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Real vs. Fake
Antique Diving Helmets

Pair of antique diving helmets black and white

Do Not Get Tricked Into Buying A Reproduction Diving Helmet!

We receive phone calls and emails quite regularly from customers interested in getting into collecting or even investing in antique diving helmets. For various reasons, people from all over the world find these helmets fascinating. Sometimes a helmet's visual appearance is so unique or classic, collectors are drawn to it. Other times a story or history associated with the vintage diving helmet piques the interest of someone. Regardless of the reasons for collecting these helmets, there are some things to know before spending considerable amounts of money.

Could You Tell The Difference Between A Replica & An Original?

replica mark v helmet

(Replica US Navy Mark V Helmet)

With almost any collecting field there will be reproductions made of desirable and valuable examples. The antique diving helmet market is no different. As a matter of fact, there are probably more reproductions of classic diving helmets than authentic ones in the world! So how can you be assured you are buying an authentic antique divers helmet? The answer is simple, work with a trustworthy and reputable dealer - like the Nation’s Attic.


Nation’s Attic Inc. has been in the antique diving helmet business for a number of years. We are the largest dealer of antique diving helmets in the world! Our hands on experience with these helmets and market knowledge allow us to advise our clients with a level of expertise unmatched. In addition, Nation’s Attic is a proud contributor and sponsor of the Historic Diving Society in the USA, UK & Australia. These wonderful non-profit organizations are dedicated to the study of diving and are a fantastic resource for anything diving related. Nation’s Attic is also a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating.

HDS logo
HDS Australia logo
Historical Diving Society logo

How Can I Spot A Fake or Reproduction Diving Helmet?

We get this question a lot! Unfortunately in most cases when we look at a helmet in an on-line or live auction, a huge majority of them are not authentic. For decades the Mark V has been reproduced. These reproductions are simple display items that somewhat resemble an authentic helmet. There are however many fairly good reproductions. Many of these may have an ID plate that is similar in appearance to the real ones. A commonly missing detail of these reproductions is the lack of a serial number and date. If a date is present, it is very common to have the date of 8-29-41.

While the Mark V is the most common model of antique diving helmet to be reproduced, there are others. These more sinister reproductions were done with the sole intent of deception and made in very limited numbers or even just one. Even advanced collectors can be fooled by some of these forgeries. So how can you tell if you are looking at the real deal or not? The first step is simply send us photos via email - or text us photo at 1-316-371-1828. We are happy to give you our opinion based on the photos.

100% of all antique diving helmets Nation’s Attic offers will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. This document is produced by Nation’s Attic to retain not only the helmets history, but also document its critical and important details. We will always stand behind every helmet we sell as authentic!

Fraudulent eBay Sellers Using Nation's Attic Photos


Unfortunately, starting around 2022 eBay started allowing sellers to use stolen photos of authentic diving helmets. The listings copy original photos taken by Nation's Attic Inc. The eBay listings use these photos and a combination of Nation's Attic original descriptions and some doublespeak to confuse potential buyers of what they are actually going to get. 

Here are some warning signs when considering buying a diving helmet on eBay.

1. Is the seller located in India? While India is full of a lot of wonderful people, unfortunately it is also the source of countless reproduction items, including cheaply made reproduction diving helmets. 

2. The eBay seller has a countless unlimited supply for rare diving helmets for sale. Authentic antique diving helmets are really hard to find! No one on eBay will have an endless supply of real diving helmets for sale. 


3. The price is too good to be true. The fraudulent eBay seller will show stolen photos of a rare diving helmet and have a "buy it now" price which is ridiculously low.  What you will get is a replica diving helmet of NO antique value and only worth a couple hundred dollars as a decorator item. 

4. Do the photos show the helmet on a Nation's Attic made display stand? We are the manufacturer and only retail seller of these unique stands. All our photos feature these stands, which helps sell them as well as providing a unique visual element to the photos. 

5. Nation's Attic does not list diving helmets for sale on eBay. 

6. Nation's Attic will have our logo featured in the photos. The images stolen from Nation's Attic on eBay were taken from the auction site We do partner with LiveAuctioneers when we conduct our large live auctions. This company does not allow the use of logos or watermarks. While they try to make it difficult to steal photos from their site, clever eBay scammers have found a way. 

eBay is an iconic website which on occasion has some great items for sale. Unfortunately, the company has allowed its category for antique, vintage and modern diving helmets to be saturated with fake, reproduction, replica, and downright fraudulent listings. If you are considering buying a diving helmet from eBay, contact us first before making a costly mistake. If the listing or helmet is authentic, we will happy to let you know as well. / Call or Text 1-316-371-1828

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