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JimZ

What is the best way of storing/displaying medal collections?

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I was looking at some Russian medal and order displays on another thread which as always....I loved.... For I am sucker for russian orders and medals and display photos!

But I am always asking myself the following question - "What is the best way of storing/displaying medal collections?" Until a few years ago, my medals were kept in acid free paper in closed boxes/drawers. Nice to have but I was not really appreciating them. Over the years I moved some of my medals into plastic medal wallets, still keeping these out of the light. Not the prettiest thing if you like to look at your collection and enjoy it. Two years ago I moved a large part of my medals and orders into a frame with a raised glass. The medals are attached to the backing by plastic coated wire (to prevent contact of different metals which accelerates corrosion) and these are hung in neat rows. Of course they are in positions where i can glance at them from my sofa whenever I feel like (which i admit is few times a day! :blush: ) However I make sure that they are out of direct sunlight which would of course totally kill the ribbons. So basically my 2 formulae are:

1) plastic medal wallets in closed boxes/drawers

2) closed frames in average lit room out of direct sunlight

I have also contemplated jewelry boxes with several drawers, although one would need quite a few of those :D

In summary - my ideas are to:

1) avoid too much light

2) avoid contact with ever changing city air containing fresh pollutants

3) handle with cotton gloves to avoid skin oils coming in contact with medals and ribbons

4) keep them in their original condition without cleaning, polishing etc.

I'd appreciate knowing how you folks are storing and displaying your medals and orders.

Regards to all!

Jim

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The plastics used in some medal envelopes actually cause damge to medals over time apparently, some materials used as backings can also cause problems eg felt causes tarnishing.

Although I tend not to bother, it seems a good idea to give medals a gentle clean when you get them in order to remove any harnful deposits such as acid from fingers etc.

A liitle soap and water & careful drying is reccommended by some collectors, tho' that's very much going to depend on the indivisual medal.

A bit of brasso or duraglit on an already polished or worn 1914 Star is'nt going to do any harm, but I'd refrain from attacking much else with those.

I tend to leave things alone, tho' as & when I ever frame up things like my collection of odds & ends single WWI British medals I might give them a bit of a clean, & I suspect it's so much easier to find a place on a wall with a woman about the house if what your sticking up on the wall is colourful & shiny.

One of my wifes objections to my British army cap badge collection is that I leave them dull & dirty looking instead of polishing them up nice & shiny, but that's deliberate - polishing those can remove most if not all of the clues that show you such a badge is genuine.

My medals live where they always have - in boxes & folders awaiting the day that I get myself organised & frame them.

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I keep my nicer items in special wooden display cases and a glass display case. For most of my items however I keep them in so-called Riker boxes. They're cheap but keep your medals safe. It is also easy to stack them and put them away in a cupboard when you're not using them.

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I shouold get around to getting some Ryker cases - I've always liked this, a frame a relative bought me, but I'm too tight to spend about ?45 a throw on them.

Theses are some of my 1914/15 Star groups, they're crammed in, but the ribbons which have medals laying on top of them are all replacement ribbon jobs so no harm being done to original ribbons.

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They do have special UV blocking glass at frame shops that would help to protect the ribbons. If you're having something framed, it's worth the extra few bucks.

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Good tip! Its something I should look out for as this never occurred to me!

Its amazing how careful one must try to be as when one thinks he is doing the best for his medals, he may still be doing something very very wrong!!

Jim

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for medal storage I am rather fond of watch parts cases,

7 drawer stackable metal cabinets,

you can line them with appropriate material

you can stack them 5 feet high

they are not overly hard to find

they are modestly priced

since the drawers are enameled

they do not give off fumes to cause corrosion

the only downside is they are too shallow for cased medals

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Any chance you can post a pic red cross?

Jim :cheers:

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sure, lets see if I can

I'll also mention map drawers or flat files

as another alternative, good especialy for cased medals

same thing arcitechs used before computers

smaller ones sometimes used by artists

rather heavy, and I'm still looking for some localy

museums also have wonderful cases

but I have yet to find them afforably

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Yep - Its almost the same thing that I had in mind when I mentioned jewelry boxes - Just that these would have a variety of fabrics etc which I would hope are mare of materials that do not damage the medals!

My latest project has been to purchase a number of rectangular raised wooden frames for which I will probably commission an outer case! Each frame will lie horizontally and become a shelf.....covered in glass to seal the medals from contact with light, air and dust! But whether I do that or not will depend largely on the method of display I chose for them! The fact that I may be moving back to my home means that I may want to put them in a room where there is a fair bit of sun. If that happens, this way will be the best to preserve them - sadly there will be no display element but as always, its the lesser of the two evils any time!

