Ian Kelly (Militaria) - Mail Order Insignia Dealers since 1990
Original uniform badges & buttons bought and sold with money-back guarantee of authenticity
Please be patient whilst pages load - around 9400 different insignia items - well worth waiting...

Common Questions

We run the Militaria business in our spare time, and our full-time work often involves working away  without internet access.  We have made this page to give you a speedier response.  99% of the questions that people ask can be answered by using the information or hyperlinks on this page - please read this page before asking questions by e-mail.  Click on the heading in the table of contents to take you straight to the answer.

Table of Contents

  1. Questions about specific items of stock
  2. I can't find what I want in your online catalogue
  3. Is the item still in stock / How many do you have?
  4. How do I place an order / May I order by telephone?
  5. Are you likely to get any of the following items in the future?  Can you obtain an item for me?
  6. Please let me know when you get an item that I want
  7. How quickly can you deliver?
  8. My order is urgent: do you have a shop, can I collect in person, or do you offer an express delivery service?
  9. Do you mail / ship insignia to my country?
  10. How much will my order cost including postage?
  11. What is the item price in my currency, for example US Dollars or Euros?
  12. You want me to send you money - how do I know that I can trust you?
  13. How can I pay - do you accept credit cards?
  14. I have problems paying via PayPal.
  15. What is a 'Limited-Value' cheque / check?
  16. Can you identify this photograph, badge or button or tell me which unit is pictured?
  17. Can I send you an image of a badge / button that I would like you to identify?
  18. Will you send me a picture of an item from your catalogue?
  19. Is the price for a single item or a pair? 
  20. Will you reserve or put an item aside for me?
  21. Do you stock insignia to the following unit .....?
  22. Do you have a Beginner's Guide?
  23. Why should I buy your snail-mail postal catalogues if I have internet access?
  24. Do you do valuations or appraisals - how much is my badge worth?
  25. I have items to trade, sell or swap....
  26. Is the item original and in good condition?
  27. What does your abbreviation mean?
  28. Do you accept 'Wants Lists'?
  29. Do you stock medals?
  30. Do you have items that my relative may have worn during the war?
  31. Do you do discounts or reduced-price offers?
  32. Do you have any knives, guns, bayonets or German NAZI items?
  33. Can you recommend another dealer?
  34. Can you recommend a book about.... ?
  35. Please will you telephone me?
  36. Questions about regimental history?
  37. Genealogy Questions
  38. Questions about current British Army units?
  39. What is your returns policy?
  40. My question has still not been answered....

Questions about specific items of stock

If you are asking questions about specific items of stock, please include our 6-figure stock number for the item in question.  This is a combination of letters and numbers and is the first 6-figures on the relevant line of our catalogue.  The stock number consists of 1 letter, 1 number, 1 letter and 3 numbers, for example, J1A108. 

Also see our answers to questions about :

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Is the item still in stock and how many do you have ?

In many cases, we have more than one in stock, but do not annotate how many we have; this is because quantities change faster than we can update the web-site, often on a daily basis.  If in doubt, ask for the quantity that you want, and we will do the best we can to meet your order. 

There is a 'comments' box at the bottom of the Order Form so that you can specify things such as minimum quantity, such as 'Only process my order if you have at least 4 matching buttons'.

In the delay between me replying to your question and you ordering, the quantity may have changed.  This means that there is little point in asking these questions as the item(s) may have been sold by the time your order arrives. Just order using a limited-value cheque, and give alternative choices as shown on our Order Form.  We show the uploading date at the top of all our catalogues and try to keep our online Catalogues as up-to-date as possible. Also see reserving items.

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How quickly can you deliver?

As a small business, we only despatch orders once a week on Mondays (except for Bank Holidays, and provided that we are not away on business or holiday).  We can also get swamped with orders immediately following the publication of a Postal Catalogue, but most 'straightforward orders' are sent in the next available Monday mail collection.

The mail is sent very early (about 7.30am) on Monday mornings and we normally stop processing new orders on Saturday evening in order to pack everything for Monday.

Depending on insurance value, mail is sent by First Class post or Special Delivery, both are normally next-day delivery within the UK. 

Overseas mail is normally sent by Airmail unless the packet is very heavy and you have requested 'surface mail' to save cost.  Airmail usually takes about 3 - 14 days depending on which country you live in.

