Jump to content
paddywhack

british silver medals in danger?!

Recommended Posts

just a thought!the price of silver is starting to shoot up and up!anyone reckon that if it goes up higher that British war medals etc might be in danger of getting melted down for there silver scrap value???!!!!i know in the late 70s that this did happen!!! be a shame if it does start to happen!!what are all your thoughts???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paddywhack - I recently did a post on the Lounge warning of the steep rise in gold and silver. There is indeed a need to be concerned that many older issue medals will have a higher scrap value then for the medal. More importanly consider how safe your collection is and make sure you have insurance. Good that you have raised the issue here as I think many collectors are over trusting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It could be that medal prices are so much higher now than they were then (last time silver was so high), and that unless a seller really has no contact with a medal collectors market, there is no reason to sell them for silver value.

Of course, if you have no internet, and the buyer has no way of selling it at medal collectors prices, then the price of a BWM to a collector in London is not the measure you can use. I think maybe in Rural, dare I say 3rd World, countries, they may be able to move/use silver easier...

Best

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

but if silver was to rise to say 60-100 dollars and BWMs can be got for 20 or 30 euros/sterling then i can see them being melted for there scrap value!!!it could easily happen as silver is looking like it is going higher!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the past decade, in my opinion, there has been a sharp increase in greed. The televisioon is now brimming with shows like Pawn Stars (yes "pawn" not porn), American Pickers and now Canadian Pickers and Extreme Pawn just to name a few with several others poised to enter the field. This increases the awareness of the value of objects, silver or otherwise. This greed may actualy save silver medals from the melting pot as the value of the collectable will start to go up and those who profit in the selling of anything that generates that profit will start to find even other more profitable markets.

In the era of the 1970 silver rush the only market advertised was that of "scrap silver to dollars" with no mention of "other" markets. I've just heard an advertisement on the radio telling of a "show" set up to purchase used gold, silver and collectables which included the mention of medals and miltary itmes. The mention of military is something new for these buying shows.

Perhaps the greedy will serve a purpose in the end, even though it could bring higher prices on the medals market. The meek shall inherit the earth, but only after the greedy have sucked it dry. :lol:

Regards

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, the holy laws of supply and demand!! Higher silver prices will lead to more medals being scrapped for their weight in silver. This reduces the supply of an already finite supply. As supplies decrease prices will increase. This will in turn make the medals more desirable and demand will increase, pushing prices further up.

This would not only effect British medals but any silver and (presently to a lesser extent gold medals). Take soviet ones, for example with several medals and orders being silver and/or gold. The Order of Lenin was manufactured out of gold and platinum, and has already fallen prey in past, to unscrupulous dentists who could use the base metal for golden fillings as it made excellent dental grade gold! I could not believe this when I heard it :speechless:!

However, with the increase in the price of silver presently outperforming that of gold, it is the silver medal that may be mostly at risk.

Goes to show the vision of the Prussians in 1813 when they placed an iron core inside the iron cross. :whistle:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen,

This is a matter of which we all should be concerned and to which I would like to add a couple of points.

1. Look to the title of this thread, “British Silver Medals in Danger?”

A. This situation applies to gold medals as well. To a greater or lesser degree, I cannot say, but it is there.

B. This problem goes far beyond British medals. Virtually any medal, order or other decoration is at risk. Areas to which I am more or less familiar where this would especially be of concern would include Imperial German, Imperial Russian, even Soviet, as pointed out by Jim Z.

2. To the people who buy and those who sell medals for their scrap value, the medal’s historical significance means absolutely nothing. To them it is simply a medal that weighs x. gr., is x% silver and says “Waterloo” on it, nothing more, nothing less.

3. My last point is rather ironic. This rise in commodity prices is often used as an excuse to raise the prices/”value” of medals on the collector’s market. Sure, a gold medal should be more valuable than it’s silver counterpart; but the value of the gold or silver should be a minor factor.

4. While the increase in gold and silver prices inevitably raises the prices of medals, when the prices of gold and silver decline, that decrease is rarely, if ever, is carried back to the price of medals - you know, like the price of gas.

In the end, the answer to this situation, daunting as it is, can be boiled down to one word - education. As Chris Boonzaier said above “unless a seller really has no contact with a medal collectors market, there is no reason to sell them for silver value”. In a perfect world, everyone would realize that the old medal with “Waterloo” on it is worth far more as is than it would be if melted down for it’s silver content.

Just one man’s opinion.

Best wishes all,

Wild Card

P.S. I would like to suggest that this thread be moved to another venue (The Lounge?)where it would more likely come to the attention of all member collectors.

Edited by Wild Card

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

P.S. I would like to suggest that this thread be moved to another venue (The Lounge?)where it would more likely come to the attention of all member collectors.

Hi,

there is a thread in the Lounge...

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/48935-gold-and-silver-prices/

But I think there is room for a thread related specifically to the British medals as they seem to be those who sufferd most in the last "sivler rush"

Best

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

there is a thread in the Lounge...

http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/topic/48935-gold-and-silver-prices/

But I think there is room for a thread related specifically to the British medals as they seem to be those who sufferd most in the last "sivler rush"

Best

Chris

Got it, thanks.

