Blimp, Clipper silver pinsBy

Blimp, Clipper silver pins

Copies of vintage aviation-related silver pins are available in the market. Shown here are a 3¼-inch blimp and a 2½-inch Pan Am Clipper-type seaplane.

Both pins have fasteners made of silver. Silver is too weak to serve as a functional fastener; original fasteners were made of steel. The Clipper pin is marked .925. Any piece marked .925 is almost certainly made since 1975. Similar original American pins made from 1920 to the 1930s would be marked "sterling," not .925.

The blimp is cast in mold and is quite heavy. The airplane was stamped in a die and is extremely thin. Wholesale price of the blimp is $18; the airplane is $5.

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Fig. 1 New fastener is made of silver; old fasteners were steel.

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Fig. 2 New silver blimp is 3¼ inches long; no mark.

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Fig. 3 New silver Clipper-style ship is 2½ inches long; marked .925.