NOTE: Complicated orders might be delayed until we have time to try to work out what the customer wants.  The following are typical reasons for delay:

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My order is urgent: do you have a shop, can I collect in person, or do you offer an express delivery service?

Sorry - we do not have a shop and you may not collect in person. Our busy lives mean that we cannot wait here for you to collect from us. The badge business is conducted in our limited spare time, and mail-order is the only way that we can run the business effectively and have a family life.

We usually despatch on Mondays, but we will try our best to help if you pay promptly and tell us that you need an item urgently for an event such as a wedding, funeral or important parade. There is space on our online order form for additional comments.

If you cannot wait until the following Monday collection and we have to make an additional journey to the Post Office just for your order, we may impose a £10 surcharge to cover our time and fuel costs.

Orders over £50 in value are automatically sent by 'Special Delivery' or 'Signed-For' Airmail. This is due to insurance in case of loss, but these mail services also offer priority delivery. Please note that they will need someone present at the receiving end to sign for the packet. You may request 'Special Delivery' or 'Signed-For' Airmail for packets worth less than £46 if you wish, provided that you cover the additional postage cost. Please see the Royal Mail website for more about these priority services.

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Do you mail / ship insignia to my country?

Yes - I buy and sell world-wide.  Click here for postage costs.  There are some countries where PayPal does not operate, so please read our payment methods page. 

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How much will my order cost including postage / shipping?

You should be able to take an educated guess at the cost of your order without our assistance.  Stock prices are in our on-line catalogue

Shipping costs depend on size, weight and value of the parcel, also destination and speed of transit.   Please see our shipping costs web page and on our payment web page.  WeI do not reserve items, so recommend that you use PayPal or limited-value cheques.  Please tell us if you do not understand this, and we will try to modify our website to make it clearer for you and other collectors.

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What is the item price in my currency, for example US Dollars or Euros?

This business is based in the UK, so all prices on our lists are in British Pounds Sterling (GBP)

Due to rising bank charges, we no longer accept payment in other currencies.

We welcome overseas orders with payment via PayPal - we will send you a PayPal money request in British Pounds Sterling, and PayPal will do the currency conversion so that you pay in your own currency. This is a common routine process.

Exchange rates fluctuate daily and the exchange rate used by PayPal at the time of the PayPal transaction will apply..  To give you an approximate idea of cost, we suggest that you look at an online currency conversion calculator such as www.xe.com

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Is the price for a single item or a pair?

Nearly all items are sold as single items, including collar badges, shoulder titles and rank badges.  If any items are sold as pairs, they will be clearly marked "(Pair)".

Sometimes we list items as "Pair Available", this means that we have a matching set in stock, but the price will be based on single items.  In other words you need to order 2 if you want a pair.

If in doubt, assume that the price is based on single quantities.  We sell items as collectibles, and collectors tend to want only one of a kind, not duplicates.

Some military collar and arm badges are made as "mirror-image" pairs: typically these are badges with animals and they are made to face left or right; usually so that they face forwards when worn on a uniform.  We usually sell these as single items and use the following abbreviations:

FL Facing Left (as seen by an observer)

FR Facing Right (as seen by an observer)

If a badge is marked FL or FR, it is undoubtedly a single, not a pair.

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Will you reserve or put an item aside for me?

No - we do not reserve items or 'put them aside'.  Experience has shown this to be an unsound business practice.  Many items are stocked as single quantities, so the fairest way with orders is first-come, first-served.

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Do you stock insignia to the following unit .....?

First look at our Stock List index.  This will help you to navigate your way through our huge selection of stock.  This search will only tell you which web page to open.  You must then open that web page and locate the item using the 'Find' facility on your web browser.  For Microsoft Internet Explorer, the Find facility is in the Edit menu.  Click here if you still have no success.

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Do you have a Beginners' Guide?

Yes - click here - Dictionary and Beginners Guide

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I can't find what I want in your catalogue

If you are using our electronic search box, simply type a few words describing what you are looking for in the entry box, then click [Search]. The more words you type in the box, the more matches you get.
Capitalization doesn't matter. The ranked results will come from a total match on the words and phrases which you supply, so try to think of several specific terms for your topic and spell them correctly using British-English spellings.  It's worth trying a few variations on the theme - as examples, try -

To narrow your search, enter searches for the names of units such as 'Royal Marines' rather than generic headings such as 'Marine Insignia'.  Please make sure that you are using British-English spelling and the same abbreviations as I use.

