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Shopping for a Suit of Armor

Aug 21, 2008
If you are looking for an authentic medieval suit of armor to add to your collection, then it is important to know what you are looking for. Some of you may be shopping around for the first time and have no idea what to look for in a suit of armor. Not only should your armor be historically accurate, but the material used to make it and the finish quality all add to the authenticity of your particular piece.

The armor especially in Italy is created with an old patina rustic look which India manufacturers cannot or will not match. The shape of the armor is also going to be more authentic and historically accurate to what was actually constructed in medieval times as well. Another advantage of Italian and Spanish armors is that they often can etch and emboss very delicate and complex designs on their armor, sometimes in precious metals such as gold. If you are looking for a display suit of armor, Spanish armors are almost always going to be your pick.

First of all, real suits of armor are very heavy. They are usually made out of 16-18 gauge carbon steel, making the whole weight of the armor 60-80 lbs. If there is not a sturdy inner frame supporting the suit of armor, then you can bet it'll will break and collapse within its lifetime. There are two types of stands on the market and sold with armors today: wooden and steel stands.

However, the armor in India does have its pros as well. As the cost of labor is much less in India, you'll often pay a lot less for an Indian armor, and they can be high quality as well. Indian medieval armor also is a very effective SCA combat or reenactment piece. They make suits of armor that can be worn and used as costumes or in tournaments. The downside is that they usually make not-so-good display armors, as the "old patina" look cannot not be replicated and they fail miserably at etching and embossing fine designs on their armors.

When looking to purchase a suit of armor, which one you buy basically depends on how much you are willing to spend. The top grade armors in the world are made in Spain and Italy. However, many Indian made armors are the best value. They may be slightly less quality but the prices are much lower. On a side note, some of the best samurai swords in the world are made in China and Japan. Obviously, quality products do not need to be made in highly industrialized countries.

A grand suit of armor is considered to be the best art and display piece of many collectors. Any historical enthusiast will apprecate a quality suit of armor. Even those who are casually interested in historical periods such as the Civil War or WWII have an attraction to the beauty a suit of armor can bring to your home decor. If you are thinking of purchasing some medieval armor, it is always best to contact the local store selling it. They will be able to help you with any questions you might have.
About the Author
John Hilde is a historical armor and weapons enthusiast who enjoys collecting these items. He owns an online store called Armor Venue that sells armor and weapons replicas. To learn more about a knight suit of armor, go to http://www.armorvenue.com.
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