I think that I will post my comments over there as well - :cheers:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember 1980 all too well.

Prices eventually were adjusted to the level of silver content, but thousands of medals were melted. At that time I was able to buy Efficiency Medals for $15.00, now of course they sell way above their melt value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Michael - it wasn't only medals that suffered - although on this Forum they are obviously the main importance. The prices actually rose to above their present levels and little old ladies - literally - were queing outside Pinches and other bullion dealers to sell the family silver. There is still a shortage of Georgian silver - bowls, cutlery etc., that were melted at that time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear God it is happening already.

I missed a Canadian BWM this morning for $25 and the guy who bought it going to "melt it down" as silver is heading towards @$50 an ounce. Given the supply ratio of silver:gold is 17:1, some metals analysts are predicting a "true" silver price of $92 an ounce by the end of the summer-OUCH!

One things for darn certain, I will now NEVER own a Saxon St. Henrys' gold medal! Oh Stogie! I should have bought when i could.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actualy what is the silver contain of british and candian medal??is it pretty pure or not that pure!and ulsterman that must have been sickening hearing that!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sterling silver content - 925 parts pure silver and 75 parts tin to strengthen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erich - one has to be realistic - we are probably seeing only the start of huge increases for all of the bullion metals (Gold, Silver, Platinum).

With the un-rest throughout most of the Mediterranean Arab countries and in the Gulf States - you can see already that it is being hoarded. When you have lots of cash - but come from a culture that believes in holding it's wealth - then the cost is secondary. My advice to any collector - is buy now, before they all go out of reach. Also, do not let relatives part with jewellery for low prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just weighed one of my BWMs - 33.3g. Assuming it is 925 silver, the first website I visited to get a price for the scrap value offered my £16.40p for it. Quite worrying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes - sterling silver is used for the suspenders and the bars - providing of course that it is a silver issue medal in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Club members, i followed this thread over the last weeks but have to act as a advocatus diaboli now.

I really don't see the problem. Because what will happen.

JimZ already wrote it:

Ah, the holy laws of supply and demand!! Higher silver prices will lead to more medals being scrapped for their weight in silver. This reduces the supply of an already finite supply. As supplies decrease prices will increase. This will in turn make the medals more desirable and demand will increase, pushing prices further up.

So the number of very common medals will be reduced and their price will rise untill ist is higher then the silver value.

For example in Austria the number of small bravery medals (with exact the same weight as the large Bravery medal = 30 gramms) on the market will surely decrease. But we really have plenty of them. The issued more then 580.000, most of them struck in real silver. Lets say 300.000 survived till today. It don't fear if another 100.000 will disappear. BTW this happend so many times in history (coins, medals, silverware), I'am not afraid of this. Now you can get a worn bravery medal 2nd class without ribbon for approx. 12 to 15 euro. In five years the will maybe cost 30 or 40 euro and.....

I own a heavy damaged swedish wasa order in 750/1000 Gold and i really think of bringing it to the refinery if the goldprice is increasing further on. There are so many of them in perfect condition, why it is forbidden to melt down a ruined one? Just because it is a historical item. Brrrrrrrrr....

I already sold arround 1000 gramms heavy worn and partially holed british sixpence, shillings, florins and halfcrowns (some 925/1000, some 500/100 fineness) and another 250 dutch silver guilders from the 1950ies and early 1960ies and i don't feel guilty at all. The british crowns i kept BTW.

You know what Frederic II of Prussia said: who wants to preserve everything, preserves nothing

Of course there are a lot of historic more important ODM's that will be melt down. But this also happend before.I don't even want to know what went to the refineries in the last decades.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thing is that the british war medals etc are named so the history and story of the soldier is lost!there are plenty of un-named silver medals out there and while sad that they are lost there is genarely no story to them its the history that is lost that is the shame!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thing is that the british war medals etc are named so the history and story of the soldier is lost!there are plenty of un-named silver medals out there and while sad that they are lost there is genarely no story to them its the history that is lost that is the shame!

well, that is a point.

You think the soldiers history is lost, cause nobody will look it up in the future when the medal doesn't exist any longer.

Now i see your problem. But i think it is a special british problem. Most of our medals are nameless. After the collapse of the old empire 1918 a lot of the records were scattered, other records have been destroyed during and after WWII. So a part of our soldiers history is already gone.

You still have the records.

josef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well, that is a point.

You think the soldiers history is lost, cause nobody will look it up in the future when the medal doesn't exist any longer.

Now i see your problem. But i think it is a special british problem. Most of our medals are nameless. After the collapse of the old empire 1918 a lot of the records were scattered, other records have been destroyed during and after WWII. So a part of our soldiers history is already gone.

You still have the records.

josef

Some records. Most service records to other ranks were destroyed by the Luftwaffe.

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

true that the records mic do exist but the medal are the link to the person and his history!for instance i picked up a BWM to a merchant sea man and through that medal i saw him from his birth to his death in 43!that kinda of link would lost with the melting down of his medal!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...