Remember that this is a fairly basic search and will only tell you whether the item is listed and which page of our website to open for further details.

You then need to open the relevant web page and do a second search using the search function on your Web Browser.  If using Microsoft Internet Explorer you can search the relevant page by pressing 'Ctrl' and 'F' together.

If you still have no success and are looking for British and Commonwealth military and police insignia post-1881 you are in the right place - please try again in a couple of weeks - I have over 4100 different items for sale and our stock is changing all the time.

If you are still having no success, then ask us, but keep your questions short and simple so that we can give 'yes or no' type answers.  We have other commitments apart from badge dealing and our time is limited. Click here to send an E-mail message to usWe will be more sympathetic if you say that you have tried our online catalogues with no success.

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Why should I buy your snail-mail postal catalogues if I have internet access?

In 1990 our business started as a purely Postal Catalogue before the Internet boom.  We still have many postal customers from pre-internet days, and owe these regular clients a debt of loyalty.  Although we update our fresh stock web page on a regular basis:

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How do I place an order / May I order by telephone?

Please see - How to Order Insignia from Ian Kelly Militaria

You may not order by telephone because we cannot accept payment by telephone.

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Are you likely to get any of the following items in the future? /
Can you obtain an item for me?

We deal in collectable insignia, and in the nature of the hobby, some items are scarce and patience is required.  We deal in original items, and cannot predict what we may get as future stock, or when we might get it.  We cannot just go to a warehouse or fellow dealer and pick items from a shelf. 

The badge business is run in our spare time, and the amount of time and effort to search for specific items is not usually cost-effective.  We regularly update our website with fresh stock and you can sign-up to a free e-mail notification system to tell you when we update web pages.

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Please let me know when you get an item that I want

With over 13,000 collectors on our books, I find it difficult to remember individual requests.  To help you, I have added a 'Change Detection' feature to all our online stock pages.

'Change Detection' electronically monitors specified web pages and sends you an e-mail message if the specified page changes. If you want to see what 'Change Detection' looks like, go to the bottom of this Frequently Asked Questions page.

To use 'Change Detection', take an educated guess at which web page you think the item will appear, then go to the page and use the 'Change Detection' box on that page. See our stock index page to help you find a suitable page to register with 'Change Detection'.
For example, if you want a Scottish item, then go to our Scottish insignia web page and enter your e-mail address in the 'Change Detection' box on that page.  Change Detection will send you an automatic e-mail when the Scottish insignia page is updated.

Top Tip - use 'Change Detection' on our 'Fresh Stock' page - http://www.KellyBadge.com/NewStock.htm and our 'News and Updates' page - http://www.KellyBadge.com/News.htm

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I have a badge or button - how much is it worth?

We do not do valuations or appraisals.  We cannot tell from an internet image whether an item is genuine or not. 

Beware of confusing rarity and value.

You should also note that the 'selling price' will probably be different to the 'replacement value'.  If you are valuing for insurance purposes, then you need to know the replacement value.

If you are valuing an item with the intention of selling it, chances are that it would be sold to a dealer or via an auctioneer.  In each case, they would want to make a profit, and would not pay you the full 'replacement value'. 

Dealers often buy from auction houses, so there would then be two profit margins to account-for (the auctioneer's and the dealer's), and it is therefore often cheaper to sell direct to a specialist dealer.

If you want to know the replacement value, look on our online catalogue.  If it is not there, then we are sorry: we cannot help.

If you wish to sell items to Ian Kelly (Militaria), then please see the Purchasing policy on our website.

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I have items to trade, sell or swap....

Please see our purchasing policy.

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Will you send me a picture of an item from your catalogue?

Over 99% of our stock is already pictured on our website.  To see a picture, click the "View Picture" icon at the start of each line of our online catalogues.  This might appear as a pop-up window, so you might have to set your web browser to 'accept pop-ups' from our website.  The other solution to problems with pop-up windows is to hold down the 'CTRL' button on your keyboard whilst you click on our camera icon with your mouse.

