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Dannemois

Cleaning Medals

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Dannemois

Hi;

Medals look so clean and bright in museums; Can some please suggest how I should clean medals before I mount them in a display case.

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beestonboxer

They do look bright and clean in museums, but me personally like to keep them as they are I think it ages them nicely and keeps the original patina, think many collectors would agree with this and wouldn't dream of cleaning them and would class it as a big no no . However if you would like to clean yours I expect a good quality silver polish or silver dip for the silver and cupro nickel types wouldn't hurt, or if they are just a little grubby try some warm soapy water.

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Coldstreamer

its personal preference on cleaning

just make sure they are dry before putting away

I only clean the really grubby ones

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yellow

1. Does it still retain the original plating? If well over 60 per cent of the medal still retains the plating then the medal should not be cleaned unless 2.

2. Inspect medal with a magnifying glass. Is the surface of the medal starting to pit as a result of corrosion? If so the medal MUST be cleaned to prevent further damage and preserve it for the next generation. Moisture free storage will slow the rate of corrosion but not totally prevent its progression.

Caveat: Please do not confuse star marks for pitting! If you are unsure consult expert advice on this forum.

I've found Goddard's Silver dip perfect for cleaning Great War service medals. Rinse in cold water and dry with a cotton cloth. The medals will come out looking new and the result is not to everyone's taste, particulary if you are serious about grading medals, the same as coins.

If I am not mounting, the softest tooth brush I can find along with good old soap and water is fine. This will remove any polish residence and nicotine staining.

P.S. I don't ever clean memorial plaques or enamelled orders. The cleaning of orders is best left to the professionals in London.

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Dannemois

Thanks both, I appreciate your comments.

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Dannemois

Thanks Yellow, your message came through as I posted my thanks to the others.

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Anneca

Yellow, thank you very much for this advice and also to Dannemois for raising the question. I have only one of my Grandfather's WW1 and one of my Father's WW2 medals but have hesitated to attempt to clean them wondering what the best way would be. I have also several crowns including some from Queen Victoria's reign which I would like to clean as well. I will take your advice about the silver dip but would you know if present day soap (liquid soap like fairy for instance) contain harmful substances to metals that soap in years gone by would not?

Anne

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museumtom

Make a mix of baking powder, hot water and washing up liquid, steep over night and Bob's yer monkey.

Tom,

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Anneca

Many thanks Tom, I'll do my baking at the weekend!

Anne

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museumtom

Cheapie-weepie and it works. Let us know how you get on.

Cheers

Tom.

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303man

I used to clean and mount medals at the RE Museum they were dipped in Goddards Silver Dip then rubbed dry with a Goddards Silver Cloth and then dipped in a substance that coated them to stop tarnishing it was called something like Horolene. Twas a wile back and i have slept since then.

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mrjustinhayward

Personal preference regarding the cleaning of medals but for me iles there was a risk of damage from corrosion I would leave well alone

Justin H

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KIRKY

Use Antique Wax after cleaning does not corrode and protects them at least for a good period of time! Its what we do!

Tony

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Anneca

Antique wax after cleaning sounds like a great idea Tony, I'll take your and Tom's advice.

Many thanks, Anne

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yellow

Antique wax after cleaning sounds like a great idea Tony, I'll take your and Tom's advice.

Many thanks, Anne

Anne, you never ever clean an antique coin like your crowns, not even with soap and water. Coins are cleaned with most delicate of brushes nothing more.

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Tom Lang

It is a personal preference, but I'd prefer to leave the patina alone.

It has taken a century to 'grow' on the medal and without it, you remove such 'authenticity' that can only be achieved by time.

Just my 2p-worth.

Kindest Regards,

Tom.

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Anneca

Much appreciated advice Yellow and Tom and yes, I reckon you're both right about the crowns, I think I'll leave them alone. Many thanks.

Anne

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Medaler

Does anyone have any tips for removing green verdigris from bronze medals? I have not attempted anything myself as this looks like a job which could easily result in more harm being done than good. Is there anything that can be done?

Cheers,

Mike

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LarsA

WD-40, left for some hours, softly tooth-brushed, rinsed with water and repeated if neccessary has been recommended with good effect pn the British Medal Forum.

Lars

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Medaler

Many thanks Lars, I will give that a try.

Cheers,

Mike

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Medal Cleaners,

Personally, I like the Mounted As Worn type of group, and clean the medals very lightly, as a compromise between patina and brighness. My idea is to retain the tenous strand between the recipent and oneself. The same goes for ribbons, and silk rainbow-effect Trio ribbons are becoming difficult to acquire. Spink started routinely remounting groups with cotton no-rainbow ribbons as far back as the 1970s.

Kindest regards,

Kimberley John Lindsay.

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WilliamRev

I'm vehemently against medal cleaning - when I am buying medals, all other things being equal (it may be for a specific chap, and then you have to take the condition you are given), I am willing only to pay about half the amount for a shiny polished medal than I would for an uncleaned one (especially with the original ribbon).

Am I alone in being perplexed by the modern trend to use Court Mounting for WW1 medals? There are specific medals (e.g. to Guards or senior officers) which should be Court Mounted, but a little online research on medal forums can easily establish the original correct mounting style, Otherwise, (and overwhelmingly) they would have originally been mounted in the so-called "Ordinary Mounting" style. I don't know quite why it upsets me to see so many Great War medals wrongly mounted, but it does. :angry2:

William

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4thGordons

May I tag on to / hijack this thread looking for advice in a specific case. I only have a few medals - family ones then odd Gordon Highlander singles,pairs,trios when I see a 4th Bn man or just stumble across an unloved set somewhere.

I recently bought a rather battered pair including this BWM which shows a different sort of oxidation to others I have. Whilst they are mostly a smooth blackish tarnish this one appears more coppery more like a tarnished old 2p piece than a silver medal.

It is named to a Gordon so I suspect it is silver under there somewhere.

post-14525-0-10412600-1431956117_thumb.j post-14525-0-43516000-1431956117_thumb.j

I have read through this thread and several others in the forum but In this particular case would the experts recommend cleaning? I am primarily concerned with preserving the medal and preventing further damage. If none is likely I am happy to leave alone. It will eventually be displayed but for the near future it will be stored while I am assembling the components for the display (may take a while!)

Thanks in advance,

Chris

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Phil996

I understand the arguments for not cleaning antique items and retaining the patina but when you see serving soldiers wearing medals with their uniforms they are always polished - as indeed they are by veterans at the Remembrance Day and similar parades. I imagine a soldier coming on parade and telling the RSM that his dull-looking medals were merely patinated would get short shrift!

It's personal preference of course but it seems to me that medals are meant to be polished. If I had any of my forebears' medals I would be inclined to polish them, unless of course that would actually cause damage, as described above. Incidentally if anyone has my grandfather's medals - he was 22071 Pte Alfred Waller, 7th East Surreys - I'd love to hear from you - I might even agree not to polish them if we could do a deal!

Phil

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Coldstreamer

I would be wary of a long serving coldstream group if the medals showed no signs of polishing. Most of my boer war _ ww1 groups are not in great condition - mounted as worn - warts and all

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