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Cleaning of medal - to do or not to?

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You're right, it's not patina. The color and distribution of the ''stain'' isn't consistent with what one would expect with patina. I would expect the patina after 74 years to be more or less evenly distributed over the medal and cover BOTH obverse and reverse...this occurs only on the reverse so I'm thinking it's some kind of glue. If it was indeed patina I wouldn't even consider cleaning it since that would destroy some of the medal's ''story''.

Question is: what's the best way to clean it?



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If it is glue any brand of mineral spirits should soften the glue and allow it to be gently removed. Even a paint thinner or turpentine should do the trick. Just be sure not the "scrub" it in any manner, scratches will completely ruin the piece.

Please lets us know how you make out.




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To be honest I'm nervous to apply any chemicals to a medal since I don't know the metallic composition of each medal and an unfortunately bad reaction can ruin the medal. 

I contacted a medal-mounter and he is willing to clean it for R 50 or about $ 3.50. The biggest expense would be courier cost but I guess that's better than trying it DIY style and ruining an otherwise well preserved medal.

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The medal is cupronickel. I would try some rubbing alcohol and see if it removes it. 

These British War Medals are not expensive. If it's a family medal I would understand the need to send it off for proper care but I would save the money and look for a better candidate. 



Edited by Chrisvo
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14 minutes ago, Wessel Gordon said:


Kupiłem go, aby dodać do mojej kolekcji brytyjskich medali, więc nie ma w tym żadnej sentymentalnej wartości.

Z „alkoholem do wycierania” zakładam, że są to te same rzeczy, których używają w szpitalu do dezynfekcji skóry przed zastrzykiem? 


Any organic solvent like alcohol, acetone, isopropanol will cope well with adhesives and impurities of this type and certainly will not destroy the medal.

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