If you ask us to for a picture of a catalogued item that is not yet online, this will have to wait until we have spare time and may take several weeks.  We do not reserve items, so the effect of this delay is that the item may be sold to someone else before we have time to scan it.  The easiest way to see what an item looks like is to order it - you may send it back if it is not what you wanted.

If you still want a picture, please quote our stock number for the item.

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Can I send you an image of a badge / button that I would like you to identify?

Probably not.  Attached images can contain viruses and we have set-up our message form so that it does not accept attachments.  Please also see -

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Is the item original and in good condition?

You may assume that items I sell are in good condition unless otherwise stated in our catalogue.  Our criteria for inclusion is 'Would I have this in my personal collection?'  If the answer is 'no', then we do not offer it for sale.

If any item I send you does not meet your standards, then I am happy to take it back.  Please see our returns policy.

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What does your abbreviation mean?

Try our abbreviations and references page, or for more detailed explanations, try our Dictionary and  Beginners Guide.

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Do you accept 'Wants Lists'?

Collectors sometimes make long lists of items that they are searching for, called 'Wants Lists', and circulate these lists around several dealers. 

We will happily look at Wants Lists - but tend not to reply to Wants Lists unless the item is in stock, and we only retain lists sent by paid-up subscribers to our postal lists

We give priority to dealing with orders that are submitted using our stock codes, and urge you to look at our catalogues as these show the majority of the items we have in stock.

Collecting is about hunting and the excitement when you eventually track-down a rare item.  These pleasures do not come through asking someone else to do the searching for you.

From our point of view, it can take a long time to deal with 'Wants Lists'.  Our time is limited and it is usually faster to look at our catalogues instead of sending Wants Lists. 

Also see our answers to the following:

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Do you stock medals?

Sorry - we do not deal in medals.  These are outside our specialist field.  We deal in badges, patches and buttons.  For other dealers, try Windrow & Greene's Militaria Directory & Sourcebook 1998.

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You want me to send you money - how do I know that I can trust you?

Ask other people who have dealt with us - look at our Guest Book on our home pageAdd your own comments to help other collectors.

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How can I pay - do you accept credit cards?

We accept credit and debit cards via PayPal, click here for full details. 

UK cheques and postal orders are also acceptable. 

Due to high banking costs, we no longer accept overseas cheques.

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I have problems paying via PayPal.

Please see our PayPal solutions page.

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What is a 'Limited-Value' cheque / check?

Items on our catalogue sell faster than we can update our catalogues, and customers sometimes  try to order items that have already been sold.  If they have sent a cheque, this will often mean they have paid too much.

Whilst personal banking in the UK is usually free of charge, because we run a business, our bank charges us business rates on our bank account.  We pay a fee every time we pay money in or out of our account.  This means that it costs us money to send you a refund cheque.

We prefer that customers pay using Limited-Value Cheques.  A Limited-Value Cheque is one that you sign and date, but instead of writing the exact value of the cheque, write “Not More Than £_____ only”

For example, if you work out that your order and postage comes to £25, write across your cheque “Not more than £25 only”. 

If an item you want has been sold before we receive your order, we will complete your cheque for a lower amount.  If the cheque is lost or stolen in the post, no-one can complete it for a higher amount than you specified.

Please see the example below:

Limited Value Cheque

This method of payment is a simple, effective way of reducing banking costs.  It DOES work - our customers and their banks (UK and overseas) have been happily using this method since we started business in 1990.

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Can you identify this photograph, badge or button, or tell me which unit is pictured?

Sorry - we run a small business in our limited spare time and simply do not have time to deal with lots of requests for information.  We have made a Beginners' Guide page which is a good starting point to help you in your research.

For old British & Commonwealth badges, try the combined brain-power of the British and Commonwealth Military Badge Forum - they routinely deal with this type of question.

For identification of buttons, try the British Button Society  - they operate a button identification service.

Please see our Beginners Guide page - as well as a section on buttons, this has helpful advice regarding identification using the materials and colours used, also using the design including dating the badge or button using the shape of the crown.

For identification of military cloth patches, try The Military Heraldry Society

For identification of badges, photographs and non-British items including weapons and equipment, try the Gentleman's Military Interest Club .

