Viet Cong Sun Helmet Badge circa 1972
North Vietnamese Army insignia was developed over decades. They started with simple five pointed stars; added “Du Kich Quan” (Guerrilla Army) under the star; eliminated the writing in favor of brass 1st Model Badge with a simple star; and ended in 1959 with a star with sun bursts behind it, a cog wheel at the bottom and rice stalks surrounding the star.
All of these pre 1975 sun helmet badges are almost always made from cast or stamped BRASS.
The red coating on the front was enamel and is often chipped or has subsurface flaws.
On the other hand, post-1975 SRV sun helmet badges are always made from aluminum and have candy apple red paint rather than enamel. The gold color on the post 1975 insignia is bright and shiny. There are two exceptions to this rule:
1). NVA Cap and Sun Helmet badges were made from aluminum beginning in the early 1970s. They had gilt gold edges and blood red paint, not candy apple paint and bright shiny gold coloring.
2) Viet Cong Sun Helmet and Cap Badges, like this one, were made in the early 1970s from aluminum as was this one. These VC badges were seen in 1972 during negotiations between the US and the NLF regarding the POW exchange. When the exchange took place in 1973, NLF Soldiers present wore cap badges in this color scheme on their wide brim blue boogie hats. These NLF badges were last seen in Mid 1975 in victory parades and rallies after the fall of Saigon. After 1975, the DRV took over all political and military functions and phased out the NLF, including their flag and insignia. Note the blood red coloring, not candy apple red, and the gilt enamel found on post 1975
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