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I have a few GSM medals that have small black marks that I can't seem to remove, I have have tried silver polish but no joy. What causes these and can they be removed?

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Palestine and Cyprus

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It's a common enough problem, I seem to remember having a few GSMs in the past with the same spots, but refrained from cleaning them. Surely one of the metallurgists or chemists could give an explanation for the phenomenon. As you are obviously not worried about the loss of patina and are keen to have them looking their brightest, perhaps the rhodium plating option is for you. I and many other collectors wold never dream of doing so, but if you have your heart set on medals looking immaculate, that may be the solution. I stand to be corrected of course.

 

Binky

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In my opinion leave such medals as they are, it is an indication of the "journey" it has seen. I would think any coatings or plating would look like it has been doctored,so to speak.

regards

Brian

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The GSM you illustrate looks very shiny.  I wonder if it has not been lacquered to keep it from tarnishing and the black spots are areas where the lacquer has worn off and the silver is tarnishing. If this is the case you might try soaking the medal in acetone to remove the lacquer. Be very careful as acetone is very flammable.

Regards, Gunner 1

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Thanks all for replying, I think in future I will leave them in their original condition. I haven't cleaned them all and will leave the others as is. I'm gradually trying to build up a set of GSMs and a long way to go :)

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