The book Army Records for Family Historians may also be useful.

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Do you have items that my relative may have worn during the war?

Please be specific about what you want - remember that I do not deal in medals, bulky equipment or complete uniforms - just insignia.  Do you want cap badges, collar badges, buttons, etc.?  Look at our online catalogue index - it will give you an idea of what types of insignia are worn.

Please see our Help for Beginners page.

You also need to know your relative's unit, approximate dates of service and whether or not he or she was an Officer.

If you don't know exactly what you want, then ask me, but please keep your questions short and simple so that I can give 'yes or no' answers - I have other commitments apart from badge dealing and do not have time to read entire family histories. I am quite happy to answer 'yes or no' questions such as -

'My father served as a Sergeant in the Welsh Guards in WW2, I want to buy a cap badge of the type he may have worn.  I found the following on your online catalogue - is it a WW2 pattern badge?'

Welsh Guards L5B721 KK 920 Welsh Guards Brass £6.00

With that style of question, I can quickly and easily reply.

The book Army Records for Family Historians may also be useful.

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Do you do discounts or reduced-price offers?

In short, NO.  Here is the background to this business policy decision -

We think that you will find the prices on our lists very reasonable anyway.

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Do you have any knives, guns, bayonets or German NAZI items?

We specialize in authentic British and Commonwealth Military and Police insignia.  We do not deal in knives, g uns or German NAZI items and cannot recommend anyone who does.

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Can you recommend another dealer?

We prefer not to recommend other dealers unless we have known them a long time and trust them implicitly.  For other dealers, try Windrow & Greene's Militaria Directory & Sourcebook 1998.

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Can you recommend a book about.... ?

Try our Recommended Books page.  This includes details of the main books that I use. 

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Please will you telephone me?

Probably not - the Militaria business is carried out in our limited spare time - other work can be at irregular times of the day and week so we cannot guarantee to be at home to answer calls.

We will not 'reserve' badges as experience has shown this to be an unsound business practice.

We cannot accept credit card payments by telephone or fax. The only way that we can accept credit card payments is via PayPal over the internet. Please see our 'How to Order' page.

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Questions about regimental history

Try www.britishmilitaryhistory.co.uk/

or www.britishbadgeforum.com/

Regimental Museums are listed in Windrow & Greene's Militaria Directory & Sourcebook 1998.

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Genealogy Questions

See Roots Web - http://www.RootsWeb.com

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Questions about current British Army units

Try the British Army Website

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What is your returns policy?

To give you confidence in buying by mail order, everything we send is 'on approval' - if the item you receive is not what you want, simply send it back well-packaged, within 7 days of receipt.  We only sell items that we believe are original and in good condition, and we ask that you pay postage costs both ways so that we are not out of pocket.  Despite you paying the postage, mail order is still a lot cheaper than driving to a militaria fair, auction or shop in town.

Refunds.  Our bank charges us a fee for every cheque we issue.  Most of our customers are collectors who return time and again for more insignia from us.  Unless you request otherwise, we prefer to hold small refund amounts as a credit against your future purchases.  The exception to this is if you originally paid via PayPal, in which case we will send you a refund via PayPal.

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My question has still not been answered

Thank you for working your way through our Frequently Asked Questions - the following e-mail link WILL send a message to me and I will try to help when I get the time.  The response may not be immediate as I go away quite often.  Click here to send an e-mail message to Ian Kelly (Militaria).

If you want to buy an item, I suggest that you order it rather than wait for me to respond to your questions - I might only have one in stock and the delay caused by asking questions may result in the item being sold to someone else.  If the item is not what you expected, you can always return it to me. 

99% of the questions that people ask me can be answered by using the information or hyperlinks on this FAQ page - please re-read this page before asking questions by e-mail.

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Button Identification

The British Button Society has an identification service.

The British Button Society

British Button Society logo

The British Button Society was founded in 1976 by a group of people interested in collecting buttons and researching their history. The Society has collectors of all types of button and publishes 4 excellent journals per year called 'Button Lines' - click for details

Insignia Images

Pictures of insignia on this website are taken from items owned by Ian G Kelly (Militaria). Images and text are copyright © Ian G Kelly (Militaria)