Karin & Bert
Having just returned from Turkey, I'd just like to say that I found the little shop selling 'antique' diving equipment that you mentioned on your Phonies page. Alas it was before I found this particular web page on your site. Now better educated I now find myself in possession of a copy of a Draeger divers knife, bought at a very real price. The Bodrum based, gentleman in question also had a brass diving helmet for sale which he assured me as with the knife was a genuine piece from the 1930's. So I'd like to caution other wouldbe collectors, Make sure you have a good look before you 'dive' in.
lighter in pocket, but a lot wiser
John L Neall
In recent years a tremendous upwelling of interest in deep sea diving is noticed. Scuba diving is a worldwide billion dollar industry. Many of these scuba-divers develop a fascination with the equipment used in the early days of underwater exploration as well. And many of them would love to own....a real deep sea divers helmet and more Diving Heritage !! We encourage the love for Diving Heritage. But we feel that it is appropriate to send out a warning to all our viewers.
Diving Heritage is very scarce but: it is also big business !!!!!! A basic tenet in today's economy. "supply and demand", ensures that when money can be made, production will eventually match demand. For Diving Heritage this production is often reproduction. There is absolutely no problem with this !!!! As long as the seller explains to you that the item in question is a phony !! Then YOU have the choice whether you still want to buy the item or not.
The biggest problem in the world however is that people do NOT tell you that the item they are selling is a phony. They either:
This last category is most common !! They stand there in the garage, nervously walking around granddads helmet. He used to be a Navy diver but he has passed away and his darn helmet is in the way too !! Can you imagine what happens when you meet up with somebody of this second category and YOU ALSO have not a clue what you have to notice but you just wanna own a hat ??
We will help you out: you will pay
a "real helmet price" for a phony. This section gives you a number of
golden rules when you want to buy Diving Heritage.
For this moment we only look at helmets, since helmets are the most wanted by the general public but believe us guys: you can buy fony weights, shoes, knifes etcetera !!
The eleven commandments for (not) buying a phony....
1 do you know that person that wants to sell you the item ? Do you trust him? If the feeling in your stomach is wrong: We would get out of there !!
2 do you know what you are looking at ? If someone wants to sell you a MEDI or a MARK V, do you know what they look like ? Do you know their special characteristics ? Do you know what to look for ? All you want to know about diving helmets you can find right here in our museum !!!
3 do you have any friends that can assist you ? Members of the HDS in your area or guys from a Working Equipment Group ? Get the assistance of someone. We will also be glad to help you out. Contact us if you are not sure: send a picture and your (phony?) helmet will be added to the site: email@example.com
4 what is the weight of the helmet ? Most helmets are over 20 kilograms (55 pounds). A Mark V Deep sea divers version is a lot more than that (93 pounds !). This is the first thing you must check: did you know that there are even fiberglass replica's ?
5 the glass used in side, front and top windows can take high water pressure. For this reason the glass on the real thing is THICK. Hou thick is the glass on your item ? It should be at least 1 centimeter (around 0.30 ").
6 How about inlets and outlets ? Do they all go right through to the interior of the helmet ? Test it if you are not sure: use your mouth to blow on the air inlet: if your eyes pop out, you are dealing with a phony.....
7 how about the telephone connection (on some very old hats there is no telephone connection but line signals are still used for communication) ? Is there as real telephone socket on the outside in the gooseneck ? Do you see wires, microphone and speaker in the interior of the hat ? Or, at least, the connections of where the transciever was? On Asian Siebe Gorman phonies the telephone connection often points up instead of down!
8 Do you see serial numbers stamped in at all ? Like on the bonnet, the corselet, the braces, the faceplate ? Phonies almost never carry numbers (for instance many MKV phonies) and some carry the number zero.
9 How is the bonnet connected to the corselet ? Many American, English and Asian bonnets are often connected by the "interrupted thread" arrangement and Russian or German ones by bolts. On many phonies the bonnet can not be taken from the corselet. On many Mark V phonies 3 ordinary bolts hold the thing together. When diving with this item you would not only drown but also hurt your neck......
10 Is there a control valve stem on the inside, the so called "head button" ? Do you see air-channels that spread the incoming air to areas near faceplate and side windows ?
11 We cannot think of number eleven at this moment. We hope for you 10 will be enough not to buy the trick... Now, go back to the top of this page and have a look at some very good examples.