Product Description: This Signals SS Sleeve Diamond is a nice, unissued example of this proficiency patch. This pattern of sleeve diamond was intended for wear by SS personnel who had been trained in the operation of communications equipment. It’s made of a typical black SS wool badge cloth fabric, with a slightly fuzzy surface nap. The center of the diamond is emblazoned with a lightning bolt that has been machine embroidered in white cotton thread. The embroidery is completely intact, with only very minimal age toning. The reverse of this shows the bobbin thread of the embroidery, and is unbacked, with a mottled appearance due to adhesive residue. There are no stitch holes or any other sign of having been worn. The edges remain clean, with no fraying, and the patch is free of any holes or damage. This is a choice piece, in outstanding, near mint condition.
Historical Description: The uniforms worn by the various SS branches before and during WWII used a variety of insignia to indicate rank, unit assignment, and role, including collar tabs and shoulder boards, cuff titles, and sleeve diamonds. The sleeve diamonds were initially authorized in October 1935. Each had a distinctive letter, symbol or emblem, with its own unique meaning. SS sleeve diamonds were used to indicate which SS organization the wearer was assigned to, specific roles of SS personnel, special achievements such as proficiency in sports or marksmanship, or to recognize former service in other Nazi Party organizations. Some diamonds were specific to certain SS branches, such as the Allgemeine-SS, Waffen-SS, or the SS-Totenkopfverbände. Other sleeve diamonds could be worn by a member of any SS branch. The materials and construction of original sleeve diamonds varied. Some were either hand-embroidered or machine-embroidered on black wool, while others were “Bevo” machine woven on a rayon base. Generally, silver-gray thread embroidery was used for enlisted ranks and NCOs, while officers wore hand embroidered wire bullion. Diamonds could be edged with silver-colored twisted wire cord for officers, or black and silver twisted cord for NCOs. Originals existed with paper or cloth RZM tags on the reverse or were unlabeled. In total, there were dozens of different types and variations of these made between 1935-45. Some were produced in limited numbers, and others are more commonly encountered today, but all are desirable and collectible pieces of SS regalia.
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