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The easiest way is to FIRST determine what type it is.

1. If it's a British Pith helmet and it's white in color; then look for the date in which the Zulu Wars were fought in Africa; because that's the date (general time frame) that that particular style & color was used by Great Britains army.

2. If it's a British Pith helmet and khaki in color; it might be the Boer War, also fought in Africa (against the Dutch). That'll date that particular helmet around 1899 thru 1902.

3. A model 1916 "scuttle bucket" will be the WWI German steel helmet with Frankenstein lug nuts located at the front (two of them). Those "nuts" are for holding a special steel plate (extra armor) in place over the man's forehead, as a machinegunner, his head is exposed more than a standard rifleman's head, thus the extra armor.

4. If it's an Olive Green (or terribly faded green) cloth covered pith helmet with (or without) a star on it's front, it's most likely an NVA pith helmet from the Vietnam War, dating from about '65 thru '75. Those are being commercially made for the tourist industry in the 21st century (they are still the same original helmet-official military standards/just newer).

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Q: How do you determine how old a helmet is?
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