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see im in two minds!it does look great(iv a MC thats nearly as dirty) but i cant help feeling you are losing the medal to the patina!i think a gently clean in warn soapy water would be a great help!is it named?do you mind if i ask how much you paid for it?

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Hi,

If i had bought it on ebay and it was 10 years of tarnish caused by the local coal fired power station in XXX I would probably go ahead and do it... but this one is a bit special for me.... It is in my "Holiday medals" frame... each with its own story... this was pulled out of a drawer in a Souk, I went back 2-3 times to bargain, and carried it back to th hotel knowing this had 100 years of Patina on it...

if it were clean it would be "just a medal"...

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Hi,

If i had bought it on ebay and it was 10 years of tarnish caused by the local coal fired power station in XXX I would probably go ahead and do it... but this one is a bit special for me.... It is in my "Holiday medals" frame... each with its own story... this was pulled out of a drawer in a Souk, I went back 2-3 times to bargain, and carried it back to th hotel knowing this had 100 years of Patina on it...

if it were clean it would be "just a medal"...

Keep it the way you found it; it's great!!! I remember bargaining for things in the Souk in Jeddah etc. and I always started off at 1/3 the price and would walk out two or three times with the guy chasing me. I usually ended up getting it for 50% of the orginal price at the very most. I bought a very very nice BEM to a New Zealander for the Korean War; one of only five awarded for a song. To make a long story short, today it is polished and in the hands of the original recipient! It's a small world. :beer:

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Medals can tarnish almost black in way less than 100 years.

Back in 1976 my first GSM was a Malaya to 22634573 Pte. L. Flynn. R.A.M.C. In those days I poished my medals, so when it left my hands about 1979, it would not have had tarnish.

Three years ago I bought it again, and it was tarnished to an even blue-black tone.

Michael

Edited by Michael Johnson

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It is a difficult one with many different views, In my opinion if the tarnishing or toning as I would prefer to describe it is that lovely almost blue toning then I would agree with anti canine microwave comparison. sometimes toning can be uneven and sometimes downright unpleasant. It these case I would recommend gently cleaning to remove the toning without polishing it within an inch of its life. There are a few people who have applied silver dip to their medals, to those is reserved a particularly vile section of Hell, it should never be considered, it makes canine microwave treatment seem civilized in comparison. Unless the medal is seriously detracted by toning best leave alone, however if it has been bought in a souk I would suggest a very gently dirt removal wash just to remove any unpleasant germs which might be living on the medal.

Paul

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I didn't realise you were an anti-soukist ! I'll have them rioting outside your premises tomorrow..............

Good advice on the medal. Patination is most important with all types of silver. Mervyn

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Patina on a silver medal = silver oxide = RUST (oxidised metal),

Would you go to war with a well patinated rifle???

G.

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Patina on a silver medal = silver oxide = RUST (oxidised metal),

Would you go to war with a well patinated rifle???

G.

A rusty gun probably won't save your life in a war so I'd definitely go for a clean one but, if you want to go to war wearing medals then it's probably best not to wear shiny ones.

I'm in the leave as camp however, if someone wants to clean them then so be it.

Tony

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Yes shiny medals were Nelson's downfall, he had his beauties on his chest which provided perfect sighting for the sniper, the rest is history.

Paul

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http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2014/post-576-0-77430900-1394037184.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_03_2014/post-576-0-85926400-1394037210.jpg

Some shots of my Malaya. Obviously displayed on a board - note that there is less even toning on the reverse.

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All I will say is, that my Great Uncle who lived to 105 and was with the 7th Cameron Highlanders in WWI always kept his medals clean. I am sure that any soldier would do that, so why leave in a state of decay?

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A collector (that's what we are) usually prefers to buy medals or even coins in good condition and there’s nothing wrong with giving a silver coin or medal the odd clean if you want to.
An old soldier is usually proud of his medals so keeps them shiny and if he’s still serving then the RSM or similar will make sure they stay clean and that’s why they could possibly sometimes end up looking like the one pictured.
I think we’ve probably all seen memorial plaques, silver medals and 1914 / 14-15 stars polished to death and I know that’s the opposite extreme but they ended up like that through polishing but as I said, in my opinion the odd clean is ok and removing patina should be left up to the person who presently has the medal in his or her possession.
Tony

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Once owned a WWI trio plus Roumaniam Order of the Crown, to Captain 'Branny' Branfoot, 37th Lcrs, IA. Michael will remember them. He served on until 1937, latterly as military advisor to the juvraj of one of the Indian princely states. Anyway, his minatures, which I assume got polished at least weekly, probably with brick dust, were down to the thickness of good writing paper and the miniature BWM was sharp enough on the edge to cut oneself on. That's over polishing.

OTOH, the patina is, as someone points out, the equivalent of rust. Would you leave your antique furniture dusty? Of course not, but you wouldn't necessarily strip 100 years of old finish and polish either. Not everyone restores old paintings to their original bright colours. I would, assuming I had the money for old art and to re-finish, but I perfectly understand that some people want their 100 year old picture to show its age too. So, I'm agreeing with Chris for this medal, with Paul on the silver dip and with Tony in general - there is no one answer but I see no harm in a gentle clean up and light polishing.

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I would argue that there is a huge difference between a medal in your collection VS. a medal you were awarded.

If it were my medals I would definitely keep it clean and presentable. Period.

If it were medals in my collection, as they are not 'mine' I'd follow the lead of museums and other collections of antiquities.

For a medal collection, the goal should be the preservation of history. Sometimes this means some cleaning or repairs, but usually it does not, and I shudder to think of all the well worn groups with original ribbons ( that survived 60 or 160 years ) that were lost. Something is only original once.

I do understand and respect the idea that the soldiers themselves would want them clean, but 'retired' medals are no longer on active duty, and as part of history they should be preserved and kept for the next generation as close to original as possible (in my opinion!).

Edited by King-Emperor

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Hello All;

I wouldn't dream of entering the discussion about cleaning medals but if you post a scan of the naming, Chris, then I can tell you what it says. Even if it only provides his number and regiment, etc. then I just might be able to provide you with his name.

Now where did I leave that cask of Silver-Dip ... !

Cheers,

Mark

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