Jim :cheers:

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The following method has served me well. I display cased items as well as small groupings within a Ryker display by cutting the shape of the case or item from the white filler material that is included with the display, as well as the felt background of my choice. This allows the entire grouping to be kept together. I always place a small tag on the back of the displays indicating that the objscts are part of an original grouping, and are not to be separated. As a side note, I have had many items displayed against the same felt background for more than 15 years, and I have never seen any adverse effects whatsoever.Some examples of my displays:

Edited by IMPERIAL QUEST

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Lastly, I also incorporate some color graphics that I create on my computer. This allows me to display the item, and see all of the "special" characteristics without constantly removing it.

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Hello All,

At the moment I keep my collection in two closets measuring 9 feet in lenght and three feet in depth. In the one closet I have placed a drawer unit I built a number of years ago to store hand tools (I was a cabinet maker at that time). The drawers are lined with felt and I have not found that this has had any bad effects on my medals. I've used felt under my medals for many years. The drawers will hold two Riker Mounts each, one on top of the other, if I need the space. I've used the doors to hang more mounts and as the photo shows there are more Rikers stacked in the shelves. I decided that I would retire in 2006 and during this short period of time (I decided retirement was not for me and took another job) I started to make Riker-like mounts out of glass in our stained glass shop. Here's a tip. Don't go in that direction. The cost of material is about the same as a Riker and they weight a ton compaired to regular Rikers. Some day after I am "doing the dirt nap" someone will wonder why anyone would be crazy enough to make these cases out of glass. Actually the bottoms are plate glass so they are as strong as they are heavy, just don't drop one.

I really liked the idea of the watch parts cabinet mentioned in an earlier posting. I think I will look into that. My wife has agreed that as soon as our daughter graduates university and she moves into her own place I can take over that room for the collection. Anyone know a good tutor? :rolleyes:

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Very nce mounting Imperial Quest!

Convenient storage Brian! Its a good idea to keep a vast collection in one large cabinet like that!

Come on guys - show us and tell us what you are doing!

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Not really for display, but I have a Bisley-style metal filing cabinet with around a dozen shallow drawers. It's a stable environment, helps with organsing them and will discourage the casual thief from helping himself to your collection. I bought it new for about ?80, but you can get them secondhand for a lot less.

Cheers

Gilbert

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What about this storage method? ;)

lada1zo5.jpg

Storage method okay, but the storage :speechless1: You are aware, that you owe us a lot of closeups now? :rolleyes:

Breathtaking collection :cheers:

Jim, you have seen my storage method over in the thread about my collection. I want to add, that for silver srewback orders nothing is better than simple cardboard.

Gerd

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Storage method okay, but the storage :speechless1: You are aware, that you owe us a lot of closeups now? :rolleyes:

Breathtaking collection :cheers:

Had the collection been mine, with much pleasure Gerd. But, alas, it is that of the late King Oscar II of Sweden. I took a picture of his chest of orders when I have been visiting Stockholm a couple of years ago.

Joke aside, I wonder what materials did they use for the chest. The orders seem to have been kept in pristine conditions for more than 100 years.

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Had the collection been mine, with much pleasure Gerd. But, alas, it is that of the late King Oscar II of Sweden. I took a picture of his chest of orders when I have been visiting Stockholm a couple of years ago.

Joke aside, I wonder what materials did they use for the chest. The orders seem to have been kept in pristine conditions for more than 100 years.

Looks just like the spray on synthetic fibers/velvet that you see on the inner display pads of small individual jewelry cases. I think that a lot of damage or tarnishing that I hear about over the years is more of a result of an improperly controled climate. the resulting tarnish or damage to the items may very well be a reaction of dies in the felt or material in cases of environments with extreme humidity/heat and generally unstable climate control.

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Looks just like the spray on synthetic fibers/velvet that you see on the inner display pads of small individual jewelry cases.

Do you think the chest or at least the compartments in it are new? The way I remember it, the chest looked rather old, with leather labels with the name of each order.

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A nice display, but the chemical components of most of these 19th century displays would make your skin crawl (and your collection decay).

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Do you think the chest or at least the compartments in it are new? The way I remember it, the chest looked rather old, with leather labels with the name of each order.

Hi,

I wouldn't swear to it, but the inserts look as they were made in modern times to protect and secure each item as seen in museums. The original labels made of leather may have been part of an original display, and reused later on replacement liners. Now, if the reverses of the medals are corroded, black, or discolored badly - then Ed's comments would be quite true in this "case" - no pun intended. :D . I don't mean to imply that I have iron clad proof that they are not original, I am just offering my thoughts.

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I wouldn't swear to it, but the inserts look as they were made in modern times to protect and secure each item as seen in museums. The original labels made of leather may have been part of an original display, and reused later on replacement liners. Now, if the reverses of the medals are corroded, black, or discolored badly - then Ed's comments would be quite true in this "case" - no pun intended. :D . I don't mean to imply that I have iron clad proof that they are not original, I am just offering my thoughts.

I have never thought of that. Thanks.

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