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Red Cross Relief Commemorative Medal 1904-05 and its Suspensions

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sorry nick didnt get a photo but i can assure you it was silver it was part of an estate that included a russo japanese war medal with document meiji era 7th class gk with document dated 1906 and a number of cased reservist badges with documents its very rare to find anything like this here the seller picked them up at an estate auction they may have come from a japanese family that settled in nz i dont think it was brought back by a nz serviceman cant see a soldier bothered with documents, anyway only a guess

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And this green thing on obverse (right at the bottom) is not corrosion, but oxidation ;)

Looks "ok" to me.

At least it looks pretty damn old....

But then again I've never had this piece in my hands ....

So at the end it could be nickel, copper or something else ...

Oxidation of metals is corrosion..... ;) But you do see the same thing that I do in the photo - which indicates the presence of copper or an alloy thereof, like bronze. So it's gotta be a plated piece - but not silver. Nickel? Zinc? Hmmm. But why? Curious. What would be the point of plating in anything other than silver?

What may appear to be bronze corroding through is merely the lighting--or rather a shadow. There is not a hint of bronze anywhere on the medal. Of course, this is an alloy, not pure silver. It is has a silver-color plating, but not a silver plating.

I'm assuming, like Dieter mentioned, that this was produced for special people. But that is merely an assumption.

But Rich says there is no corrosion, and the green we see is not there - meaning then that this piece is possibly plated, or a full alloy of something, not bronze. Mystery deepens! Fascinating.

I don't know why anybody would bother to plate the piece to begin with - what would be the point, unless somebody simply attempted to sex these things up to make them "rare", like gold plating 7th class Kites? I don't buy that, but can't dismiss it entirely.

I'm going with the solid alloy theory though! :lol: Seems quite plausible..

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Sorry--I must have misunderstood you. I thought you were seeing bronze showing through the silver color, especially on the reverse. That isn't happening, but the obverse green corrosion is evident. Plating in something other than silver would be cost-effective, wouldn't it? That seems to be a strong enough reason.

I cannot buy the 'silver plating to make them rare' since that would require a number of things to be true. Among them being

1. that the platers had a knowledge of medals

2. that they would think that this particular medal would be valuable in silver

3. that they would spend a considerable amount of time and money on this fairly low level medal

Also, I doubt this mysterious 'they' would plate only a small number. They would flood the market as the Chinese do and reap the rewards in the first few sales.

But since these are the hen's teeth rarity, that doesn't seem to have happened.

Finally, though I am sure there are other points, I am holding the medal as we speak and can see nothing that would indicate a bronze medal underneath. The medal is well-made, well-finished, and completely original, IMO.

Cheers,

Rich

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Oxidation of metals is corrosion..... ;)

You don't say :lol:

Corrosion generally implies a harmful deterioration of a metal; of course this can be due to oxidation (the metal rusting), but it can also be due to many other things. American chemistry teacher get that right: "The corrosion process is usually electrochemical in nature, having the essential features of a battery. Corrosion is a natural process that commonly occurs because unstable materials, such as refined metals want to return to a more stable compound. For example, some metals, such as gold and silver, can be found in the earth in their natural, metallic state and they have little tendency to corrode. Corrosion involve two chemical processes…oxidation and reduction. Oxidation is the process of stripping electrons from an atom and reduction occurs when an electron is added to an atom. The oxidation process takes place at an area known as the anode. At the anode, positively charged atoms leave the solid surface and enter into an electrolyte as ions. The ions leave their corresponding negative charge in the form of electrons in the metal which travel to the location of the cathode through a conductive path. At the cathode, the corresponding reduction reaction takes place and consumes the free electrons. The electrical balance of the circuit is restored at the cathode when the electrons react with neutralizing positive ions, such as hydrogen ions, in the electrolyte. From this description, it can be seen that there are four essential components that are needed for a corrosion reaction to proceed. These components are an anode, a cathode, an electrolyte with oxidizing species, and some direct electrical connection between the anode and cathode. Although atmospheric air is the most common environmental electrolyte, natural waters, such as seawater rain, as well as man-made solutions, are the environments most frequently associated with corrosion problems."

Edited by JapanX

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Mystery deepens!

Quite usual practice :lol:

Fascinating.

