fake German helmet and ensure that you are getting a genuine piece of history.

Beware of deals that are too good to be true

When it comes to buying original German helmets, beware of deals that seem too good to be true. It’s essential to do your research and utilize reputable sellers and auction sites that link you with trusted dealers.

Always examine the helmet’s authenticity, paying attention to details such as the liner, rivets, and paint. Don’t fall for scams and imitation helmets, as they can be dangerous and illegal to possess in some countries.

German helmet 3

Knowing your seller: where to buy authentic German helmets

If you’re looking to purchase original German helmets, it’s crucial to know where to buy from authentic sources. Utilizing online marketplaces can be risky as they can connect you with counterfeit products.

Instead, consider specialized dealers, antique stores, and online forums that link you with reputable sellers who have a proven track record of selling authentic German helmets. Remember to do your research and verify the seller’s reputation before making a purchase.

Trustworthy websites to purchase German helmets from

When looking to purchase original German helmets, it’s important to utilize trustworthy websites that specialize in military collectibles. Some recommended websites include German Helmet Vault, Military Antiques and Collectibles, and War Relics. It’s important to carefully examine the helmet and connect with the seller to ensure authenticity.

Don’t overlook the importance of provenance

When it comes to collecting original German helmets, provenance is of utmost importance. Knowing the history and origin of a helmet can link it to specific units or battles, increasing its value and historical significance.

  1. Don’t overlook the significance of provenance in your search for authentic pieces.
  2. Utilize any available information to establish the helmet’s authenticity and historical connection.

The differences between original and reproduction decals

To determine whether a helmet decal is original or a reproduction, it’s essential to understand the materials and production methods used during the time the helmet was manufactured.

  • Authentic decals were often hand-painted or utilized specialized printing techniques, whereas reproduction decals are typically printed with modern materials and methods.
  • Additionally, original decals may show signs of aging or wear, whereas reproductions will appear new and pristine.

Tips for buying a German helmet online

  • When buying a German helmet online, it’s important to utilize reputable websites and links from trusted sources. Research the seller and read reviews before making a purchase.
  • Look for clear and detailed photos of the helmet, and ask for additional information or photos if necessary. Always be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true.

Where to find German helmets for sale

If you’re looking to purchase a German helmet, there are many options available online.

Utilize search engines and online marketplaces to link with reputable dealers and private collectors.

Additionally, attending collector’s shows and military expos can provide a unique opportunity to see and purchase authentic helmets.

Expert opinion: consulting with reputable dealers

These dealers have extensive knowledge and expertise in identifying imitation helmets and can link buyers with trustworthy sources. Utilizing expert opinions can provide peace of mind for buyers and prevent the purchase of counterfeit helmets.

  • To ensure the authenticity of a helmet, it is best to consult with reputable dealers who specialize in that particular type of helmet.

Spotting fake German helmets in museums and exhibits

When visiting museums or exhibits that showcase German helmets, it’s important to be aware of potential fakes. Look for signs such as incorrect paint color, improper insignia placement, and incorrect shell type. Utilize online resources and connect with experts to ensure the authenticity of the helmet.

Importance of protecting yourself from helmet fraud

The importance of protecting oneself from helmet fraud cannot be overstated. Wearing a fake helmet could result in severe injuries or even death, as they do not provide adequate protection. It’s crucial to take the time to verify the authenticity of the helmet before utilizing it.

How to avoid scams when buying German helmets?

When looking to purchase an authentic German helmet, it’s important to do your research and verify the seller’s credibility. Utilize online forums and connect with trusted collectors to get their insight. Check the helmet’s condition and history, and don’t hesitate to ask for additional photos or information.

The ethical implications of owning a fake German helmet

Owning a fake German helmet may seem harmless, but it raises ethical concerns. By purchasing a counterfeit helmet, you are supporting the illegal trade of fake goods and potentially funding criminal activity. Additionally, displaying a fake helmet in your collection can deceive others and distort historical accuracy.

The consequences of dealing in fake German helmets

The consequences of dealing with non-original German helmets can be severe. Not only can it result in legal action, but it also puts people’s lives at risk if the helmet fails to provide adequate protection. It is essential to do thorough research and only buy helmets from reputable sources to ensure authenticity and safety.

Preserving history through authentic German helmets

Authentic German helmets are more than just a piece of military equipment; they are pieces of history that connect us to the past. Proper preservation of these helmets ensures their longevity and helps us utilize them as educational tools to understand the events and stories they represent.

From cleaning to storage, each step in preserving a helmet is crucial to maintaining its authenticity and historical significance for future generations.

German helmet 4


Spotting a fake German helmet requires a keen eye and attention to detail. Examining the shape, materials, and decals can help determine the authenticity of a helmet. While many fakes exist on the market, utilizing resources and seeking expert opinions can aid in distinguishing the real from the fake.

Whether you’re a collector or historian, understanding the intricacies of German helmets is essential to preserving their historical significance. Remember to always handle helmets with care and respect, and never compromise on quality when it comes to purchasing a piece of history.


How do you identify a German military helmet?

A German military helmet can be identified by certain features such as its shape, design, and markings. It’s important to look for authentic materials and design methods to determine their authenticity.

What are the dangers of wearing non-original German helmets?

Wearing a fake German helmet can put you in danger, as it may not offer the necessary protection that a genuine helmet does. The materials used to create a fake helmet may not be as durable or sturdy, and the design may not meet the same safety standards. It’s important to do your research and utilize trusted sources when looking to purchase a German helmet.

How can you tell if a WW2 helmet is real?

To tell if a World War II helmet is real, examine its overall condition, materials used, and any markings present. Original World War II helmets typically have distinct features, such as paint texture and type, that can help you determine their authenticity.

What symbols are on German helmets?

German helmets from World War I and II usually have various symbols, such as the eagle emblem of the Reich or the Stahlhelm insignia. The decals and colors may also provide information on the helmet’s age and intended use. It’s important to understand the context of these symbols to determine the authenticity of the helmet.

If you need to read about how to spot a fake German helmet, please read our article.

Robert Miles

I have an immense love for fast motorcycling and a deep passion for motorcycles. With a decade-long involvement in motorsport, I have experienced thrilling adventures and have had the opportunity to explore various aspects of this exciting world.

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