For real? :whistle:

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Sorry--I must have misunderstood you. I thought you were seeing bronze showing through the silver color, especially on the reverse. That isn't happening, but the obverse green corrosion is evident. Plating in something other than silver would be cost-effective, wouldn't it? That seems to be a strong enough reason.

Well, I don't know. You'd think so yes, that plating in other than silver would be cost effective - but I don't know what the value of silver would have been at the time - but even today, silver is not worth a lot relatively speaking, and plating would really be cheap, for the metal anyway - don't know about the process! But the big question, is why plate it in anything BUT silver? I mean, most of the other metals wouldn't carry the same kind of prestige as silver, right?

I cannot buy the 'silver plating to make them rare' since that would require a number of things to be true. Among them being

1. that the platers had a knowledge of medals

2. that they would think that this particular medal would be valuable in silver

3. that they would spend a considerable amount of time and money on this fairly low level medal

I would agree with this - it just doesn't seem worth it.

Also, I doubt this mysterious 'they' would plate only a small number. They would flood the market as the Chinese do and reap the rewards in the first few sales. But since these are the hen's teeth rarity, that doesn't seem to have happened.

True!!

Finally, though I am sure there are other points, I am holding the medal as we speak and can see nothing that would indicate a bronze medal underneath. The medal is well-made, well-finished, and completely original, IMO.

Cheers,

Rich

No doubt about it - it certainly looks exactly like the ones with which we are more familiar! Not at all questioning the quality, simply trying assess the base and plate material, if it is indeed plated! If I had to guess, I'd say this is probably a normal bronze medal that has been plated and the bronze is corroding through the plating. Nickel was definitely in use by this time, I do not know what sorts of nickel alloys were being used when these would have been made - but perhaps is is some sort of copper-nickel alloy? Like I said before, whatever it is - fascinating!

Perhaps these are even very early examples that managed to get out into the world before the decision was made to use bronze! We know this has happened in the case of other medals, so why not these too? Maybe some day we will have the answer, but my guess is that we will never know! Whatever the background - surely seems unique!

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hi nick i managed to get a photo of the kiwi based russo japanese war red cross medal not the best shot of the obverse bit of a struggle to get this the reverse is the russo japanese version

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Thanks for the photos Mickey!

Looks like practically all "silver" is lost ...

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Photos can be deceiving, but I agree with Nick - not much silver left, not nearly like Rich's. Seems to lean in the direction of an original bronze being plated rather than a specimen of a different alloy altogether. But like I said, photos can be deceiving.

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... not nearly like Nick's :whistle::lol:

Almost mine! ;) I considered bidding in the original auction but decided to pass on it. But I often save photos for study and documentation:

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2012/post-6375-0-24039200-1350251586.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_10_2012/post-6375-0-23565100-1350251593.jpg

Look familiar? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Edited by Dieter3

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Deleted

Edited by Dieter3

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Almost mine! ;)

Quite innovative approach to collecting :lol:

I considered bidding in the original auction but decided to pass on it.

How lucky you are!

Your second chance :lol:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASSORTED-ANTIQUE-1904-5-RUSSIA-WAR-RED-CROSS-SILVER-JAPANESE-JAPAN-MEDAL-BADGE-/360495646013?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53ef37053d

But I often save photos for study and documentation

Even better quality pictures this time :whistle:

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Now even with the silvered bar ...

That`s not funny at all :whistle:

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Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh.........interesting, eh? And didn't sell for even 500 yen. Hmmmmm.............. :speechless: Fascinating.

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Fascinating.

Or (in other words) rarity that is not that rare :whistle:

P.S. Pretty soon I`ll start to regret that you didn`t buy this piece in the first place :lol:

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Or (in other words) rarity that is not that rare :whistle:

P.S. Pretty soon I`ll start to regret that you didn`t buy this piece in the first place :lol:

Well, rare or not, it is unique! I suspect though that these were probably plated to make them more of a curiosity or add uniqueness somehow to an otherwise super-common item, not necessarily for purposes of deception as being a rare item. We will probably never know, but it is intriguing to think about! Well, for me anyway. But I am easily intrigued.... ;)

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Tell you the truth I don't see any "silver" at all ...

Only photo glares ...

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I can see how it appears silver, no way to tell without having it in hand. But doesn't really look very bronze-like either. Hmmmm......

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Got my medal yesterday :whistle:

Will post HQ pictures in a couple of days ;)

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